General George C. Kenney ordered Brigadier Kenneth Walker to command the Allied Air Forces in the North-Eastern area with the assistance of Group Captain Garing of the RAAF. The RAAF combat units at Townsville, Cairns and Horn Island were attached to Walker for operational control. Kenney asked Walker to reorganise the North Eastern Area Command which Kenney described as a "scrambled outfit of Australians and Americans that resembled a can of worms". North-Eastern Area command headquarters were located in the Commonwealth Building in Sturt Street in Townsville.


Supplied by Audrey Poynton

Photo of "Bull" Garing in March 1941


A function to welcome Brigadier Kenneth Walker in the dark uniform.
Group Captain Garing is 3rd from right looking down and smiling.



A function to welcome Brigadier Kenneth Walker


Air Commodore A.H. Cobby with the pipe


Supplied by Audrey Poynton

Squadron Leader W.H. Garing - Mentioned in Despatches -
with a special note from General George C. Kenney


The following Biography for Air Commodore W.H. Garing was supplied to me by his 2nd cousin, Audrey Poynton:-

A biography of Air Commodore W. H. Garing, C.B.E., D.F.C., FAIM.,D.S.C.(U.S.A.), R.A.A.F. Rtd.

Born Corryong, Victoria, Australia, 26th July 1910, son of George Garing, retired grazier and Amy Eveline Garing (Jewell) (both deceased)

Married 1940 to Robin Margaret Mildown Punchard: son Robert William and daughter Sherrin: marriage dissolved.

Married 1954 to Marjorie Smith in England: daughters Phillipa and Deidre.

Educated at Corryong Higher Elementary School, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Royal Military College, Duntroon, A.C.T.

Began career as Electrical and Mechanical Engineer in 1928: entered R.M.C. Duntroon 1929 as specially selected R.A.A.F. cadet, graduated Flying-Training School in Australia (Point Cook, Victoria) 1931: School of Air Pilotage and Specialist Navigation School U.K. 1934-35; Seaplane Flying Instructor and Chief Navigation Instructor, Point Cook, 1936. Commanded Seaplane Squadron Point Cook, conducted first Specialist Air Navigation course in Australia 1938; posted to United Kingdom 1939; served with No 10 Australian Sunderland Squadron R.A.A.F. as Flight Commander in Coastal Command R.A.F. 1939; operations in North Atlantic, France and Mediterranean (DFC).

Flew Lord Lloyd to France for discussions with Petain Government prior to collapse of France 1940, and subsequently was pilot to H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, Mr. Eden (late Lord Avon) and others (Atlantic Star, mentioned in Despatches).

Returned Australia 1941appointed Senior Staff Officer Headquarters, Northern Area (extended from Netherlands Indies through New Guinea, British Solomons to New Caledonia) 1941;

Commanded No.9 (Operational) Group R.A.A.F. New Guinea 1942; Milne Bay Campaign 1942; Buna Campaign 1942-43 (awarded American D.S.C. by General Macarthur); 1943 awarded C.B.E. for air operations South-West Pacific; Commanded No 1 Operational Training Unit, East Sale Victoria, 1943-44; Director Operational Requirements R.A.A.F. Headquarters 1944 S.A.S.O. to R.A.A.F. Representative, Washington, DC 1945-46; subsequently appointed R.A.A.F. Representative; (1939-1945 Star); Joint Services Staff College, U.K. 1948; appointed ADC to His Majesty King George VI 1951; Imperial Defence College, London, 1952; R.A.A.F. Representative Australia House, London 1953.

Post war Appointments; A.O.C. R.A.A.F. Pearce W.A.; Commandant School of Land / Air Warfare, Williamstown , N.S.W.; A.O.C. R.A.A.F. Amberley, Qld.; A.O.C.Overseas Headquarters, London; A.O.C. R.A.A.F. Richmond N.S.W.; Commandant R.A.A.F. Staff College, Point Cook, Victoria; Air Officer South Australia and officer Commanding R.A.A.F. Edinburgh Field, Salisbury, S.A. Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, (F.A.I.M.). Holds First Class Air Navigator's Certificate(Aust.) and is Air Master Navigator (R.A.F).

Retired from R.A.A.F. 1964 appointed Executive Director, Rothmans-National Sport-Foundation 1964. appointed Commercial Relations Manager Alfred Dunhill Australia Ltd. 1971-75. Co-ordinator Masonic International Festival 1977-79. Presently residing Nursing Home in Sydney, Australia.

Squadron Leader William Henry Garing [56] awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for valour on the 31st July 1940 when he attacked five enemy aircraft who were strafing a ship the H.M.T MOOLTAN


Does anyone know where the
North Eastern Area Headquarters Officers Mess
was located?



I'd like to thank Audrey Poynton, 2nd cousin to Bull Garing for her assistance with this web page.

I'd also like to thank Robert Garing, son of Bull Garing and Sherrin, Daughter of Bull Garing for their assistance with this web page.

I'd also like to thank Douglas Walker, son of Brigadier Kenneth Walker, for his assistance with this web page.


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 1 July 2000

This page last updated 22 Apr 2020