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NOV 2 9 1963

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United States Army Transportation in the Southwest Pacific Area 1941 - 1947 Property of Office of the Chief ICE O F OR IG IN
* Military Kistc
ral Roferenc®
Transportation Unit, Historical Division
Spedial Staff, United States Army

to' 714, 119 "D" Street, N.E.



1C564 B15T








. Office of the Chief f Military Hist err General Reference BranoJb



The preparation of this monograph, MU. S. Army Transportation in
the Southwest Pacific Area, 1941 - 1947," was undertaken with a dual
purpose. First, it was desired to present in some detail the complex
and often obscure story of Army transportation in this important thea­ ter, for the use of the Transportation Corps in planning future oper­ ations, procurement, and training, and for the general information of
the military authorities* Second, it was expected that the monograph
would serve as the basis for a chapter to appear in a volume on trans­ portation in the oversea commands, which will be published as part of
the series, "U. S. Army in World War II."
The author of the monograph, Dr. James H. Masters on, wisely has
not limited himself to a study of transportation operations, but has
dealt at some length with the vicissitudes of the transportation organ­ ization in the theater and its relationships with the various echelons
of military command. Failure to give the transportation organization
proper form and adequate authority was a basic weakness, and added con­ siderably to the theater's transportation difficulties, which would have
been great under any circumstances.
Dr. Masterson spent approximately 21 months in research and writing.
Neither aspect of the work was completed to his satisfaction, due to his
acceptance of another position, which necessitated cutting short the re­ search and organizing the material and preparing the text under pressure.
The manuscript represents, nevertheless, a very substantial accomplishment,

It presents in organized form a large amount of recorded information
which in its original scattered state had limited meaning and util­ ity. The interviews with officers who served in responsible positions
in the Southwest Pacific aided greatly in collating the facts obtained
from documentary sources and filling in the gaps. The study, there­ fore, throws needed light on many of the transportation problems which
plagued the theater command and caused concern to the Chief of Trans­ portation and other Armv officials in Washington.

Washington, D. C. 1A October 1949

Chester Wardlow
Chief, Transportation Unit
Historical Division
Special Staff, U.S. Army


I, Higher Commands as Belated to Transportation The United States Forces in the Far East (USAFEB) First
Period, 26 July 1941 - 18 April 1942 Task Force - South Pacific, 12-22 December 1941 . • . . The United States Forces in Australia (USFIA) 22 Decem­ ber 1941 - 5 January 1942 The American-Britisn-Dutch-Aastralian (ABDA) Command 15
January - 10 March 1942 The United States Army Forces in Australia (USAFIA) 5
January - 20 July 1942 Commands of General Douglas MacArthur, 1942-1946 . . . The U* S. Army Services of Supply (USASOS) 20 July 1942
- 7 June 1945 The U. S. Army Forces, Western Pacific (AEVESPAC) 7
June 1945 - 31 December 1946 Notes II. Local Commands as Belated to Transportation . • • • • • • Base Headquarters and Headquarters Belated Thereto • . Bases in New Guinea • Bases in the Philippines The Base in the Hyukyus Port Headquarters • • • ••• Port Detachments and Major Port Headquarters . . .
Utilized as Base Headquarters Port Commands and Medium Ports Notes III. The Transportation Office Periods in the History of the Transportation Office . . 1

Establishment of the Transportation Office and the
Transportation Corps • • The Period of Two Offices, 26 February - 27 Sep­ tember 1943 The Period from 27 September 1943 to 8 April 1944. The Period of "Work Simplification, 1 1 8 April - De­ cember 1944 The Period from December 1944 to 23 July 1945 • • The Period from 23 July 1945 to 30 December 1946 . Services, Arms, and Combat Organizations in Relation
to the Transportation Corps • • • • • • • • • • • • • Belations with Other Services • . . . Relations with Arms • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

U l
152 157

delations with Corps and Armies
General Comments Notew




1 7 1
1 8 2

• • • • • • • • • * • • • • • • • • •


Divisions of the Transportation Office The Water Division The Supply Division The Fiscal Division Notes

• • • 188

V. Transpacific Shipping Some General Aspects of Pacific Shipping • Requisitioning on the United States . . . . . • • Shipping Information • • • • • • • » • • • • • • • Loading and Unloading • ••••• Packaging and Marking • ;•••'•• Selection of Military Cargoes for Return to the
United States • • • • • • • • . Personnel Movements to and from the Southwest Pacific
Area . .


Movement of Troops from the Southwest Pacific Area
to the United States Movement of Allied Prisoners of War to the United
States Movement of Army Dependents Notes VI. Composition of the Army Fleet in the Southwest Pacific . . Beginnings of the Permanent Local Fleet: The Partial
Clarification of Its Status Growth of the Permanent Local Fleet, 1943-1945 . . . . Retentions . •••• Small Vessels „ Charter and Purchase in Australia Construction in Australia Delivery from the United States . . . . . . . . . The Army Fleet after the War Notes 711. Special Types of Vessels . . . , lefrigerated Vessels Tankers and Oil Bargee Hospital Ships Amphibian Craft and Vehicles Landing Ships and Landing Craft Special Fleets Notes VIII. Port Characteristics and Facilities Ports in Australia Ports in Hew Guinea and Adjacent Islands Ports in the Philippines (Exclusive of Manila) . . . . Ports in Okinawa The Port of Manila . . » * • • • » . . . * • •



IX. The Handling of Cargo
Port Equipment . . . . Cargo-Handling Personnel • • Military personnel • Civilian Port Labor Pilferage Volume of Army Cargo Handled . . . . . . . Notes X, Marine Bepair, Conversion, and Assembly •• • 475
• 478

kepair 526
Supply of Marine Spare Parts • 547
Assembly of Knockdown and Sectionallsed Craft . . . . • 556
Conversion • • • • • • • . . • • 570
Hot os XI, Inter!eland Water Transport Directions of Interisland Traffic Interisland Tows . . . . . . . Military Crews Civilian Maritime Personnel Navy Manning of A m y Vessels < ^ . Notes XII, Bail Transport Bail Operations in Australia Bail Operations in the Philippines Notes XIII. Motor Transport Highway Operations in Australia » ^ . » • • •

. . . • . 576
. 601



Motor Transport Command No. 1 . • • Highway Operations in Luzon Motor Operations in Bases Notes


XIV. Transport by Aircraft, Native Carriers, and Animals • . . 721
Air Transport . . .
A i r F o r c e Stcpply Animal T r a n s p o r t Notes X7« Movement C o n t r o l Notes N o t e o n S o u r c e s
• • • • • • • » • • • • • • • • • • • • . • • • • • • • • • • • • • . • • • • • • • •

• 721

7 3 8
7 4 3
7 4 7

1. Organ!zational Chart, Office of Transportation Officer, USASOS, 1
March 1943
2. Organization of Transportation Corps, USASOS, October 1943
3* Organisational Chart, Office of Chief Transportation Officer, USASOS,
February 1944
4. Organizational Chart, Office of Chief Transportation Officer, USASOS,
June 1944
5. Organizational Chart, Transportation Corps, USASOS, December 1944
6. Organizational Chart, Transportation Service, United States Army
Forces, Western Pacific, July 1945
7. Organizational Chart, Office of the Chief of Transportation, A3WESPAC,
October 1945
8. Organizational Chart, Office of the Chief Transportation Officer,
AIWESPAC, 1 December 1945
9. Organizational Chart, Office of the Chief of Transportation, AFWESPAC,
1 February 1946
10. Organizational Chart, Office of the Chief of Transportation, ASVESPAO,
15 June 1946
11. Organizational Chart, Office of the Chief of Transportation, AFWESPAC,
October 1946
12. Organizational Chart, Office of the Chief of Transportation, AJWESPAC,
5 December 1946
13* Port Commanders in the Southwest Pacific Area
14. Strength of the Transportation Office in Headquarters, USAPIA, USASOS,
and AJWESPAC, January 1942 - December 1946
15. Organization, Office of the Chief Transportation Officer, USASOS, 2
At 1 9 4 4
16* Distribution of Transportation Corps Personnel In SWPA, January 1942
- December 1946


Strength of the Transportation Corps in SWPA, January 1942 ­ December 1946

18. Deadweight Tonnage of Vessels (of 1000 Gross Tons or More) under
U. S. Army Control in the Atlantic Area (Including the Caribbean)
and the Pacific Area (Including Alaska), November 1941 - December
19. Proportion of Troop and Cargo Vessels of 1000 Gross Tons and More
in TJ. S. Army Service Operating in and for SWPA, June 1944 - De­ cember 1946
20. Volume of U. S. Army Traffic between the United States and the
Southwest Pacific Area, December 1941 - December 1946
21. Composition of Cargo Dispatched by the U. S. Army from the United
States to the Southwest Pacific Area (Measurement Tons), Aoril
1942 - December 1946
the United States to Various
Area (Measurement Tons), June
Various Destinations in the
- December 1944


Cargo Dispatched by the U. S. Army from Destinations in the Southwest Pacific 1943 - February 1945
23. Ships, Cargo, and Personnel Arriving at Southwest Pacific Area, November 1943 24.

Composition of Cargo Received by the U. S. Army in the United States
from the Southwest Pacific Area (Measurement Tons), September 1943
- December 1946
Classification of Troops and Other Passengers Embarked by the U. S.
Army in the United States for the Southwest Pacific Area, February
1943 - December 1946


26. Classification of Troops and Other Passengers Debarked by the U. S.
Army in the United States from the Southwest Pacific Area, August
1943 - December 1946
27. Personnel Embarked by the U. S. Army in the Southwest Pacific Area
for Return to the United States, March 1944 - December 1946
28. Personnel Dispatched by the U. S. Army in the Southwest Pacific Area
for Return by Air to the United States, September 1945 - December
29. Origin of U. S. Army Shipments of Personnel from the Southwest Pa­ cific Area to the Unite! States, September 1945 - December 1946.
30. Vessels in the Permanent Local Fleet of the U. S. Army in the South­ west Pacific Area, December 1941 - December 1946


"X" OP "T" Bombers of Vessels of the Permanent Local Fleet of the
U. S. Army in the Southwest Pacific, 1943 - 1946

32. Small Craft and other Floating Equipment Ordered by the U. S. Army
from Australian Construction, Delivered, and on Hand Bovember
1942 - January 1946
33. Small Craft on Hand and on Order for use of the Transportation Corps
In the Southwest Pacific Area, 30 June 1943
34. Ships and Craft Operated by the Transportation Corps in the South­ west Pacific Area, 22 January 1944
35. Bomber of Harbor Boats from the United States in U. S. Army Service
in the Southwest Pacific Area on the first day of each month
January - August 1945
36* Status of TC Floating Equipment for the Southwest Pacific Area, 30
April 1945

37. Delivery of Small Boats Procured by the Office of the Chief of Trans­ portation, ASF, and Dispatched to the Southwest Pacific Area for
Transportation Corps Use, January 1944 - August 1945
38. Harbor Craft Constructed by the Transportation Corps in the United
States and Delivered to the Southwest Pacific Area, 1943-1945
39. Number of Vessels in the Southwest Pacific Area Reported as Reten­ tions
40. Lighterage Equipment, Port of Manila, March 1945 - January 1946
41* Port Units of the U. S. Army In the Southwest Pacific Area, 1942-1946
42* U. S. Army Cargo Loaded and Discharged by Australian Ports, February
1944 - November 1946
43. U, S. Army Cargo Loaded and Discharged by Hew Guinea Ports, January
1944 - April 1946
44. U. S. Army Cargo Loaded and Discharged by Philippine and Okinawan
Ports, December 1944 - May 1947
45. Total U. S. Army Cargo Loaded and Discharged in Ports of the South­ west Pacific Area, February 1944 - April 1946
46. Rank of Southwest Pacific Ports in Total Volume of U. S. Army Cargo
Handled, February 1944 - June 1946


Interisland Water Movements of U. S. Army Cargo and Personnel in
the Southwest Pacific Area, November 1945 - December 1946

48. Allocation of AIWESPAC-Control led Oceangoing vessels in the South­ west Pacific Area, July 1945 - September 1946
49. Bomber of Civilian Maritime Personnel Employed lay the U. S. Army
in the Southwest Pacific Area, June 1945 - December 1946
50. Equipment and mileage of Australian Railways, £g. January 1943
51. T7« S. Army Cargo and Personnel Moved on Australian ber 1942 - October 1946
52. U. S. Army Cargo and Personnel Moved on Australian ber 1942 - March 1946
53. 17, S, Army Cargo and Personnel Booked in Australia Corps Officers for Movement by Air, October 1942 Railways, Octo­ Highways, Octo­ by Transportation
- November 1946

54. Utilization of Vessels Employed by the U. S. Army in the Supply of
the Southwest Pacific Area from the United States, 16 October 1943
- 31 August 1945
55. Proportion of Idle Time Spent in Certain Ports of the Southwest
Pacific Area by Vessels Employed by the U. S. Army in Supply from
the United States, 16 October 1943 - 31 August 1945.
56. Rate of Cargo Discharge from Dry Cargo Vessels Employed by the Army
and Discharged at Ports in the Southwest Pacific Area, May 1943 to
August 1945, with Relative Standing of the Ports among Army Dis­ charge Ports in All Theaters


