ALLIED NAVAL FORCES
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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On 18 April 1942 General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area GHQ SWPA was established at 401 - 403 Collins Street, Melbourne. General Order No. 1 dated 18 April 1942 created the following commands:-

General Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief GHQ SWPA

Allied Land Forces, Southwest Pacific Area
    Commander - General Sir Thomas Blamey, KCB, CMG, D30, Australian Army

Allied Air Forces, Southwest Pacific Area
    Commander - Lt. Gen. George H. Brett, USA

Allied Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific Area
    Commander - Vice Admiral Herbert F. Leary, USA

United States Forces in Philippines
    Commander - Lt. Gen. Jonathon M. Wainwright, USA

United States Forces in Australia
    Commander - Major-General Julian Barnes

 

Vice Admiral Herbert F. Leary was appointed as the Commander Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area COMALNAVFORSWP on 18 April 1942. At the same time Vice Admiral Leary also became Commander, Southwest Pacific Force COMSOUWESPAC under which he reported directly to Admiral King. Vice Admiral Leary was replaced by Vice Admiral Arthur S. Carpender on 11 September 1942. He also had the same dual reporting arrangements. The Southwest Pacific Force became the 7th Fleet on 15 March 1943 and its task forces were renumbered, to start with the number "7".

Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid replaced Vice Admiral Carpender in November 1943.

In May 1944, Vice Admiral Kinkaid was listed in the Brisbane Military Telephone Directory as the Commander of Allied Naval Forces. His office was in Room 519 on the 5th floor of the GHQ SWPA in the AMP Building in Queen street in Brisbane. He had the 7th Fleet, US Navy at his disposal plus some Royal Australian Navy ships in the SWPA.

The US Navy had a large Naval Base in Brisbane known as US Naval Base Headquarters, Navy 134.

In May 1944, the Allied Naval Forces - Southwest Pacific Area comprised:-

ALLIED NAVAL FORCES - SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC AREA
AMP BUILDING.

COMMANDER ALLIED NAVAL FORCES
    Vice Admiral Kinkaid, T.G.     (AMP Room 519)
DEPUTY COMMANDER:
    Rear Admiral Van Hook, C.E.     (AMP Room 520)
CHIEF OF STAFF:
    Capt. Graf, H.W.     (AMP Room 521)
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF:
    Capt. Hudson, R.C.     (AMP Room 521)
FLAG SECRETARY:
    Lt. Comdr. Burwell, E.     (AMP Room 518)
OPERATIONS:
    Capt. Cruzen, R.H.     (AMP Room 514)
    Capt. Peacher, R.M.     (AMP Room 514)
    Comdr. Chesterman, H.S. (R.A.N.)     (AMP Room 514)
PLANS:
    Capt. Crawford, D.S.     (AMP Room 505)
    Capt. Steinhagen, P.W.     (AMP Room 505)
    Capt. Fisher, W.G.     (AMP Room 505)
    Comdr. Dingwell, J.E.     (AMP Room 503)
    Comdr. King, V.A.     (AMP Room 503)
    Lt. Comdr. Shanley, E.M. (CEC)     (AMP Room 503)
    Lt. Comdr. Williams, F.H.     (AMP Room 505)
    Lt. Borden, R.     (AMP Room 505)
FLAG LIEUTENANT (AIDE):
    Lt. Freeman, D.F.     (AMP Room 520)
    Lt. WIlson, R.L.     (AMP Room 520)
COMMUNICATIONS:
    Comdr. Shaffer, L.G.     (AMP Room 502)
    Lt. Comdr. Chisholm, C.C.     (AMP Room 502)
    Lt. Johnson, C.R.     (AMP Room 511)
    Lt. Robins, B.W.     (AMP Room 511)
    Lt. Fleishhacker, M.     (AMP Room 502)
    Lt. (jg) Chambers, F.P.     (AMP Room 502)
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE:
    U.S. Naval Code Room     (AMP Room 510)
    R.A.N. Cipher Room     (AMP Room 509)
    Communications Watch Officer     (AMP Room 510)
INTELLIGENCE:
    Capt. McCollum, A.H.     (AMP Room 506)
    Lt. Col.Burns, R.C. (USMC)     (AMP Room 506)
    Lt. Comdr. Hite, B.     (AMP Room 506)
    Lt. Schipper, C.F.     (AMP Room 506)
PUBLIC RELATIONS:
    Comdr. Leverton, J.W.     (Com. Bk. of Sydney)
PERSONNEL:
    Lt. Comdr. Summers, C.G., III 
MEDICAL:
    Capt. Michael, W.H. (MC)     (Old Courier Building)
    Comdr. Mitchell, L.D. (DC)     (Old Courier Building)
TRAINING:
    Comdr. Livdahl, O.L.     (AMP Room 504)
AVIATION:
    Comdr. Van Every, S.A.     (AMP Room 504)
CHAPLAIN:
    Capt. Shrum, R.W.     (Old Courier Building)
NAVAL AIR PRIORITIES OFFICE:
    Lt. Demo, V.A.     (Creek & Adelaide Sts.)
FLAG OFFICE (CORRESPONDENCE).      (AMP Room 517)

Note:- The above information is from the May 1944 Brisbane Military Telephone Directory.

 

On 6 April 1945, a reorganisation brought the Southwest Pacific Area within the new command of Army Forces Pacific (AFPAC) with General Douglas MacArthur in charge. Admiral Chester Nimitz was given command over all Naval forces in the Pacific and General MacArthur was given command of all Army forces in the Pacific, to prepare for the invasion of Japan.

An entry for the 7 April 1945 in Admiral Chester Nimitz's Command Summary stated:-

"Cominch & CNO 062116 (pink) states that units of the 7th Fleet will pass to the command of Cincpoa on a schedule to be agreed by General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz, or as may be directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

The transfer Macarthur's Seventh Fleet was delayed until July 1945 because of the operations in Borneo. Allied Naval Forces Southwest Pacific Area disappeared as part of these changes.

GHQ SWPA closed on 2 September 1945 when General MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Allied Powers.

 

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This page first produced 1 October 2003

This page last updated 08 February 2016