V BOMBER COMMAND
5TH AIR FORCE USAAF
V Bomber Command was established in Townsville on 5 September 1942. It was possibly located in the No. 2 US Air Command bunker at Ramsay Street in Garbutt, not far from Garbutt airfield. The large bunker was built like a fortress, with enormous thick walls and roof. It was surrounded by a buttress blast wall to withstand a close-in bomb blast. V Bomber Command moved to Port Moresby in New Guinea a few months later. Another possible location for V Bomber Command HQ was the North-Eastern Area Headquarters building in Sturt Street, Townsville.
Brigadier General Walker was appointed by General George C. Kenney in about August 1942 to command the Allied Air Forces in the North Eastern area with the assistance of Group Captain "Bull" Garing of the RAAF. Walker replaced Major General Ralph Royce. This new assignment for Walker included command of the 5th Air Force's V Bomber Command.
William "Bill" Benn was appointed Chief of Operations of General Walker's V Bomber Command. Benn had come from the 63rd Squadron of the 43rd Bomb Group to take on his new role. Benn was not happy to have been pulled from his combat role.
Crash of a B-25D-30
Mitchell Bomber of Fifth Bomber Command
into Moreton Bay near Brisbane on 30 September 1944
A special reconnaissance unit was formed in Fifth Bomber Command in March 1944 to carry out comprehensive weather reconnaissance flights in B-25 Mitchells. Brigadier General Jarred V. Crabb was Commander of the Fifth Bomber Command at the time of its establishment. Crabb sought volunteer crews to fly weather missions to remote Japanese held areas of New Guinea. Pilots who were proficient in instrument flying were encouraged to apply. Crews who volunteered were sent home earlier than normal combat crews.
Card:- Ben Browder (via Bob Tupa)
1943 Christmas Card for V Bomber Command
Personal Account of
Bomber Command Station Life
Prepared by Major Morternson - Historical Officer, V Bomber Command, 1942-1944
Mortensens papers includes official documents relating to the establishment of the V Bomber Commands Headquarters in Townsville, Australia on 5 September 1942, descriptions of life at the base at Townsville, the people of Australia and the activities of the Air Corps personnel stationed there.
The Air Force Historical Research Agency has the Papers of Bernhardt L. Morternson 1942-1944 (Call No. 732.04-1) (IRIS No. 0258752). His duty assignments included a role as Historical Officer, V Bomber Command, 1942-1944.
The 5th Air Force and 5th Bomber Command held its 17th reunion on 12 -16 September 2001 at Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. The reunion included HQ. 5th Bomber Command, 5th Station Hospital, 405th Signal Co. (AVN), 80th Service Group, 502 Tac Con Group, HQ & HQ 314th Comp. Wing, The reunion was organised by Lou Buddo, 5th Air Force, Box 270362, St. Louis, MO 63127.
General Douglas MacArthur
Command Structure in the SWPA
American Base Sections in Australia during WW2
V Fighter Command
Colonel Merian C. Cooper
Chief of Staff to Major General Ennis Whitehead
and Creator of "King Kong" the Movie
I'd like to thank Michael Claringbould for the information on the Weather Reconnaissance Squadron that was established in Fifth Bomber Command.
© Peter Dunn 2003
This page first produced 10 September 2000
This page last updated 13 March 2014