This study degas with the personnel, equipment, supplies, and oper­ ations within the Southwest Pacific Area that were of primary interest
to the Chief of Transportation, Headquarters, Army Service Forces, as
distinguished from other chiefs of service in Washington. In the South­

west Pacific Axea, as in other theaters, transportation was controlled
"by the theater commander, not by the Chief of Transportation. The per­

sonnel and materiel furnished to the theater commander by the Chief of
Transportation, constituting the Transportation Corps in the theater,
retained no separate organization there and were never assigned as a
whole to any single office or command.
Like other service forces and unlike combat forces, the Transpor­ tation Corps in the Southwest Pacific Area was chiefly employed in con­ tinuous operations of a repetitive kind. These were not suddenly modi­

fied by the outcome of single engagements but were conceived according
to plans for the war as a whole. The activities of the Transportation

Corps in the Southwest Pacific Area can be most readily understood if
studied topically — as ocean, railway, highway, and air activities —
Chapters on these topics form the main

rather than chronologically*

body of this study, preceded by chapters on the structure and relation­ ships of the Transportation Corps in the theater and followed by a chap­ ter on the system of regulating traffic throughout the theater.
It must be constantly remembered, however, that plans and operations
of the Transportation Corps were strongly influenced, and its mission was
repeatedly revised, by the differing requirements of successive campaigns,

To show this influence the main events of the war. though well known,
must be recapitulated.
War involving the United States in the Pacific was believed long
before 7 December 1941 to be in prospect, and efforts were made to*
strengthen the defenses of the Philippine Islands. On 7 December 1941
Japan precipitated war by attacking Pearl Harbor. The Japanese comple­ ted the conquest of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941, of Malaya on 15
February 1942, and of the Netherlands East Indies on 9 March 1942; on
29 January they attacked Bougainville Island; on 8 March 1942 they in­ vaded New Guinea at Lae and Salamaua; and on 6 May 1942 they received
at Corregidor the surrender of the remnants of the U. S. Army in the
Philippines. They bombed Darwin, Australia, on 19 February 1942 and
often thereafter, and were expected to land on the mainland of Australia,
This expectation was reduced when their naval advance was stopped by the
Battle of the Coral Sea, 7-11 May 1942, and further reduced when their
landing at Milne Bay, at the east end of New Guinea, was dispersed in
August 1942 and when their march across New Guirea was checked thirty-
two miles (or less) from Port Moresby on 14 September 1942. They were
defeated in the islands northeast of Australia by campaigns lasting
from 7 August 1942 to 26 November 1944, and were driven from the ports
on the north coast of New Guinea in "leapfrog" operations moving north­ west from the Buna-Sona region to Sansapor, 19 November 1942 - 30 July
1944. They were conquered in the Philippines and Okinawa in campaigns
beginning with the landing at Leyte, 20 October 1944, and ending with
V-J Day, 2 September 1945. The occupation of Japan and Kor kept the


U. S. Army in the Western Pacific after that date.
This sequence of events affected the mission of the U. S. forces
and specifically the Transportation Corps, in eight stages:
(1) Before 7 December 1941 the armed forces undertook to accuan­ late personnel, equipment, and supplies in the Philippines.
(2) Immediately after 7 December 1941 it became necessary to stage
troops and to store, purchase, or manufacture equipment and supplies in
Australia for the support of defensive operations in the Netherlands
East Indies and the Philippines,
(3) After these islands were overrun by the Japanese and before
as well as after the surrender at Corregidor, the build-up in Australia
was used to support operations in New Guinea, the Solomons, and inter­ vening islands,
(4) With the capture of successive ports in New Guinea it became
profitable to establish service forces and their equipment and supplies
in New Guinea and to make shipments direct from the United States to
New Guinea. The bulk of these direct shipments first exceeded that of
shipments from Australia in November 1943. After that date Australia
became gradually a rear echelon of the supply organization,
(5) Capture of Leyte, Lingayen Gulf, and Manila shifted the center
of supply activity to the Philippines. Direct shipments from the United
States to the Philippines first exceeded those to New Guinea in January
1945, New Guinea joined Australia as part of the rear.
(6) While the war in the Philippines was in progress, it became
desirable to reduce the rear bases, to prepare them for discontinuance,
and to transfer to the Philippines all of their personnel, equipment,

889954 O — 5 0 — — 2


and supplies that were needed there and for which shipping was available.
This process of "rolling up the rear" included not only Australia and
New Guinea but to some extent the South Pacific Area, where hostilities
virtually ended late in 1944, permitting the transfer of personnel, e­ quipment, and supplies to the Philippine Islands. Withdrawal from lew
Guinea was completed on 30 April 1946 and from Australia on 30 November
(?) Preparations were made for launching an invasion of Japan
from the Philippine Islands. Much of the personnel, equipment, and
supplies accumulated for this purpose became surplus on V-J Day, but
the rest was required for the occupation of Japan and Korea. The

Philippines became a rear echelon of the Army forces in Japan.
^3) After V-J Day it was necessary to return surplus personnel
to the United States and to inventory and dispose of surplus equipment
and supplies.
Three of these eight stages are only incidentally related to the
war in the Southwest Pacific Area. The first had almost no effect on

the main supply operations of the war; practically all the personnel,
equipment, and supplies delivered to the Philippines was either captured
or destroyed. The chief logistical result of efforts to reinforce the

Philippines and the Netherlands East Indies from Australia was to ie­ velop Australia as a base for later supply operations in the conquest
of New Guinea. At the end of the war the occupation of Japan and Korea
and the activities of the Army in the civilian relief of the Netherlands
East Indies and China were processes growing out of the war but not
part of it, forming a stage that has not ended ?n(L cannot be seen in

The substance of this study, therefore, is the structure and opera­ tions of the (Transportation Corps in the Southwest Pacific Area from the
arrival of the first U. S. troops in .Australia, 22 December 1941, to the
withdrawal of the Army from Australia and N.ew Guinea and the redesigna­ tion on 1 January 1947 of the U. S. Army Forces, Western Pacific, as the
Philippines-Byukyus Command. Phases of the war not directly relevant
to the build-up, operations, and demobilization of the Transportation
Corps in Australia, Hew Guinea, the Philippines, and Okinawa are presen­ ted only as they exhibit some connection with, this main theme.
To express the unity of the theme certain anachronisms of terminol­ ogy are convenient, (l) The Transportation Service of the IT. S. Army

was established on 9 March 1942 and was redesignated as the Transporta-
Corps on 31 July 1942, when the Chief of Transportation Service
was redesignated Chief of Transportation; but in this study the designa­ tions of Transportation Corps and Chief of Transportation are used uni­ formly without regard to date. (2) The Southwest Pacific Area existed

officially as a command from IS April 1942 to 2 September 1945, but in
this study the designation is used for all periods of the war and the
following two years. It .is employed to indicate both the command itself
The area embraced the Philippines,

and the area included in tire command.

north of the equator, as well as Australia, Hew Guinea, and the Nether­ lands East Indies, south of the equator; and in effect it was redesigna­ ted as the Western Pacific on 7 June 1945 when the U. S. Army Service
of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area, was redesignated as the U. S. Army
Forces, Western Pacific. The latter organization eventually included

the installations in Okinawa and Iwo Shima (both previously controlled

"by Pacific Ocean Areas) and became responsible for movements to and from
Japan and Korea (but not for installations within these areas). The
term Southwest Pacific Area has continued, however, in common use, and
no reason is apparent for confining it in this study either to the area
south of the equator or to the period when the Southwest Pacific Area
command existed, (3) The office of the chief transportation officer

in the headquarters of the IT. S. Army services of supply in the South­ west Pacific Area underwent repeated changes of name, which disguise
the fact that it remained substantially the same office* To avoid con­ fusion the office is referred to, without initial capitals, as the trans­ portation office, services of supply*
Several characteristics of the Southwest Pacific Area, either as a
geographical area or as a pyramid of military organizations, affected
the technical services and particularly the Transportation Corps:
(1) Distances were enormous. San Francisco, the main port of embar­ kation supplying the Southwest Pacific, is 6,193 miles from Brisbane,
5,800 from Milne Bay, 6,299 from Manila* Sydney is 515 miles from Bris­ bane, 2,200 from Finschhafen, and (by rail) 2,224 from Fremantle, Western
Australia. Finschhafen is 2,010 miles from Manila* Ships required a

longer time to sail from the United States to the theater and back than
to any other theater except China-Burma-India and the Persian Gulf, and
had to make longer voyages between main ports in the theater than in any
other. The lag between requisition and delivery and between the formula­ tion and execution of a supply plan was so long that supply policy was
not quickly adjustable to tactical changes.
(2) As in the other Pacific areas, nearly all military operations

were carried on at the ocean's edge. There were no inland waterways
and few inland railways and highways. The war can be described as a
beach and ocean war. In regard to transportation it was therefore main­ ly a war of ships and small craft.
(-3) Local transportation facilities were poor. Ports of Australia
were inadequately equipped, and ships and small craft were old and worn;
highways were mostly unpaved, and trucks were few and poor; railways had
four gauges, and most of the stock of locomotives and cars was obsolete.
These facilities, more or less archaic in 1939, had been strained and
depleted by more than two years of war when the Americans arrived. In
Hew Guinea there were no railways, only a few miles of highways, and
only the most primitive and undeveloped of ports. Philippine facilities
of all kinds with the partial exception of port facilities, were origi­ nally superior to any others in the theater but had been dismantled by
the Japanese. Air transport in Australia and the Philippines was in an
early stage of development, with a few small planes of obsolete models
and a few small airfields. Transportation facilities throughout the
theater needed reinforcement with American equipment and spare parts
and with new construction made at American expense. The delivery of
equipment, spare parts, and construction materials required shipping
space not easily provided, and further space was required to move from
the United States and the Persian Gulf the fuel used in the theater for
diesel- and gasoline-burning equipment.
(4) Labor was unsatisfactory. With due regard for the indispensa­ ble contributions of Australia to the winning of the war, it must be
clearly recognized that the longshore (stevedoring) labor available in


Australia was slow and uncooperative, and by application to the Common­ wealth Government was able to prevent the U. S. Army from employing on
the mainland of Australia any great number of service troops or of
Javanese, Burmese, and Chinese laborers. The best manpower of Australia,
a continent of about seven million inhabitants, was in military service.

The natives of New Guinea served willingly at tasks within their capaci­ ty but were too few and too uncivilized to be of great assistance to
the Army. Filipino labor was the best in the theater but far from en­ tirely satisfactory. Army service troops were therefore required in
large numbers in New Guinea and the Philippines, and subsistence and
other supplies for these troops were added to the burden on transporta­ tion.
(5) The climate of the whole theater except central and southern
Australia was hot and damp. Metals rusted; wood and cloth rotted, molded,
and were devoured by vermin; foods and medicines were quickly contami­ nated; and the most scrupulous care in packaging and protecting equipment
and supplies did not eliminate heavy loss, requiring repaid and replace­ ment. Malaria, dysentery, and other tropical diseases, as well as the
enervating effect of damp heat, reduced the efficiency of service troops,
especially in New Guinea, and swelled the number of patients requiring
transportation to other climates. Torrential rains made roads impassable,
washed bridges away, undermined railroad tracks, flooded supply dumps,
grounded planes, and halted port operations. Typhoons damaged shore
installations and destroyed shipping.
(6) The change of direction in Australian supply from the Nether­ lands Bast Indies and the Philippines to New Guinea, and the transfer of


supply activity from Australia to New Guinea and thence to the Philippines,
under changing tactical requirements that emphasized first one and then
another type of operation, was accompanied " b y a kaleidoscopic profusion
of administrative reorganizations and redesignations. Functions were
transferred to and from offices, combined in one office and redistribut­ ed among several, both in headquarters and in the bases, to such an
extent that only a bare outline of the administrative system can be re­ tained by an ordinary memory.
(7) Land, water, and air forces of the United States, the United
Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Australia, and to some extent the Netherlands
Bast Indies were all engaged in transport operations. Each operating
force differed in organization and methods from every other; all competed
for the limited supplies of equipment and fuel. General Headquarters,

Southwest Pacific Area, had authority over the combat operations of all
the Allied forces but not over the supply operations. The only agency
with authority over supply operations of every force was the Combined
Chiefs of Staff. These operations ran in at least a dozen parallel
Efforts, not entirely successful, were made to

channels of command.

control all traffic in the theater through a chief regulating officer
in General Headquarters, with power to assign movement priorities. There
never existed a chief transportation officer for the Allied command, for
the U. S. forces, or (except during a few months of 1943) for the U. S.
The nature, scope, and setting of the subject with which this
study is concerned will be apparent from the foregoing. The limitations
affecting the research and writing remain to be explained.


