22ND SERVICE GROUP
FIFTH AIR FORCE
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII
The first members of the 22nd Service Group, Fifth Air Force, arrived in Brisbane on 6 March 1942 and initially camped at Camp Ascot until 15 March 1942. They relocated to Archerfield Airfield on 15 March 1942, where they remained until 14 June 1942 when they relocated to Amberley Airfield west of Brisbane. Some records show that the 22nd Service Group established themselves at Amberley Airfield on 25 November 1942.
The 22nd Service Group was responsible for the American portion of Amberley Airfield from 15 June 1942 until the group's disbandment on 9 January 1944.
The 22nd Service Group operated a post headquarters at Amberley Airfield and its mission was to service aircraft received from the U.S. and those returned from forward combat areas. The 22nd Service Group's commanding officer was Lt. Col. Claude F. Gilchrist.
The following entry from "Amberley History" makes mention of the 22 Service Group's time at Amberley Airfield:-.
"Donald Neibling who worked in one of the igloos in the early 1980s recalled that there was a list of names of some members of the 22nd Service Group which had occupied the Igloo during the war. In later years an ex-22nd member told Donald how the RAAF had helped them assemble the B-26 Marauders and perform engine overhauls at 3AD. He was also very complimentary of the RAAF Tradesman's level of skill compared to the American training, he learnt more in 4 months working with our people than he had on his US Army Course."
Hangar used by the 22nd Service Group at Amberley Airfield in the foreground of the above photo
On the 10 December 1943, the 1535th Ordnance S&M Company (Aviation) was relieved from being attached to the 43rd Service Squadron and was attached to the 22nd Service Group. Seven men went on detached service to Melbourne, Victoria for purpose of driving back new trucks. On the 10 January 1944, the 1535th was relieved from attachment to the 22nd Service Group and attached to the 43rd Service Squadron due to the disbandment of the 22nd Service Group.4 men were transferred into the 1535th from Hq & Hq Squadron, of the 22nd Service Group.
Some of the units attached to the 22nd Service Group were the 895th Chemical Company and the 30th Service Squadron. Harry Robert Clark, served with the 30th Service Squadron.
"Amberley History" by Cpl Porter, 6 Squadron
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© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 23 October 2012
This page last updated 11 September 2018