COMMAND STRUCTURE IN THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC AREA
DURING WWII

 

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. The set up what was known as numbered Base Sections of the United States Armed Forces in Australia (USAFIA).

General Douglas MacArthur escaped the Philippines, and arrived in Melbourne on 21 March 1942. He was appointed Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). On about 9 April 1942 work started to fit out the empty Trustees Executive building at 408 Collins Street, Melbourne to be MacArthur's headquarters.

 

American-British-Dutch-Australian Command ABDACOM

 

Supreme Allied Command South West Pacific Area
18 April 1942 - 3 May 1942

 

Allied Air Force Headquarters
Victoria Barracks, Melbourne

 

Allied Air Force, SWPA

 

Central War Room

 

War Cabinet Room

 

Air Board

 

Air Defence Areas for Australia

 

Composition of the Australian Army in Australia in September 1939

 

Composition of the Australian Army in Australia in April 1943

 

Composition of the Australian Army in Australia in September 1943

 

Command Structure for Allied Intelligence Organisations
in SWPA, May 1943

 

RAAF Central Area Headquarters

 

AMERICAN COMMANDERS
and other officers

Major General Spencer Ball Akin

Lieutenant General Hap Arnold
Chief of Staff of the Army Air Corps

Brigadier General Julian F. Barnes
Colonel Royden Eugene Beebe, Jr.
Director of Operations, Allied Air Force
Major-General Lewis Hyde Brereton Lt. Gen. George H. Brett
Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Butler Cain
Assistant Director of Intelligence
Captain Clarence Ryland "Kip" Chase
Aide to General George C. Kenney
Brigadier General Henry B. Clagett
Colonel Merian C. Cooper Major John De Vos
Aide to General Brett
Colonel Le Grand A. "Pick" Diller
Major William E. Dyess Lieutenant Colonel Roger Olaf Egeberg
Doctor and aide-de-camp to General Douglas MacArthur
Lieutenant General Robert Eichelberger
Colonel Eugene L. Eubank Brigadier General Harold H. George Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, Jr.
Colonel Ross G. Hoyt Lt. Col. Sidney L. Huff General George Churchill Kenney
Lt. Col. Lloyd A. Lehrbas Vice Admiral Leary General Douglas MacArthur
Brigadier General Richard Marshall
MacArthur's Deputy Chief of Staff
Commander Melvyn H. McCoy (USN) Major Stephen M. Mellnik
Major Charles H. Morhouse
Aide-de-Camp to General MacArthur
Colonel Edwin S. Perrin General Ralph G. Royce
Eleanor Roosevelt
Wife of the American President
Brigadier- General Martin F. Scanlon Captain Charles M. Smith
Lieutenant General Richard Sutherland Lieutenant Colonel Boyd D. "Buzz" Wagner General Kenneth Walker
Lt.-Gen. Ennis C. Whitehead Major General Charles Andre Willoughby Brigadier General Donald Wilson
Chief of Staff for General George C. Kenney
Lt. Col. Francis H. Wilson  Colonel Joseph Emile Hamilton Stevenot
Lend Lease Division
Brigadier General Bonner F. Fellers

 

AUSTRALIAN COMMANDERS

Maj. Gen A.S. Allen General Gordon Bennett General Sir Thomas Blamey
Air Vice Marshall Bostock  Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Burnett Major General Cyril Clowes
Air Commodore A.H. Cobby Group Captain William Henry "Bull" Garing Wing Commander Hancock
Air Commodore Joseph C. Hewitt Air Vice Marshall Jones Lt. Gen. Lavarack
Air Commodore Lukis Air Commodore G.J.W. Mackinolty Air Commodore McCauley
Lt. Gen Morsehead Lt. Gen Mackay Group Captain F.R.W. Scherger
Wing Commander Walters Group Captain Cam S. Wiggins Air Commodore Wrigley

 

Other Miscellaneous personnel

 Lt. W. L. Hook, Chief Nurse Base Section Three Captain Alonzo P. Mercier Nurse Mabel "Robbie" Robertson
 Major General Chih Wang  Sir Leslie Wilson, Governor of Queensland  

 

This is a very complex topic and will take me some time to work it all out.

So, I need all the help I can get.

 

American Base Sections in Australia during WW2

Air Defence areas for Australia

V Bomber Command

V Fighter Command

Military Time Zones

 

REFERENCE

"They Passed This Way"
by Barry Ralph

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn OAM 2020

Disclaimer

Please e-mail me
any information or photographs


"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 20 August 2000

This page last updated 04 July 2020