The basic limitation was one of time. With so broad and intricate
a subject, and with sources of information so widely scattered, at least
another year would have been required to exhaust the available materials.
In such a quest for information, the point is reached sooner or later
where diminishing returns render further inquiry uneconomical. In this
study that point had not been reached when it became necessary to discon­ tinue research. The meager time available for writing meant that only a
hasty revision could be given to the first draft with a view to making it more readable.
The five main sources of information used in the preparation of th$B
study are outlined below. Further detail regarding certain of them will
be found in the "Note on Sources" which is appended.
(1) Records of the Historical Branch, Office of the Chief of
Transportation, Army Service Forces, consisting mainly of (a) a historical
record of the Transportation Corps in the SoutHwest Pacific Area, compiled
in the theater and forwarded in installments between 194-3 and 1947; (b) "office
files" of the Chief of Transportation, ASF (Maj. Gen. C. P. Gross), the
Assistant Chief of Transportation for Operations (Brig. Gen. Robt. H. Wylie),
and a few other officers; and (c) a file arranged by subject, containing
copies of documents from other files (transcribed by the Historical Branch
end still being added to), a considerable proportion of signed originals,
and printed or processed manuals, reports, and other compilations. Prac­ tically everything useful for the present purpose is believed to have been
extracted from these files.
(2) The main decimal file of the Office of the Chief of Trans­ portation, ASF, divided at present into a classified file and a "clear"
file. In both the compiler has examined all records filed under the break­ down or "cutoff" labeled "Southwest Pacific Area," as well as various records
filed under other classifications.
(3) Records originating in Headquarters, Army Se^ -Ice Forces,
particularly in the Planning Division, formerly filed in va. s offices
of ASF but now consolidated in part by the Historical Records ^jction, AGO.
(4-) Records in the custody of the Historical Division, Special
Staff, U. S. Army, chiefly: (a) a report on the organization and operations

of the U. S. Array Forces in Australia, December 1941 - June 1942, by
Maj. Gen. Julian F. Barnes, formerly Commanding General, USAFIA; (b) Mili­ tary History of the U. S. Army Services of Supply, evidently compiled in
the theater, undated, consisting of an over-aii narrative and short sep­ arate accounts of most of the bases and other field headquarters of USASOS
(the whole a rough and unfinished draft, not continued beyond about February
1945); and (c) a monograph entitled, Development of the U*. S. Supply Base
in Australia: The Period of Defense and Build-Up, compiled by Mrs. Eliza­ beth Bingham, Control Division, ASF, and revised by Maj. Richard Leighton,
undated (carrying the account to about the beginning of 1943).
(5) Interviews with officers who served in the Southwest Pacific
Area and are now, or have been till recently, stationed in or near
Washington, and notations made by several of these officers on drafts of
certain chapters. The compiler is under special obligation to Brig. Gen.
Jonathan L. Holman, formerly Chief Ordnance Officer, USAFIA, USASOS, and
USAFFE, later (1943-45) Chief of Staff, USASOS; Brig. Gen. C. H. Arnold,
formerly Chief Signal Officer, USAFIA, USASOS, and USAFFE; Col. Harry H.
Baird, formerly G-l, USAFFE; Col. Floyd S. Fix, formerly Commanding Officer,
New Guinea Base Section, AFWESPAC; Col. Russell V. Perry, formerly stationed
in the San Francisco Port of Embarkation and later Port Commander at Hal­ landia and Batangas; Lt. Col* Cecil H. Davidson, formerly Port Commander
at Sydney and Director of Operations, 2d Port Headquarters, Manila; Lt.
Col. Carroll T. Moffatt, formerly Commanding Officer, Port Detachment E
and 3.87th Port Battalion, and Port Commander at Oro Bay; and Lt. Col.
Charles Miller, formerly assigned to the Office of the Chief Regulating
Officer,GHQ, SWPA. Each of these officers has read and corrected parts
of the text. Other officers have given oral information, and would have
been requested to read part of the text if time had permitted. Every officer
approached he.s helped with cordiality and willingness in the preparation
of this study.
Sources which would have been consulted if time had been available,
and from rhtch additional significant information undoubtedly could have
been obtained, include the following:
(1) The main decimal file of the Adjutant General's Office
for the period of World War II.
(2) The AGO Analysis File, in custody of the Historical Records
Section, consisting of reports and historical compilations from units and
headquarters in,>iae theaters. Accession lists of these files were issued
from time to tA •• ?iy AGO.
(3) 'The so-called G-3 Journal of GHQ, SWPA, April 1942 - Sep­ tember 1945, which is actually e chronological file of reports, directives,
and correspondence, usually with at least one folder for every day.


(U) Field records of SWPA stored at St. Louis. The only
field records of SWPA known to be in Washington, are in the G-3
Journal mentioned above.
(5) Field records of SWPA still retained in the theater.
(6) Records of the Operations Division, GSUSA, of the U. S.
Navy, of the U . S . Army Air Forces, of the War Shipping Administration,
and of other agencies concerned with transportation in SWPA.
(7) Former SWPA officers not previously consulted, partic­ ularly those who are not now stationed in Washington. These include in
particular, all the former Chiefs of Transportation or Chief Trans­ portation Officers who served in SWPA. Their comments and corrections
would have added greatly to the value of this study.
The realized incompleteness of information obtained, as well as
contradictions among sources, have forced the compiler to conjecture, to
take space for weighing probabilities, and to use in excess the phrase
"available records." Records to answer many of the questions raised
might have been "available" if the compiler had found time to avail
himself of them. He has been unable, for instance, to investigate what
could be found in AGO records concerning port companies in SWPA or con­ cerning the dates of assignment and relief of port commanders there. He
has found no opportunity to consult the OCT "vessel file*1 for more than
about a dozen of the vessels mentioned in his text. These particular in­ vestigations would probably have consumed several weeks because of the
bulk of the records to be explored. He has had to refer to various
directives as "not found," when actually he could not spare time to con­ tinue hunting for them.
The compiler is particularly dissatisfied with his statistics. Some
of them are not labeled clearly enough to indicate exactly what types of
items they are composed of. The theater-compiled statistics are even
more vague than those done by OCT, and most of them contain errors in


arithmetic. Apparently the theater never had enough personnel to compile
trustworthy statistics. The compiler does not know where such statistics,
if they exist, are to be found. It has seemed, however, a lesser evil to

use infirm and fragmentary statistics, with proper warning of what they are,
than not to use statistics at ell.

The first two chapters that follow deal mainly with matters which,
strictly speaking, do not belong in this study. These matters are included
because they are essential to en understanding of the activities of the
Transportation Corps and are not known to be treated elsewhere in co­ ordinated form. The compiler, being unable to understand the work of the

Transportation Corps without learning its relation to coordinate and
superior commands, regrets that he has been obliged to study this subject
independently. He would have preferred to consult, and to refer his

readers to, a monograph dealing with the whole subject of administration
and supply in the Southwest Pacific Area. He is convinced that such a

monograph should have been prepared in the early stages of- the World War II
historical program to provide a proper basis and background for specialized
studies, such as trhe present one, dealing with single services.

x i n


Higher Commands as Related to Transportation

A transportation office existed in the headquarters of the services
of supply, U. S. Army forces, Southwest Pacific Area. The nature and
activities of this office can " b e understood only in relation to higher
commands and to "bases and other local commands.
The titles and to some extent the functions of the services of sup­ ply, the U. a. Army headquarters, and the Allied headquarters were changed
from time to time during and after the war. The structure and interrela­ The system in effect at

tions of all these organizations were intricate.

a given time could "be represented logically, but the sequence of changes
in the system can be more easily understood if described in roughly chrono­ logical order. This presentation requires an account of eight commands,

one of which must be divided into two periods.

The United States Forces in the Far East (USATO)
First Period. 26 July 1941 - 18 April 1942
On 26 July 1941 the President of the United States issued a military
order establishing the U. S. Array Forces in the Far East, with headquarters
at Manila. The new command was to consist of the Philippine Department,

the Philippine Army called into the service of the United States for the
duration of the emergency, and any additional forces that might be assigned.
On 27 July 1941 General Douglas MacArthur was recalled to active duty and
was designated Commanding General, U5AFFE.
Plans were made in Washington and Manila to move troops, equipment,

- 1 ­

and supplies to the Philippines as rapidly as the port of Manila could
unload them. The Navy arranged to escort as many Army vessels as possible

to Manila. Highest shipping priorities were established on 16 September
1941 for munitions, airplanes and airplane parts, weapons and their spare
parts, medical supplies, signal equipment, and motor vehicles. On 30 Sep­ tember the War Department assigned the code names PLTM for shipments to the
Regular Army and the Philippine Scouts and PEACH for shipments to the Phil­ ippine Army. The War Department dispatched 16,543 measurement tons of

military cargo from the United States for the Philippines in July 1941,
19,946 tons in August, ,26,905 tons in September, 26,938 tons in October,
and 87,572 tons in November. Six vessels arrived from the United States

during September 1941, 6 more in October, and 8 in November, carrying about
9,350 officers and enlisted men, with military cargoes including P-40 air­ craft, tanks, gums, bombs, and ammunition, besides the organizational equip­ ment of antiaircraft, tank, Ordnance maintenance, Engineer, Chemical, Quarter­ master, and other units. Sixteen vessels were scheduled to arrive at Manila
in December, 25 in January 1942, 25 in February, and 5 during the first half
of March. The "Buy American Act" was waived to permit local purchase of

petroleum products from the Netherlands East Indies and other points out­ side the United States, and stocks of oil and gasoline were accumulated in
the Philippines. Arrangements had been made by 8 October 1941 for shipping
gasoline from both Manila and San Francisco to Darwin, Rabaul, Port Moresby,
and Rockhampton to support "contemplated operations." The motor ship Don

Esteban. speed 16 knots, was delivered on 30 October 1941 to be employed
by General MacArthur between the Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies,
and Australia. Later at least 25 chartered interisland transports were in

- 2 ­

service as a local fleet in the Philippines.3
On 7 December 1941 the flow of troops, equipment, and supplies from
the United States to the Philippines was abruptly cut off. Vessels in
transit to the Philippines were directed either to return to the nearest
port in the United States or to proceed to Australia. During the next
three months all efforts to reinforce the Philippines were made through
the U. S. farces in Australia and the Netherlands East Indies. The rem­ nants of the Far East Air Force flew to Java and Australia. Kearly all
other equipment was captured or destroyed. Of all the vessels in Army ser­

vice in the Philippines on 7 December 1941 only one, the Mac tan, is known
to have escaped. This vessel, declared by General MacArthur as a hospital

ship under the Hague Convention on 30 December 1941, was chartered by the
Red Cross and was permitted by the Japanese to withdraw from Manila to Aus­ tralia with a full load of wounded soldiers, in addition to nurses, students,
and others.^ Supply operations controlled by USAtfFS in 1941 affected the
course of the war chiefly in two ways: (l) the accumulation of materiel in

the Philippines enabled the forces at Bataan and Corregidor to prolong their
resistance, and (2) certain troops and materiel en route to the Philippines
on 7 December 1941 were diverted to form the nucleus of the U. S. forces in
In March 1942, by order of the President, General MacArthur transferred
his headquarters to Australia. He and part of his staff departed from

Bataan on PT boats on 12 March 1942 (U. S. time), transferred to planes in
Mindanao, and arrived at Darwin 17 March. On 21 March the War Department

established the U. S. ^orces in the Philippines, under command of Lt. Gen.
Jonathan M. Wainwright. In effect the USAPFE command was suspended by

- 3 ­

General Order No. 1, GH&i, Southwest Pacific Area, 18 April 1942, which
listed the TJ. S. Forces in the Philippines among the commands of the South­ west Pacific Area but did not mention USAFFE. The U* S. Forces in the

Philippines lost identity with the surrender of Corregidor on 6 May 1942.
As will be explained later, USAFFE was reestablished on 26 February 1943.

Task Force - South Pacific. 12-32 December 1941
The supply organization which functioned throughout the war in the
Southwest Pacific originated as an impromptu task force that existed only
ten days. The incidents leading to its formation began at noon on 21

November 1941 when the USNT Republic sailed from San Francisco with 281
officers and 2,385 enlisted men of the U. S. Army and 18 civilians and fly­ ing cadets. Off Honolulu, on 29 November, the Re-public joined a convoy
destined for the Philippines, escorted by the USS Pensacola (cruiser) and
the USN Yacht Niagara, (subchaser) and consisting of the TJSNT Chaumont. the
USAT Meigs. the USAT V/illard A, HolbrooJg. the U. S. freighters Admiral Hal-
stead and Coast Farmer, and the Netherlands freighter Bloemfontein. with
the Republic as flagship. Orders were received to proceed by way of Port
Moresby, New Guinea, and not by the usual direct route to Manila.
Neveof the attack on Pearl Harbor was followed by every possible
measure to insure the safety of the convoy. On 12 December 1941, by Gen­

eral Order No. 1, Task Force - South Pacific, the troops of the convoy
were constituted as "Task Force - South Pacific," of which Brig. Gen.
Julian F. Barnes, senior officer of the U. S. Army aboard the convoy,
assumed command. On the same day, by General Order No. 2, he designated a
On 13

staff, including M a j . Abraham G. Silverman, QMO, as Quartermaster.

