Not long after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbour, the 8 ships of the American Pensacola Convoy arrived in Brisbane on 23 December 1941 with approximately 2,400 United States Army Air Corps Troops, 2 Field Artillery Regiments, and over 70 aircraft. This was the first major influx of American personnel into Australia.

On 28 December 1941, Lt. Gen. George H. Brett arrived in Australia to take command of all United States forces. General Barnes was his Chief of Staff and General Brereton was in command of all Air Forces. The Americans headquarters moved from Brisbane to Melbourne. The Americans needed to establish an organisation structure to distribute supplies and personnel throughout Australia. They set up what was known as numbered Base Sections of the United States Armed Forces in Australia (USAFIA).


Base Section boundaries


Base Section 1 - Darwin (Later Base 1) 5 January 1942
Base Section 2 - Townsville (Later Base 2) 5 January 1942
Base Section 3 - Brisbane (Later Base 3) 5 January 1942
Base Section 4 - Melbourne (later Base 4) 5 January 1942
Base Section 5 - Adelaide (Later Base 5) 3 March 1942
Base Section 6 - Perth (Later Base 6) 3 March 1942
Base Section 7 - Sydney (late Base 7) 19 April 1942



General Douglas MacArthur

Command Structure in the SWPA

V Bomber Command

V Fighter Command



"They Passed This Way"
by Barry Ralph


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This page first produced 20 August 2000

This page last updated 22 February 2020