Australia was part of the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) of command under General Douglas MacArthur.

In 1943, all of the operational Air Forces in the SWPA were under the command of Lieutenant-General George C. Kenney who directed the command headquarters of the Allied Air Forces, South West Pacific Area. These forces comprised:-

- 5th American Air Force (total of 36 Squadrons)
- operational squadrons of RAAF assigned to SWPA including their service units (total of 31 Squadrons)
- one RAF squadron
- one Netherlands Air Force squadron


Australia was divided up into five areas for air defence purposes. In April 1943 these areas were as follows:-

North-Eastern Area

Air Commodore A.H. Cobby

7 Squadron Beauforts Ross River, Townsville, QLD
9 Squadron Seagulls Bowen, QLD
11 Squadron Catalinas Cairns, QLD
20 Squadron Catalinas Cairns, QLD
Eastern Area

Air Vice-Marshall W.H. Anderson

5 Squadron Wirraways Kingaroy, QLD
23 Squadron Wirraways Lowood, QLD
24 Squadron Wirraways Bankstown, NSW
32 Squadron Hudsons Camden, NSW
71 Squadron Ansons Lowood, QLD
73 Squadron Ansons Nowra, NSW
83 Squadron Wirraways Strathpine, QLD
Southern Area

Group Captain C.W. Pearce

67 Squadron Ansons Laverton, VIC
86 Squadron Kittyhawks Gawler, SA
Western Area

Air Commodore R.J. Brownell

14 Squadron Beauforts Pearce, WA
25 Squadron Wirraways Pearce, WA
76 Squadron Kittyhawks Exmouth Gulf, WA
85 Squadron Boomerangs Pearce, WA
North-Western Area

Air Commodore Bladin


2 Squadron Hudsons Hughes
12 Squadron Vultee Vengeances Batchelor
13 Squadron Hudsons Hughes
31 Squadron Beaufighters Coomalie
452 Squadron Spitfires Strauss
457 Squadron Spitfires Livingstone
54 Squadron RAF Spitfires Darwin
319 Squadron USAAF Liberators Fenton
18 Squadron
Mitchells Batchelor


Military airfields in Australia and the western Pacific area during WW2



"Air War against Japan 1943 - 1945"
by George Odgers


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This page first produced 2 April 2000

This page last updated 21 February 2020