- 4 ­

December General Barnes received a radiogram from Gen. George C. Marshall,
Chief of Staff, USA, designating him as Commander, U. S. Troops in Australia,
and directing him to take charge of all troops and supplies, to prepare the
aircraft in the cargo for combat, to make every effort to get them to the
Philippines, to incur whatever financial obligations were necessary, and to
report to the Commanding General, USAFFE, for instructions. " B y General
Order No. 4, 19 December 1941, General Barnes announced that the designa­ tion of the command would be changed to U. S. Forces in Australia on the
date of arrival in Australia, but that the command and organization estab­ lished by General Orders Nos. 1 and 2 would continue in effect. arrived in Brisbane Harbor 22 December 1941.
The convoy

The United States Forces in Australia (USFIA)
22 December 1941 - 5 January 1942
While the Republic convoy was still at sea, the ' . J a r Department had
decided the form of organization to be assumed in Australia. General Mac-

Arthur was notified on 12 December 1941 that the troops and supplies in
the convoy were placed at his disposal, that the aircraft in the cargo would
be assembled as soon as possible after arrival, and that General Barnes was
instructed to report to him. On 17 December Maj. Gen. George H. Brett,

expected to arrive in Australia from a conference in Chungking about 22
December 1941, was directed in secret orders to take command of all U. S.
forces in Australia, to operate under the orders of the Commanding General,
USAETE, to dispatch airplanes and ammunition to the Philippines, and, in
cooperation with U. S. naval authorities, to retain vessels long enough to
unload at any port of his selection, to be reached by any route that he



- D —


On 19 December 1941 General Brett was notified that his command

was considered to " b e "an Advance Section, Communications Zone for the sup­ port of the United States Army Forces in the Far East." He was directed to
build up in Australia and the Philippines sixty days of supplies, to pur­ chase supplies locally, to assume control of water transportation under
General MacArthur's direction, and to make contracts for construction with­ out reference to the War Department. On 20 December these instructions

were repeated with added details, and the Commanding General, USFIA, was
authorized "to do anything that may be required to get supplies, equipment,
arms, and ammunition to the United States Army Forces in the Far East." On

21 December 1941 the Joint Army-Navy Board at V/ashington agreed that General
Brett and Rear Admiral Glassford, Commander, Task Force 5, would establish
a base at Darwin in cooperation with Australian authorities and would make
every effort to establish communication between Luzon and Australia by air­ craft, by escorted fast ships, and by small vessels proceeding singly. 21 December General Barnes received notification of these arrangements.
He was further informed that Brig. Gen. Henry B. Clagett was ordered from
the Philippines to assist General Brett. General Barnes was instructed to

report for duty to either of these officers or, if neither had arrived, to
begin execution of the instructions addressed to them.''
On instructions from the War Department Col. Van S. Merle-Smith, Mili­ tary Attache of the United States in Australia, had made preparations to
receive the convoy at Brisbane. General Barnes and his staff went ashore

about 5 P.M. on 22 December 1941 and established Headquarters, USFIA, at
Lennon's Hotel. General Clagett arrived later in the evening, assumed
command as senior officer present, and appointed General Barnes as Chief

- 6 ­

of Staff,

These arrangements were announced in General Order Uo. 5,
The ships of the convoy docked on

Headquarters, USFIA, 24 December.

23 December, and the troops were quartered at Ascot and Doomben Eace Tracks,
where tents and messing arrangements were provided by the Australian Army.
Headquarters was transferred to Melbourne by Special Order No. 11, 31 Decem­ ber. Headquarters of the Australian Army, Navy, and Air Force, and of sev­ eral governmental agencies that would be concerned in supplying the Philip­ pines, were located in Melbourne; and the removal, effected on 3 January
1942, was intended to promote coordination of Australian and American plans.
Headquarters Detachment, USFIA, set up by General Order No. 6t 24 December,
remained in Brisbane and established the first U. S. Army base in Australia.
General Brett arrived on 1 January 1942 and assumed command of USFIA, des­ ignating General Barnes as Chief of Staff and General Clagett as commanding


officer at Townsville, where a second base was established.
Unloading of unassembled airplanes and rearrangement of cargo for
movement to the Philippines had begun immediately after docking of the
convoy. Plans for the operation had been concerted by Colonel Merle-Smith
and the Sydney representative of the Ounard Steamship Lines, collaborating
with Australian officials. Several Brisbane shipping agencies were engaged
for stevedoring.

check of manifests showed that the convoy carried 2,600

Air Corps troops (including 48 pilots and 2 navigators) and 2,000 other
troops (including 2 regiments of light field artillery). The main items
of cargo were 55 unassembled dive bombers (A-24), about 340 motor vehicles,
6,000 drums of aviation oil and 3,000 of aviation gasoline, 3,245 bombs, 48
75-mm. guns (British model) without sights or equipment, and 3,680,600
rounds of ammunition (mainly small-arms ammunition, some artillery), besides

- 7 ­

commissary supplies, clothing, construction equipment and other cargo for
Guam and Wake Island, and (on two of the small freighters) supplies for
civilian shops in Guam and Manila, The ships had been loaded on w a peace­

time loading "basis" and therefore had to " b e almost entirely unloaded to
locate the organic equipment of the air troops and some of the parts and
equipment for the planes. The trigger motors and solenoids for the guns
of the dive "bombers were never found, and substitutes were flown later from
the United States. A plant for assembling aircraft was set up. Work con­ tinued all day on Christmas, in the middle of the Australian summer. of the manifests were discovered to be inaccurate, and others were not
located. Parts of the cargo were handled several times. The officers con­ Some

cerned were having their first experience with discharging and loading ships.
In spite of these difficulties the reloading was completed on 28 Decem­ ber 1941. On that date the Willard A. Holbrook sailed for the Philippines
with the 148th Field Artillery (less one battalion), the 147th Field Artil­ lery, and their ammunition, supplies, and organic equipment, in company
with the Chaumont (carrying Navy supplies). The master of the Bloemfontein

declined to proceed to the Philippines, on the ground that by discharging
part of his cargo in Australia he was freed by maritime law from obligation
to go further. Authority was obtained from the Netherlands Government to
route the vessel to Soerabaja, Java, to be routed thence by the Navy to the
Philippines. The Bloemfontein. carrying the 26th Pield Artillery Brigade

and Headquarters Battery and the 1st Battalion, 131st Field Artillery,
sailed from Brisbane for Java on 30 December 1941. The Meig;s. the Admiral
Halstea^, and the Coast Farmer were retained by TJSFIA for coastwise operation
in Australia. The other vessels of the convoy returned to the United States.

- 8 ­

By this time certain changes of plan had been made necessary " b y the
withdrawal of General MacArthur's troops to Bataan and Corregidor, leaving
in his possession only a small airfield on Corregidor. Airfields to the
south of Luzon were believed to be in Japanese hands, and plans for flying
short-range aircraft to Luzon were tentatively abandoned. Long-range air­ craft were dispatched from the United States to Australia to assist the
Philippines, and the USFIA command was expected to be "predominantly air,
with the other elements being limited to those needed for the efficient
air operations and the security of bases.M The Commanding General, USFIA,

was warned that deficiences in water transportation required that personnel
and supplies other than those for air and base units be kept to a minimum
and that Australian labor and materials be substituted for American when­ ever possible* Darwin was to be used as an advanced air base and port of

embarkation, Brisbane as the principal port for shipping supplies to the
Philippines and Darwin, and Townsville (where a landing field to accommo­ date the largest bombers was being constructed) as the western terminal of
the Pacific air ferry route and as a secondary shipping point.
In consequence of these changes in plan the Willard A. Holbrook was
diverted to Darwin, where it arrived 5 January 1942. Its two units went
into camp there and were used to unload the ships; the supplies aboard were
used to establish a base for shipments to the Philippines; and Col. John A.
Robenson was designated to command the U. S. forces in the Darwin area.
The Bloemfontein arrived at Soerabaja on 5 January and discharged cargo
and personnel. Lt. Col. Albert C. Searle, PA, took command of the U. S.
Artillery in Java.

- 9 ­

The American-British-Ita ten-Australian (ABDA) Command
15 January - 10 March 1942
A draft of proposed "Instructions to the Supreme Commander, South­ western Pacific Theater," was submitted to the U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
to the American-British Chiefs of Staff at the Arcadia Conference in Wash­ ington on 27 December 1941. Discussions of an Allied command to be auth­ orized by the "ABDU governments11 continued till 10 January 1942. Gen. Sir
Archibald Wavell was notified by Prime Minister Churchill on 29 December
1941 of his selection as supreme commander, A directive for the command
was tentatively approved by the President and the Prime Minister on 2 Jan­ urary 1942, and a formal directive was adopted by the Arcadia Conference
on 10 January.
In this directive the region of Burma, Malaya, the Netherlands East
Indies, the Philippines, and most of the north and northwest coast of Aus­ tralia (including Darwin) was designated as "the ABDA Area." The Supreme

Commander in the ABDA Area was to command such forces of the ABDA govern­ ments as were stationed in the area, and all forces in Australia that were
allotted by their governments for services in or supporting the ABDA Area.
He had no authority over the internal adjnlnistration of the forces under
his command but was responsible for directing and coordinating these forces,
His mission was to hold Burma and Australia as "essential supporting posi­ tions"; to establish a "basic defensive position" along a line including
the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and North Australia; to reestablish
communication with Luzon and to support "the Philippines' Garrison"; to
maintain essential communications within the ABDA Area; to operate sea,
land, and air forces against the Japanese as far forward as possible from

- 10 ­

the line of defense; and "to gain general air superiority at the earliest
possible moment through the employment of concentrated air power.11 A deputy
supreme commander and, if necessary, a commander of the combined naval for­ ces and a commander of the combined air forces were to " b e jointly designated
by the ABDA governments. General Wavell arrived in Batavia on 10 January

1942 and formally assumed command on 15 January 1942.
An effect of the directive of 10 January 1942 was to divert supplies
destined for the Philippines to Java and to make Java appear as the main
channel through which the Philippines would be relieved. This phase of the

war, and the assumptions on which it rested, lasted less than two months.
The Japanese completed the conquest of Malaya on 15 February. Most of the
Allied naval squadron was destroyed in the Java Sea on 27-29 February. Lack
of antiaircraft defenses led to heavy losses of Allied planes, and on 25
February the dozen heavy bombers that survived were flown to India. A Jap­ anese raid on Darwin, 19 February 1942, destroyed or severely damaged
almost all the ships and aircraft in the port. On 25 February the War

Department instructed the Commanding General, U. S. Army Forces in Australia,
to use his discretion in transferring aircraft to Java. On 28 February he
reported that he considered further shipments of planes to Java "unwarranted
wastage." Four days later he concluded that further support of any kind

for Java was impossible. All U. S. troops that could be withdrawn were
returned to Australia. as missing in action. The 1st Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, was listed
Organized resistance ended with the surrender of

Bandoeng, Java, on 10 March, and Timor was evacuated by the Allied forces.
As early as 1 March it seemed possible that Australia itself could not
be successfully defended. Broome and Wyndham, on the coast of Australia

- 11 ­

southwest of Darwin, were bombed on 2 March, and severe casualties were
inflicted on personnel and aircraft returning from Java. The Japanese
were expected to land at one or more points in northern Australia, where
inadequate rail and highway facilities, scarcity of shipping, and incom­ plete control over the sea between New Guinea and Australia would make it
impossible for the Allies to keep large forces in readiness to repel in­ vasion or to transfer troops and supplies from the east coast quickly enough
to be effective. In the Darwin area insufficient fighter aviation was avail­ able, no aircraft warning system was operated, and only obsolete equipment
was on hand to maintain air reconnaissance to the north, northwest, and
As early as 23 February 1942 General Wavell recommended the discontin­ uance of the ABDA Command, and on 25 February he complied with orders to
close his headquarters. This action was not interpreted as dissolving
the command. Since the zone of combat was mainly Dutch, the Combined
Chiefs of Staff had thought it necessary to transfer control on 23 Febru­ ary to the commander in chief of the Dutch forces, who was to carry out
his mission with the same Allied support that had been previously given to
General Wavell. In reality this support could not be continued, and within
the next two weeks the Allies had withdrawn all personnel and equipment
that could be removed. After 10 March the remaining Dutch forces dissolved
into small guerrilla parties, and by 17 March the creation of a successor
command, the Southwest Pacific Area, was under discussion by the Combined
Chiefs of Staff. By 8 April 1942 the Netherlands Government had agreed to
place its forces in the Southwest Pacific Area under the operational con­ trol of General MacArthur, Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, and

had requested the United States to assume responsibility for supply of
these forces.

The United States Army Forces in Australia (USAFIA)
5 January - 20 July 1942
On 5 January 1942 the U. S. Forces in Australia (USFIA) were redesig­ nated without change in function or composition as the U. S. Army Forces
in Australia (USAFIA). The redesignation was announced in General Order

No. 1, Headquarters, USAFIA, 5 January 1942. The same order announced the
establishment of Base Sections 1 (Darwin), 2 (Townsville), 3 (Brisbane),
and 4 (Melbourne), and of Operational Base 1 (Soerabaja, Java). Maj. Gen.

George H. Brett, previously Commanding General, USFIA, continued as Com­ manding General, USAFIA. After the appointment of Lieutenant General Brett

to the AJ3DA staff, Maj. Gen. Julian F. Barnes, previously Chief of Staff,
formally assumed command of USAFIA on 27 January 1942, and designated Col.
Stephen J. Chamberlin as his Chief of Staff. After the disintegration of
the ABDA command Lieutenant General Brett resumed command of USAFIA on 24
February 1942, with General Barnes as Deputy Commander. On 18 April 1942,

by General Order Ho. 1. GHC*. Southwest Pacific Area (OTA), USAFIA was
designated as one of five commands subordinate to GHQ, SV/PA. On 20 April,
by General Order No. 43, Headquarters, USAFIA, General Barnes again assumed
command of USAFIA. replacing General Brett on the latter-s appointment as
Commander, Allied Air Force.
The change of command on 27 January 1942 was preceded and accompanied
by uncertainty as to the relation between TTS^IA and the 4BDA command.
Correspondence on this subject, beginning as early as 12 January 1943,

- IS ­

exhibits differences of opinion between Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton (for­ merly Commanding General, Far East Air Force), who was appointed "by Gen­ eral Wavell as Deputy Chief of Air Staff, ABDA command, and by the War
Department as commanding general of all American tactical forces in the
area; Lieutenant General Brett, appointed by General Wavell as Intendant
General and Deputy Supreme Commander, ABDA Area, and by the War Department
as commander of the U. S. air forces in the area; and Major General Barnes,
appointed by the War Department as Commanding General, USAFIA, on 18 Jan­ uary, though his assumption of command was postponed nine days. General
Brereton announced on 17 January that he assumed command of all TJ. S. Army
forces in Australia and the Netherlands East Indies, and General Brett
announced on. 20 January that he would supervise all air activities in the
ABDA area and would coordinate all administrative, supply, and maintenance
activities for both air and ground forces. From 12 January 1942, when
General Brett arrived at Batavia, till 27 January 1942, when General Barnes
assumed command of USAFIA, the actual functions of command of USAFIA were
exercised by General Brereton according to his understanding of his instruc­ tions.
On 30 January 1942 General Marshall, Chief of Staff, replied as follows
to a request from General Barnes for clarification of his status:
Although your relationship to Brereton is not, repeat not, that of
direct subordinate this departure from normal U. S. practice was authorized
only upon specific recommendation of ABDA Headquarters where it was felt
that distances involved do not permit of Brereton exercising direct control
over his services of supply. You are of course subordinate to General
Wavell who commands all U. S. troops in ABDA territory and all U. S. troops
in Australian territory that have been allotted for service in or in sup­ port of ABDA area. All U. S. Army forces now in Australia have been so
allotted. ... It is our understanding that General Wavell exercises his
control over your forces through medium of General Brett who is Intendant
General and Deputy Supreme Commander of ABDA. - - As previously stated

- 14 ­

your primary duty is the logistical support of Brereton1 s forces and his
calls upon you mast "be answered promptly and effectively.
There was little opportunity to test the working of this command relation
before most of the ABDA staff withdrew from Java. General Brereton and

General Uavell departed for India, where General Brereton became Command­ ing General, Tenth Air Force, and General Brett returned to Australia.17
No order defining the functions of USAFIA "before 19 April 1942 has
"been found. By a letter issued "by Headquarters, SWPA, on that date and

amended on 25 and 29 April, USAFIA was designated as "an administrative
and supply echelon for all American troops in Australia, operating under
policies enunciated " b y this headquarters." All U. S. Army forces in Aus­

tralia were assigned to USAFIA, except that units or individuals could be
assigned to the Commander, Allied Air Forces, or, "for operational control,"
to the Commander, Allied Land Forces. Initially all Air Corps troops,

both combat and service, were thus assigned to the Allied Air Forces, and
all combat elements of the ground forces to the Allied Land Forces. Chan­ nels of communication for USAFIA were the same as those later prescribed
on 26 February 1943 for USAFFE (described in a later section). The Com­

manding General, USAFIA, was responsible for providing "administrative
services" for all U. S. Army troops in Australia. These services, classified

under personnel, counterintelligence, training, and supply and evacuation,
were listed in detail.
The services can best be understood in relation to those assigned to
JJSAFFE on 26 February 1943. The main administrative services other than

those pertaining to the internal administration of USAFIA were of five
classes, (l) The following, which applied to all U. S. Army forces, were

- 15 ­

retained by the U. S. Army Services of Supply (USASOS), successor of USAFIA,
when USAOT was established; recreational, religious, and welfare activi­

ties, operation of a graves registration and burial service, reclassifica­ tion of officers of the services of supply, insuring the evacuation of all
sick and wounded, coordinating all requests for air transportation, obtain­ ing such transportation, and doing all construction - all under the super­ vision of USAFFE. (2) Two functions retained by USASOS did not apply at
receipt of requisitions for sup­

any time to Air Corps technical supply:

plies, and submission of such requisitions to the Australian Government or
to Services of Supply, Washington. (3) The operation of all replacement

centers was a function of USAFIA and TTSASOS, but replacement of Air Corps
forces was removed from control of USASOS on 26 February 1943. (4) Various

functions originally performed for all troops by TJSAFIA and USASOS were in
part transferred to the internal administration of combat commands and task
forces on 26 February 1943. These functions included the reception and

quartering of troops, the requisitioning of necessary replacements for troops
(other than Air Corps), the assignment of casuals and replacements (other
than Air Corps), the payment of troops, the collection and return of strag­ glers, the administration of military justice, the transfer of personnel,
the hospitalization of troops, the operation of "all of the United States
Army water transportation facilities11 at the disposal of StfPA, and the oper­ ation of U. S. Army port facilities. in toto to USAFFE: (5) Two functions were transferred

operation of a Central Records Office and operation of

an Army Postal Service,
This comparison of the functions of USAFIA on 19 April 1942 and those
of USASOS on 26 February 1943 is not designed to be either precise or com­ - 16 ­

plete, but is sufficient to show that USAFIA and later (until 26 February
1943) TTSASOS were actually, in certain respects, the headquarters of all
U. S. Army forces in Australia and later also in New Guinea and other islands,
and that before the reactivation of TJSAFFE the TT. S. Army Services of Supply
bore a aisleadingly narrow title. 19 Much of the change, however, had been
made before 26 February 1943. TTSAFIA and USASOS had been relieved of admin­ istrative responsibility for combat troops by the establishment of the U. 8.
Air Services, 27 April 1942, as an administrative, supply maintenance, and.
engineering command operating under the commander of the Allied Air Forces;
the Fifth Air Force, established 3 September 1942; I Corps, to which the
combat ground forces were assigned on 8 September 1942; and the Sixth Army,
established 16 February 1943. In the meantime it was a responsibility of
G-3, USAFIA (later USASOS), to retain such control over combat troops as
was not assumed by other commanders. This responsibility of USASOS ceased
on 26 February 1943. ^
The staff of USAFIA on 5 January 1942, commanded by General Brett,
consisted of General Barnes (Chief of Staff), 22 other officers, and 13
enlisted men. Additional staff personnel had arrived by 9 January, includ­ ing Col. Stephen J. Chamberlin, who later became Chief of Staff, USAFIA,
and Col. Lester J. Whitlock, who became Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4 USAFIA.
By 18 January the staff had grown to 39 and was undergoing organization
into four general and several special staff sections. A transport carrying
a technical and administrative staff group arrived early in February, and
other technical officers followed. The staff increased to 84 by 18 Febru­ ary and to 306 by 2 June. Most of the additional staff had been recruited
from civilian life by Brig. Gen. Arthur It. Wilson, whose assignment to

- 17 ­

USAFIA and relief from duty with the General Staff were directed by General
Marshall, Chief of Staff, USA, on 21 January. General Wilson was to assem­ ble "a small group of men with business and organizational background and
with the necessary drive to put over the enormous supply problem developing
in that theater," and was then to proceed by air to SWPA, where he was to
serve initially as Chief Quartermaster, USAFIA. He was selected, as Gen­ eral Marshall announced on 6 February 1942, for his "outstanding drive and
resourcefulness" and because he had been found "capable of resolving diffi­ culties and securing results where others were impotent." He was to be
accompanied to the theater by Col. (later Brig. Gen.) James C. Hoop, for­ merly Vice President and Treasurer of Pan-American Airways, who was to
organize a central purchasing board in Australia, similar to one developed
by him in France during World War I. In the meantime Brigadier General
Chamberlin and Colonel Whit lock were handicapped by lack of officers exper­ ienced in shipping.
General Wilson and a number of his assistants, constituting "Mission
X,N arrived in Australia on 10 March 1942. General Wilson reported to Gen­ eral Brett at Melbourne on 11 March 1942 and spent the next eight days in
flying to all base ports and to the main communication centers. He was
appointed Chief Quartermaster, USAFIA, on 21 March 1942, and Assistant
Chief of Staff, G-4, USAFIA, on 2 April. He was relieved from this duty
on 25 May 1942, and returned to the United States for other assignment.
General fioop, his mission accomplished, also returned.21
In the meantime the Army had established liaison with the Australians
by means of committees. On arriving in Melbourne on 3 January 1942, three
days before the redesignatlon of USFIA as USAFIA, General Brett, accompanied

- 18 ­

"by General Brereton, General Barnes, and Colonel Merle-Smith, conferred
at once with officers of the Australian Army, Navy, and Air Forces. Plans
were made for receiving U. S. troops and supplies at Darwin, Townsville,
Brisbane, and Melbourne, for attacking the Japanese "by air, and for estab­ lishing two permanent committees to coordinate all military activities in
Australia, These committees — the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Joint

Planning Committee (composed of deputy chiefs of staff) — met on 4 January
and established a third committee — the Administrative Planning Committee
— to relieve the chiefs of staff and the deputy chiefs of staff of admin­ istrative problems connected with the establishment of IT* S. bases in Aus­ tralia.
The function of the Administrative Planning Committee was to examine
the requests received from the U, S. forces and "to direct them into the
machinery already existing for the Australian Defence Services,11 The Com­ mittee consisted of the Chief of Staff, US.AFIA, and one representative
each of the Commonwealth Government and the Chiefs of Staff of the Austra­ lian Military Forces, the Royal Australian Navy, and the Boyal Australian
Air Force* Five subcommittees were organized in the Administrative Plan­ ning Committee: Works, Movements, Medical, Services Supply, and Quarter­ ing* The Movements Subcommittee was concerned with the arrival and depar­

ture of U. S. vessels, the storage of military cargoes, and the internal
transportation of cargo and personnel; it undertook to improve Australian
highways and railways and to commandeer motor vehicles* The Services Sup­ ply Subcommittee was concerned particularly with rations and, through its
Petroleum Section, with the import, distribution, and storage of petroleum
products* Local committees were responsible for local action. Recommenda­

- 19 ­

tions of the various subcommittees were presented through the Administra­ tive Planning Committee for approval by the Chiefs of Staff Committee. 22
Originally Australia was regarded mainly as a rear base supporting an
air war in the Philippines and the Netherlands Bast Indies. Jailure to
hold these areas forced the Army to change its supply policy. Facilities
had to be developed in Australia for the accommodation of large U. S. for­ ces, land and naval as well as air, and for the reception, manufacture, or
local procurement of the supplies and equipment necessary for protracted
front-line operations in New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago and later
in the Philippines. Only when these facts began to be realized, in or
about February or March 1942, did it become possible to make long-range
supply plane. From a combat standpoint it may well be argued that only the
resistance of Allied forces in the Philippines and the Netherlands East
Indies delayed and diverted the Japanese sufficiently to permit the success­ ful defense of Australia and southern New Guinea; but the effort to supply
the Philippines and Java postponed the time when effective supply operations
could be undertaken. The supply history of the war, as distinguished from
the combat history, virtually began when it first became clear that New
Guinea, not Java or the Philippines, would be for a considerable time the
main zone of combat and the objective of supply activity. Supply operations
of USAFIA before the abandonment of Java can therefore be summarized as a
dead-end episode, hough the facilities planned for the supply of Java and
Luzon were latt* useful in supplying New Guinea*
The first systematic statement of supply policy for SWPA was contained
in ttG-4 Administrative Order -- Plan X,M dispatched to the Commanding Gen­ eral, USFIA, on 20 December 1941. It contained the following clauses (some

- 20 ­

of which have been mentioned above in other connections): (l) The Com­ manding General, USFIA, was authorized to do whatever was necessary to
move supplies, equipment, arms, and ammunition to the Philippines. (2)
He was directed to "exploit local resources by local purchases to the
fullest extent possible." (3) He was to build up in Australia and the
Philippines 60 days of supplies, 60 days of ammunition for the Air Forces,
and for ground forces the quantity of ammunition authorized on 10 Septem­ ber 1941 for the Philippines. (4) He was to give highest priority to
accumulating and forwarding the supplies and ammunition specifically re­ quested since 7 December 1941 by General MacArthur. (5) The supply arms
and services in the United States were to make shipments of the supplies
and ammunition mentioned in (3) and (4) in accordance with approved prior­ ities and without request, to the extent that available supply and shipping
would permit. (6) The War Department would control transportation from

the United States to Australia and from the United States direct to the
Philippines. (7) The Commanding General, USFIA, under the direction of
the Commanding General, USAFFE, would control water transportation in the
Far East. (8) On request of the Commanding General, USFIA, the War Depart­

ment would supply vessels and other transportation equipment not available
locally. (9) The Commanding General, USFIA, was authorized to make con­

tracts without reference to the War Department and "to overobligate funds
for the accomplishment of urgent construction." (10) Funds in the amount

of $10,000,000 were made available initially to the Commanding General,
USFIA, from the contingent fund oi the Chief of Staff, additional funds
would be furnished as required, and chiefs of supply arms and services
would use for Far East purposes only funds appropriated to them.

— 889954 O—50 4

PI mm
aJ ­

The order of 20 December 1941 was rescinded on 2 February 1942, when
a revised policy was stated in a War Department letter to the Commanding
General, USAPIA. The new directive restated without substantial change
clauses (2) t (5), (6), (7), (8), and (9) of the previous directive. The
Commanding General, USAPIA, was not only authorized but directed to take
the action referred to in clause (1), Authorized supply levels called for
90 days of all supplies other*than ammunition and aircraft supplies for the
U* S. Army forces in Australia and the Netherlands Bast Indies; *approxL­ mately 30 days of supplies for the forces in the Philippines of only such
essential articles (ammunition, food stuffs, and medical supplies) as can
be transported to the Philippines11; 90 days of ammunition; 5 months of
bombs, ammunition, and pyrotechnics for all TJ. S* Army aircraft assigned
to Australia and the Netherlands East Indies; and 5 months of aircraft
operating and maintenance supplies.^
The chief difference between the two supply directives, other than the
raised supply level and the inclusion of the Netherlands East Indies, was
the abandonment of regular supply for the Philippines. This step had been
under consideration as early as 3 January 1942, when the War Plans Division,
General Staff, recommended the following policy:
1. Continue shipments to "XM to meet all requirements except those
of the Philippine Islands*
2. Ship to N X H for the Philippine Islands only such essential items
(such as airplanes, ammunition and medical supplies) as can be transported
to the Philippines by air or surface ship in the event a favorable oppor­ tunity is presented.
3. Depot stocks heretofore accumulated for shipment to the Philippine
Islands to complete the defense reserve levels (PEACH and PLUM) to be re­ leased except the amounts to meet urgent known requirements, as set forth
in the preceding paragraph*
By 10 January G-4 had issued the substance of this recommendation as a

- 22 ­

directive, requiring that ammunition and equipment in the United States
earmarked for, or awaiting shipment to, the Philippines should be released
to supply arms and services for redistribution except as specifically
ordered by the Adjutant General. 26
By 16 January 1942 the chief emphasis in supply planning was already
placed on Australia, General Somervell, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4,

informed the Quartermaster General on that date that the U. S. forces
were "operating in a Theater which we did not envisage in our previous
plans," that nwe cannot tell at this time how many troops will eventually
be engaged in the Australian Theater, or to what extent the bases in that
Theater will be built up," that "automatic supply will be prescribed for
supplies which are consumed at a uniform daily rate," that other supplies
would be requisitioned direct from the San Francisco Fort of Embarkation,
and that supply levels in Australia would be built up to ninety days as
soon as shipping was available. It was contemplated, however, that supply
of troops not only in the Philippines but in the Fiji Islands, New Cale­ donia, and New Zealand would be based on Australia.
These areas continued to be supplied from Australia until 15 July
1842, when they had developed facilities for receiving direct supply from
the United States.2® The mission of Aastralia to supply the Philippiaes

and its mission to supply the Netherlands East Indies were "almost diametri­ cally opposed to each other and caused much concern to those in Australia
who were endeavoring to accomplish both missions 100$ effectively"; but

this distraction from the task of Philippine supply ended within two months
with the collapse of the ABDA command. The combined effect, however, of
the two distractions, joined to the directive of 2 February, was to reduce

- 23 ­

the effort that could be made to supply the Philippines.
On 6 February 1942 General Marshall, Chief of Staff, notified the Com­ manding General, USAFIA, that Brig. Gen. Arthur B. Wilson, soon to be dis­ patched to Australia as Quartermaster, USAFIA, would be concerned mainly
with Australian transportation. He was to survey and report on port and
warehouse facilities, to list all items of supply that could be procured
locally, to make recommendation as to reserves and levels of supply, to
charter boats available in the Australian area for coastwise freight move­ ments and for forwarding supplies to the Netherlands and the Philippines
(to permit American vessels to return to the United States immediately after
unloading), to expedite the unloading and clearance of all freighters and
troop transports, and to establish liaison with local representatives of
the U. S. Maritime Commission or other U # S. agency in Australia in order
to insure that available space in returning ships would be used to move
strategic materials from the Far East. General Marshall also desired to
reduce to a minimum the service troops to be sent to Australia and to employ
Australian workers wherever they could be substituted for soldiers. "Finally,

and most important,11 no effort would be spared to forward food, ammunition,
and other critical supplies to the Philippines and the Netherlands East
Indies.3^ These instructions did not necessarily imply an assumption as to
the future direction of supply movements, but they did imply the adoption
of the Australian supply policy which, with its objective changed from the
Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines to New Guinea, was to prevail
until New Guinea itself became the main base of supply at the end of 1943.
General MacArthur, withdrawing to the Bataan Peninsula during the last
days of 1941 made urgent appeals for supply. He reported on 4 January 1942,

- 24 ­

that the quantity of antiaircraft ammunition on hand permitted only oc­ casional "bursts of fire during "bombing attacks. The garrison was on half
rations from the "beginning. General MacArthur asserted on 17 January that
the effectiveness of the Japanese "blockade was due to "passive acceptance11
of it "by the Allies, that he was "professionally certain" that it could "be
easily pierced, and that a general plan of blockade-running should "be under­ taken at once. He added that the Filipinos could not understand why the
United States forces failed to break the Pacific blockade when they succeeded
in getting through the Atlantic blockade. President Quezon complained to
President Roosevelt on 8 February that after two months of war "not the
slightest assistance" had been received from the United States, that no
effort had been made to bring anything to Luzon, and that the U. S. Navy
and the British Navy had adopted an attitude which apparently precluded any
effort to reach the Philippines, though aid had been dispatched to England,
Australia, and other warring nations.31
It was far from true that no effort had been made to relieve Luzon.
On 17 January 1942 General Marshall instructed the Commanding General,
USAPIA, to use funds without stint, to send "groups of bold and resourceful
men" by plane to the Dutch islands to buy food and charter vessels, to
offer bonuses for delivering supplies to Bataan and Corregidor that would
"insure utmost energy and daring on part of masters," to dispatch great
numbers of small and medium-size boats incessantly by many routes until a
satisfactory level of supply was reached, and to take great risks and ex­ hibit J indomitable determination and pertinacity." On 19 January General

Marshall notified the Commanding General, USAPIA, that he was sending Brig.
Gen. Patrick J. Hurley (appointed minister to New Zealand) as his personal

- 25 ­

representative to serve temporarily in USAFIA in organizing blockade-
running to support General MacArthur. General Hurley reported to Headquar­

ters, USAFIA, on 8 February, and on 9 February Lt. Col, William A. Copthorne
was designated to assist him in coordinating the dispatch of relief sup­ plies for the Philippines.32 By 22 January Col. John A. Robenson, who had
commanded the troops on the Willard A. Holbrook. had already been sent with
six assistants to search Java, Sumatra, and Celebes for small craft.
A first step to relieve the Philippines was to relieve Java. As already
mentioned the Bloemfontein arrived at S-oerabaja on 5 January 1942. The
President Polk» the first Army transport to sail from the West Coast after
Pearl Harbor, took on supplies at Brisbane and Townsville and arrived at
Soerabaja on 30 January with a cargo of ammunition, bombs, airplanes, and
subsistence. The slow freighters Portmar. Mauna Loa, Meigs. and Admiral

Hal stead and the USAT Tulagi sailed from Darwin for Timor on 15 February
1942 in company with the cruiser Houston, the destroyer Peary, and the Aus­ tralian war sloops Swan and V/arigo. An attack on 16 January by 44 four-
engine Japanese bombers forced the convoy to return for repairs to Darwin.
Lack of docking facilities made it necessary for the ships to anchor in the
stream, with troops, equipment, and ammunition aboard. On 19 February a

force of from 72 to 90 Japanese planes bombed Darwin, sank the Mauna Loa.
the Admiral Halstead (in shallow water), the Meigs. and most of the other
vessels in harbor, and forced the beaching of the Portmar, Reports as to
losses at Darwin are not easily harmonized, but it is safe to say that
nearly all the shipping there was destroyed, in addition to at least eight
of the ten fighter planes. One other effort was made to relieve Java, when
on 22 February the Sea Witch sailed from Melbourne. The vessel turned back

before reaching Java and on 7 March put in at Fremantle, from which it
was routed to India* Three days later Java collapsed. So far as can be

determined from available records, only the eight .Army vessels here men­ tioned sailed from Australia for Java and only the Bloemfontein and the
President Polk arrived. 33
Sight Army vessels are known to have sailed for the Philippines. The

Hanyang and the Yochow had sailed on or before 2 February 1942 from Perth,
where they had received cargo from the Mormacsun. After the bombing of
Darwin their crews forced the two vessels, already in the Timor Sea, to
abandon the voyage and put in at Darwin, where their cargoes were unloaded.
The Coast Farmer sailed from Brisbane 10 February, delivered its cargo at
Anakan, Mindanao, on 17 February, and returned safe. The Don Isidro sailed
from Batavia 13 February and was sunk off Darwin on 19 February. The

Florence D. sailed from Soerabaja 13 February and was sunk at an unnamed
point off Australia on 20 February. The Taiyuan sailed from Soerabaja on

26 February and was presumed lost. The Dona Hati and the Anhui sailed from
Brisbane late in February, arrived at Cebu City on 10 and 20 March respec­ tively, and returned to Australia. Search in the East Indies had located

only four other vessels, for which no crews were found. No other vessels
became available in Australia, where rations and ammunition awaited ship­ ment to the Philippines. Small vessels in the Philippines undertook to

deliver cargoes from Mindanao and Cel?u to Corregidor, but the only one known
to have escaped capture or destruction en route was the Elcano. which arrived
at Corregidor on 26 February.*"
General Marshall and Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations,
against objections from General Wavell, agreed on 29 January that submarines

- 27 ­

should be used to deliver supplies to General MacArthurfs forces, not
only to prolong their resistance and thereby immobilize Japanese troops
and ships that otherwise would move against the Netherlands East Indies,
but also for the Mgreat moral effect" of receiving occasional small ship­ ments of critical items. Repeated efforts were made to continue this
policy. As late as 30 March General Wainwright was informed that the Nary
was sending from the Australian area all available submarines to ferry sup­ plies from Mindanao to Corregidor. Bight submarines are known to have pro­ ceeded to the Philippines from the south. One left Darwin 16 January 1942
and arrived at Corregidor 3 February with a cargo of ammunition. Another

left Darwin in February but is not known to have arrived. A third left
Soerabaja 4 February and delivered ammunition at Parang, Mindanao, on 22
February. Two-which left Fremantle at an unknown date loaded B rations
and medicines at Cebu; one of these succeeded in delivering a fifth of its
cargo at Corregidor on 8 April (the day when Sataan fell), but the other
jettisoned its cargo of 46 tons off Corregidor on 9 April. Two others left
Fremantle on 1 and 2 April with food and ammunition but turned back when
Bataan fell. A submarine carrying only mail left Fremantle on 27 March
and received nurses, officers, and outgoing mail at Corregidor on 3 May,
three days before its surrender.35
On 22 February 1942, three days after the Coast Farmer arrived in
Mindanao, General MacArthur reported to General Marshall that the Philip­ pines should be supplied by a direct route from Honolulu, and that the
commanders of Australia and the Netherlands East Indies lacked resources
and means to supply his needs, could not concentrate on doing so, and did
not have complete knowledge of his "desperate and dangerous11 situation*

- 28 ­

He concluded that the mission could never be accomplished as M a subsidiary
effort" but mast be "controlled and re-energized directly11 by General Mar­ shall. On 4 March 1942 General Brett, Commanding General, USAFIA, reported
to General Marshall that he concurred with General Hurley, Colonel Eobenson,
and Colonel Copthorne in the conclusion that routes from Australia to the
Philippines were growing more hazardous, that the risking of ships and car­ goes which could not well be spared in Australia seemed unjustified, and
that the Philippines should be supplied from the United States by way of
General MacArthur's request of 22 February 1942 was immediately studied
by G-4. General Somervell, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, reported to Gen­ eral Marshall on the same day that direct supply of the Philippines was
"practicable and desirable0 and could be accomplished by three destroyers
built during World War I, later converted for merchant shipping, and recently
acquired by the War Department for interisland use. These could be dis­ patched from New Orleans with "substantially identical cargoes of balanced
urgent supplies." On 23 February Col. C. P. Gross, Chief, Transportation
Branch, G-4t informed the Commanding General, New Orleans Port of Embarka­ tion, that 5 cargoes of approximately 1,500 measurement tons each would be
shipped at once to New Orleans, to be loaded on the 3 converted destroyers
and additional vessels that would be acquired promptly by the Quartermaster
General. On 24 February General Marshall reported these steps to President
Roosevelt, who had ordered the organization of a blockade-running effort.
On 6 March General Somervell notified General Brett that four ships would
sail for the Philippines from San Francisco and three from New Orleans, but
that lack of shipping prevented complete supply from the United States and

- 29 ­

that General Brett was not relieved of responsibility for supplying the
Philippines. Three of the converted destroyers — the Masaya. the Mata­ galpa. and the Tea-pa — sailed from New Orleans on 2, 11, and 18 March
r esp ectively. •*?
While these measures were in progress the situation in Bataan and
Corregidor grew more desperate. On 27 March General Marshall informed
General MacArthur in Australia that General Wainwright's forces were in
urgent need of food and medicine, particularly quinine sulphate tablets,,
atabrine, and vitamin concentrates. Interisland supply had been destroyed
fey the Japanese, General Wainvright was unable to obtain the rations on
hand in Cebu and Mindanao, and General MacArthur was urged to relieve him
by air, submarine, or small, speedy vessels able to run the blockade. In
the meantime the Masaya. the MatagaTpa. and the Teapa were obliged to stop
at Los Angeles for repairs and complete reloading. The Commanding General,
Hawaiian Department, obtained the Navy-chartered freighter Thomas Jefferson,
which sailed from Honolulu for the Philippines during the first week in
April but was diverted by the Navy to Hew Caledonia and then recalled to
Honolulu* A submarine departed from Honolulu on 7 April with 100 tons of
medical supplies but had not arrived when Bataan fell and was therefore
ordered back* All vessels sailing from the United States for PLUM were
stopped. On 12 April General Marshall requested the comments and recommen­ dations of General MacArthur regarding the supply of Corregidor. General

MacArthur replied on 13 April 1942 that with both Cavite and Bataan shores
occupied by the Japanese it became "practically impossible" for shipping
of any kind to reach the defenders. He regarded it as "useless to attempt
further general supply by blockade running.11 The War Department decided

- 30 ­

not to accept this view, and on 21 April ordered the Masaya to be reloaded
for Corregidor and the Matagalpa for Mindanao. The Maaaya arrived at Hon­ olulu 5 May, the Mata^alpft 8 May, and the Teat»a 23 May — much too late to
relieve Corregidor.38
Both the War Department and USAFIA had continued till the end their
efforts to support Corregidor. Supplies were sent from Australia to Min­ danao by air less than a week before the surrender of Corregidor, and at
the same time an unnamed vessel was en route from Australia to the Philip­ pines. In reviewing the whole record of Philippine supply Brig. Gen.
Charles C. Drake, Chief Quartermaster, U. S. Forces in the Philippines,
concluded that the long delay between the landing of IT. S. troops in Aus­ tralia on 23 December 1941 and the sailing of the first blockade-runner,
the Coast Farmer, on 10 February 1942, giving the Japanese an opportunity
to establish a blockade and occupy most of the Visayas, was responsible
for the early surrender of Corregidor, and that with prompter shipments
from Australia and with "a reasonable air and naval support0 for convoying
lnterisland movements in the Philippines, Corregidor might have been held
till 1 July 1942. 39
Commands of General Douglas MacArthur. 1942-1946
It is hardly possible to treat separately the three commands held by
General MacArtfaur after his arrival in Australia: the Southwest Pacific
Area (SWPA) command, 18 April 1942 - 2 September 1945; the U. S. Forces in
the Far Bast (USAFFE), second period, 26 February 1943 - 10 June 1946; and
the U. S # Army Forces, Pacific (AFPAC), 6 April 1945 - 31 December 1946.
These commands overlapped chronologically, they did not form a hierarchy,

- 31 ­

and they are not capable of being described simply.
On 17 March 1942 the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed that within the
Pacific there should be two main areas, the Southwest Pacific Area under
General MacArthur and the rest of the Pacific under Admiral Nimitz. Gen­ eral MacArthur arrived at Melbourne 21 March 1942 and established headquar­ ters (nominally of TJSAJFE, transferred from Luzon). On 30 March the Pres­

ident approved action of the Joint Chiefs of Staff establishing a Pacific
Theater and dividing it into the North Pacific Area, the Central Pacific
Area, the Southeast Pacific Area, the South Pacific Area, and the South­ west Pacific Area. a single command. The Pacific Theater as a whole was not constituted as
The directive for SWPA and the designation of General

MacArthur as Supreme Commander were contained in a War Department message
to General MacArthur dated 3 April 1942. Final approval of the directive
by the Australian Government was received in Washington 14 April 1942.
The Southwest Pacific Area, commanded by General MacArthur, was bounded
on the east by the 159th meridian (south of the equator) and the 130th meri­ dian (north of the equator), on the north by the equator (east of the 130th
meridian) and the 20th parallel (west of the 130th meridian), and on the
west by the Pacific coast of Asia, the east coast of Sumatra, and the 110th
meridian.4 The Southwest Pacific Area thus included Australia and Tasmania,

New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago, the Philippines, Hainan, all of
the East Indies except Sumatra, and part of the Solomon Islands. The area
under General MacArthur1 s immediate control in the Western Pacific was ex­ tended on 26 July 1945 to include Okinawa and Ie Shima. These increments,

though not added to the Allied command, may be (and are hereafter) con­ sidered as part of the Southwest Pacific Area after that date. 41

- 32 ­

The command began its formal existence with the issuance of General
Order Ho. 1, GHQ,, SVTPA, 18 April 1942, announcing the establishment of
General MacArthur's headquarters at Melbourne and of five subordinate com­ mands: Allied Land Forces, under Gen. Sir Thomas Blarney, Australian Army;

Allied Air Forces, under Lt. Gen. George C. Brett, USA; Allied Naval Forces,
under Vice Admiral Herbert F. Leary, USN; U. S. Forces in the Philippines,
under Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright, USA; and TJ. S. Army Forces in Aus­ tralia (first established, as mentioned above, on 5 January 1942), under
Maj. Gen. Julian F. Barnes, USA. General MacArthur's official title was
It will be noted

announced as Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area.

that the last two of the five subordinate commands were U. S. Army commands
subject to General MacArthur in his capacity of commanding general over all
U. S. Army forces in the area. In this connection he continued in effect

to apt as Commanding General, U. S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFB).
Until the formal restablishment of USAFFE, as already explained, many func­ tions of a headquarters for all U. S. troops in Australia and New Guinea
were assumed by USAFIA and its successor headquarters, U. S. Army Services
of Supply. GHQj SWPA, was removed from Melbourne to Brisbane, with the

headquarters of the Allied Land Forces, the Allied Naval Forces, and the
Allied Air Forces,, on 20 July 1942.
Details of thereestablishment of USAFFE, with headquarters at Bris­ bane, were announced on 23 February 1943. The reestablishment became ef­ fective on 26 Februaryt when the functions of USAFFE were defined in a
letter from headquarters, USATFB, to the Commanding Generals of the Sixth
Army, the Fifth Air Force, and USASOS — Army then in SWPA. the three components of the U. S.

The commanding general of each component was "charged

- 33 ­

with the interior administration of his command.11

GHQ, SWPA, was to direct

and control "the strategic and tactical operations of units of the United
States Army Forces in the Par East." Headquarters, USAIT1, was to direct,

plan, and supervise "all administration of the command" of the U. S. Army
and to operate directly a Central Records Office for all U. S. Army person­ nel, an Army postal service, officer candidate schools, a chemical warfare
training center, military police activities, a sanitary inspection service,
and certain other activities. All communications to the War Department
relating to "the mission of the forces, combat operations, military intel­ ligence,relationswith allies, increases in forces and means, priorities
in shipments or supply levels to be maintained" were to be forwarded by
USAFFE through GHQ,, SWPA. All radiograms or cables to the War Department
originating in subordinate headquarters (including USASOS), and all communi­ cations to all agencies and commands relating either to matters of policy
or to the GHQ, matters listed above, were to be forwarded to USAPFE for
transmission. Direct correspondence was "authorized and desired" between

all agencies and commands on "routine administrative, supply and technical
matters, concerning which the policy has already been fixed." General

MacArthur served both as Commanding General, TJSABTE, and as Commander in
Chief, SWPA.43
General Brehon Somervell, Commanding General, AS31, while visiting
SWPA in September 1943, inquired into the functioning of GHQ, from which
he received mimeographed answers to a questionnaire prepared by ASF. At
that time the "Joint Staff (General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area)"
consisted of Maj. Gen. Hichard K. Sutherland, Chief of Staff (also Chief
of Staff, USATFE); Maj. Gen. Richard J. Marshall, Deputy Chief of Staff

- 34 ­

(formerly Commanding General, USASOS); and as Assistant Chiefs of Staff
Lt. Col. Herbert E. Hadcliffe (Acting G-l), Brig. Gen. Charles A. Willoughby
(G-2), Brig. Gen. Stephen J. Chamberlin (G-o), and Brig. Gen. Lester J.
Whitlock (G-4) — all of whom were officers of the U. S. Army. Each major

Allied component — Force —

U. S. Army and Navy and Australian Army, Navy and Air

was responsible for its own administrative and supply services;

but corresponding U. S. services were charged with the supply of "the small
K.E.I, components.11 Coordination to achieve the best "use of resources,
There was no "combined

particularly transportation," was effected by GHQ.

Allied Service Forces for the theater to correspond with the Allied combat
forces — Land, Naval and Air." The main reason making such a combined ser­

vice organization impracticable was that the Australian service forces con­ stituted in effect "the Australian zone of the interior." were not under the Commander in Chief, SWPA. These forces

Signal communications of all

elements were "closely coordinated" by the Chief Signal Officer, GHQ,, and
there was also a Chief Engineer in GHQ; but no corresponding officer in
GBQ was concerned with transportation. Water transportation was coordinated
by G-4, GHQ,, "so as to utilize available shipping in furtherance of the
operational plan, regardless of its assignment or of the troops and supplies
being moved."
From a combat standpoint the U. S. forces in the theater operated
under one of the three Allied combat forces or as elements in task forces
operating directly under GHQ. From an administrative standpoint they oper­

ated under Headquarters, USAFFE, for the Army, and under Headquarters,
Seventh Fleet, for the Navy. Some of the service troops of the U. S. Army

were "integrally a part of a troop unit" of the Sixth Army or the Fifth

- 35 ­

Air Force; the others were assigned to USASOS or to task forces as required.
G-4, USAFFE, was concerned with "policies and planning of supply, transpor­ tation and evacuation"; operation of service forces rested with the comman­ ders concerned, including the Commanding General, USASOS. There was no

unity among U. S. Army, Air, Navy, and Marine forces with respect to supply,
administrative services, communications, transportation, and construction.
Each element operated independently in these particulars, though coordina­ tion was achieved by GHQ staff action, and to some extent, through a General
Purchasing Agent in US.AFFE. General Somervell remarked that the U. S.
naval force in SWPA was "supplied and serviced practically entirely through
naval channels" and that the Fifth Air Force included a service command
that was devoted mainly to technical air force supply but that tended "to
try to duplicate the supply and service activities afforded by USASOS.11
As between the U. S. Army and other forces, there was "in general a com­ plete duplication of supply of common items." General Somervell concluded

that in the U. S. Army there seemed to be "too many levels and too many
different staffs'1 but that supply operations seemed nevertheless to move
On 31 July 1948, in response to inquiry from General Marshall, Chief
of Staff, General MacArthur had explained that Allied land forces, naval
forces, and air forces each operated under a commander with completely
organized staff, and that in matters of Allied action he relied on "com­ plete and thorough integration" of ground, naval, and air headquarters
with GHty rather than upon the assembly of approximately equal numbers of
officers from these components into the GHQ staff. GHQ and the naval and
air headquarters were in the same building at Brisbane, and land headquar­

- 36 ­

ters was in an adjacent building. The commanders of the three lower
headquarters conferred every day with General MacArthur and his staff
and in effect operated as a planning staff for the Commander in Chief.
GHQ, though composed of Army officers, was asserted to "be free from bias
in favor of the Army. 45
The later history of GHQ, requires only brief mention. Advance head­ quarters was established at Port Moresby early in 1943. GHQ and the head­ quarters of the Allied Land, Naval, and Air Forces were transferred from
Brisbane to Hollandia, New Guinea, on 8 September 1944; to Tacloban, Leyte,
on 3 January 1945; and to Manila on 24 April 1945. On 6 April 1945, with
the establishment of U. S. Army Forces, Pacific (AFPAC), ordered by the
Joint Chiefs of Staff on 5 April 1945, General MacArthur assumed command
of all U. S. Army forces in the Pacific and Admiral Nimitz assumed command
of the U. S. Navy forces there. In the early summer of 1945 Gen. Carl A.
Spaatz assumed command of the Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific, consist­ ing of B-29 bombers, accompanying fighter planes, and their personnel.
General Spaatz, like General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz, was directly
subordinate to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These changes required coordi­ 46
nation by Washington over three Pacific forces — Army, Navy, and Air.
The changes had no immediate effect on SWPA and USAFEE, both of which
continued under the immediate command of General MacArthur. The staff of
GHQ, SWPA, served concurrently as the staff of Headquarters, AFPAC. 47
Headquarters, USAFFE, was consolidated with Headquarters, AEPAC, on 10
June 1945. By a message received from the War Department on 15 August
1945 General MacArthur was officially notified of the capitulation of
Japan and of his appointment as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers

889954 O—50


° '

(SOAP). The authority conferred by this appointment pertained to Japan
and Korea. On Y-J Day, 2 September 1945, Allied Land Forces, Allied Naval
Forces, and Allied Air Forces were abolished and the SVJPA command disap­ peared. Headquarters, AFPAO, was transferred to Tokyo on 17 September 1945*
The AFPAC command, as will be explained later, survived till 31 December
It was remarked on 12 May 1943 that the division of the Pacific between
Navy areas and an Army area was confusing and illogical "from the transpor­ tation and supply standpoints ,M resulting in the accumulation of excess
supplies at some points while supplies at other points were insufficient.
It was also noted that Army and Navy units differed greatly in regard to
living conditions and quality of equipment. The Pacific reorganization of
6 April 1945 did nothing to reduce the alleged evils of divided command,
which seemed to be increased by the later establishment of a Pacific air
force independent of both Army and Navy* Discussion was renewed in August
1945 regarding the feasibility of combining all U. S. forces in the Pacific
to form a single command, but no action was taken. The only agency auth­ orized at any time to direct the activities of all U. S. forces in the
Pacific was the Joint Chiefs of Staff, remote from the scene and burdened
with other duties*
It may be observed that in August 1946 a Chief of Transportation,
Brig. Gen. Frank S. Besson, Jr., was appointed in Headquarters, AJPAC,
and for the first time all U. S. Army transportation in the Pacific became
subject to unified direction. The office expired with the dissolution
of AFPAC on 31 December 1946.

- 38 ­

The U. S. Army Services of Supply (USASOS)
20 July 1942 - 7 June 1945
On 20 July 1942 (by General Order No. 17, GHQ,, SWPA) USAFIA was dis­ continued, "the United States Army Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific
Area," was created, and the personnel and organizations comprising USAFIA
were transferred to USASOS. All orders issued by USAFIA remained in effect.
By General Order No. 1, Headquarters, USASOS, 20 July 1942, Brig. Gen.
Richard J. Marshall assumed command of USASOS. Headquarters was removed
from Melbourne to Sydney during the first week of September 1942.
As already explained, USASOS before 26 February 1943, when USAFEE was
revived, was not merely the headquarters of the several U. S. Army services
of supply but in certain respects the headquarters of all U. S. Army forces
that were not controlled by commands other than USASOS. The nonservice
functions of USASOS were transferred to USAFFE as soon as the latterwas
established, and at the same time GHQ was relieved of the burden of admin­ istering the Fifth Air Force, the Sixth Army, and USASOS. USAFFB, however,
assumed not merely these functions but in addition a large part of the ser­ vice functions of USASOS. The chiefs of the several services, including
the Chief Transportation Officer, were transferred from Headquarters. USASOS,
at Sydney to Headquarters, USAFFE. at Brisbane, and new chiefs were appointed
in USASOS. The authority of USASOS was reduced to routine operational
matters. Supply policy was formulated by USAFFE. The chiefs of services
controlled all service activities of the U. S. Army in SWPA, and their auth­ ority was not confined, as previously, to service activities controlled by
USASOS. Gen.Richard J. Marshall, Commanding General, USASOS, served con­ currently as Deputy Chief of Staff, USA3TE, and thus controlled supply

matters in both headquarters. In effect he transferred his technical
staff from USASOS to USAFFE.
The reduced organization of USASOS was accompanied "by the abolition
of its general staff sections on 23 February 1943, when its components
were grouped under two executive officers. The Executive for Supply and
Transportation directed, controlled, and coordinated the activities of the
Quartermaster, the Ordnance Officer, the Chemical Officer, the Signal
Officer, the Engineer, the Surgeon, and the Transportation Officer• The
Executive for Administration directed, controlled, and coordinated the
activities of the Army Exchange Service Officer, the Special Service Officer,
the Provost Marshal, the Chaplain, the Finance Officer, and the Headquarters
The personnel of Headquarters, USASOS, including 174 officers, 392
enlisted men, and 560 civilians, was transferred from Sydney to Brisbane
at various dates between 25 August and 6 September 1943. General Marshall
was relieved as Commanding G-eneral, USASOS, on 3 September 1943 by Brig.
Gen. James L. Frink (promoted to Major General 14 September 1943). Gen­ eral Marshall was transferred to GHQ, as Deputy Chief of Staff by orders
dated 13 September 1943* On the same day the offices of Executive for Sup­ ply and Transportation and Executive for Administration, USASOS, were dis­ continued and the four general staff sections were reestablished. The G-4

Section received most of the functions formerly assigned to the Executive
for Supply and Administration. Before 5 October 1943 the chiefs of services
were retransferred from USAFFE to USASOS. Considerably depleted of personnel
and functions, USAJPFE became almost wholly an administrative headquarters,
and for the first time USASOS became neither more nor less than what its

- 40 ­

title indicated —

U. S. Army Services of Supply.52

Baring the next twenty-one months the services of supply under Gen­ eral Frink established bases at Lae, Finschhafen, Hollandia, Biak, Tacloban,
Lingayen Gulf, Manila, Batangas, and Cebu. Headquarters, USASOS, consisting
of about 500 officers, 700 enlisted men and 600 enlisted women, was trans­ ferred to Hollandia, New Guinea, on 8 September 1944, to Leyte on 4 Febru­ ary 1945, and to Manila on 11 April 1945. Advance echelons of USASOS were
serving in forward areas before these dates.53 On 16 May 1945 General Mac-

Arthur recommended award of the oakleaf cluster to the distinguished ser­ vice medal to General Prink for "exceptionally meritorious service to the
Government in a position of great responsibility" from 14 August 1943 to
16 May 1945* In General MacArthur's words,

General Frink, vjith rare ability, organized and directed the difficult
and important functions of his command. Vttth great devotion to duty
and inexhaustible energy, he was responsible for coordinating and making
effective an efficient Services of Supply. By his sound judgment, thor­ ough professional qualifications, and forceful leadership, he made a
substantial contribution to the successful operations in the Southwest
Pacific Area. 54
In a general order addressed to "Soldiers of USASOS," 12 February
1945, shortly after occupation of Manila, General Frink gave credit to
the organization under his command:
On the long road back - Moresby - Milne Bay - Oro Bay - Lae - ^insch­ hafen - Hollandia - Biak - Leyte - Lingayen - and Manila - you have built
great cities and airdromes in the Jungles, moved mountains, bridged mighty
rivers, constructed thousands of miles of highways, and erected huge port
terminals though which have flowed hundreds of thousands of troops and
millions of tons of supplies. You have carved countless acres of camp
sites out of the forests for the staging of task forces going into battle.
You have established immense stores of munitions of war and operated a
great fleet of ocean going vessels to distribute them over a line of com­ munications six thousand miles long. You have set up well equipped and
efficiently operated hospitals for the care of the sick and wounded. You
have built huge shops and arsenals for the maintenance and repair of arms,

- 41 ­

armament, vehicles, and equipment. And you have bound all these together
with a modern high-speed system of signal communications that reach to all
parts of the world.
Whether in the midst of mortal combat with the enemy or engaged in
vitally essential tasks on land and sea, you have overcome all obstacles
and acquitted yourselves with honor and distinction.
May your pride in these fine accomplishments spur you on to Tokyo with
renewed vigor and determination.^
The history of USASOS was characterized by constantly changing supply
situations and repeated reorganizations to fit these changes. When General
Prink assumed command of USASOS, the main base of supply operations was
still the east coast of Australia; when he was transferred for other duty
the main base was Manila. Throughout this period the zone of combat was
shifting northwest, not by a steady progress but in leaps of hundreds or
thousands of miles. Sudden readjustments of supply and changes in the "cen­ Arrangements that

ter of gravity of supply" were repeatedly necessary.

fitted a headquarters in Australia became obsolete when headquarters was
transferred to New Guinea, and arrangements suiting a headquarters in New
Guinea again became obsolete when headquarters was transferred to Leyte
and Manila.
A special characteristic of USASOS administration was the repeated
assignment of various theater-wide or headquarters functions to base-
section commanders. Examples are the Procurement Division (assigned to
Base Section, Australia), the Distribution Division (assigned to Inter­ mediate Section, New Guinea), and the Transportation Command (assigned to
Luzon Base Section). Details concerning these and other examples are pre­

sented in later chapters; but it may be pointed out, to explain a single
illustration, that the Procurement Division, with large numbers of Austra­

- 42 ­

lian female employees and with voluminous files and office equipment,
could not have been transferred conveniently to the jungles of New Guinea.
The assignment of headquarters functions to "base sections was a spec­ ial case of decentralization. During the whole period "between the trans­

fer of Headquarters, USASOS, from Brisbane and its establishment at Manila
the need was for a small headquarters with a minimum of routine operational
responsibility and consequently of office personnel and equipment. Head­ quarters, USASOS, had to be "dynamic, flexible, aggressive11; to maintain a
form of organization "predicated on the principle of mobility of supply";
to be prepared for operational "dislocations and disturbances" resulting
from lack of equipment, shortage of ships, limited availability of "Engineer
efforttH typhoons, and drastic tactical changes; and to surmount the diffi­ culties of communication and transportation involved in planning and oper­ ating a chain of supply installations scattered over a distance of more
than 4,000 miles. These requirements called for the greatest possible

decentralization of operational responsibility, leaving Headquarters, USASOS,


free to formulate policy and to inspect and regulate performance.
To maintain coordination and administrative efficiency in the far-
extended USASOS organization, General Prink established on 20 December 1943
a Control Branch under Col. Matthew L. Devine. Its functions were stated

as follows:
(l) Maintains constant review of the organization and activities of
the United States Army Services of Supply, conducts specific surveys in
fields requiring corrective action, and makes recommendations in regard
thereto. (2) Where appropriate, recommends new general administrative or
organizational policies or procedures for, or changes of existing policies
of, the United States Army Services of Supply. (3) Acts as staff agency
over the execution of control functions throughout the United States Army
Services of Supply. (4) Supervises and coordinates statistical and reporting

- 43 ­

systems and methods of the United States Army Services of Supply, including
clearance of recurring reports.5?
The Control Branch prepared an organizational manual issued by the
Commanding General, USASOS, on 1 January 1944. This manual and the numbered
and dated revisions of its various sections served "both as a constantly up­ to-date description of the organization of USASOS and as a directive pre­ scribing changes in organization; and at the same time the manual "set up,
in broad terms, operational and administrative procedures" for the general


guidance of all elements of the command.
On 30 May 1945 General Frink was relieved as Commanding General, USASOS,
by Lt. G-en. Wllhelm D. Styer, formerly Chief of Staff, Headquarters, AS!,
General Frink was appointed to command Army Service Command - Coronet
(ASCOM-C) in the drive to Tokyo. Eight days later USASOS was discontinued.
The U. S. Army Forces. Western Pacific (AEVESPAC)
7 June 1945 - 31 December 1946
On 1 June 1945 (by General Order No* 3, Headquarters, AFPAC), announce­ ment was made that U. S. Army Forces, Western Pacific, would be established,
with headquarters at Manila, on 7 June 1945, concurrently with the discon­ tinuance of USASOS; that all personnel or establishments assigned to or
under the control of USASOS would be transferred to J O T E S P A C ; that the Com­ manding General, AFWESPAC, would command "all United States Army Forces in
the Southwest Pacific Area" except major combat commands and such other
units or agencies as might be excepted by Headquarters, AFPAC; and that he
would be responsible, as directed by Headquarters, AFPAC, for providing
logistical support (except Air Corps technical supply) for operations of
AFPAC and of all U. S. Army forces stationed in his area. The actual

- 44 ­

establishment of AIWESPAC was announced on 19 June 1945. Lt. Gen. Wilhelm
D. Styer assumed command, with Maj. Gen. Edaond H. Leavey, formerly Assis­ tant Chief of Staff for Logistics, Pacific Ocean Areas, as Chief of Staff.
AFWESPAC took over from USAFFE (absorbed on 10 June 1945 in Headquarters,
AFPAC) the Replacement Command, the Military Police Command, the 14th Anti­ aircraft Command, the Office of Enemy Property Custodian, the Claims Service,
and various other units and agencies. AFWESPAC was thus, as USAFIA had
been, both an area command and a service command, and not, like USASOS after
26 Feburary 1943, merely a service command. General Styer was relieved on
5 July 1946 by Maj. Gen. James G. Christiansen, Acting Commanding General,
AFWESPAC, who was relieved on 16 November 1946 by Maj. Gen. George F. Moore. 60
V-J Day considerably changed the mission of AFWESPAC. As reported by
AFWESPAC itself,
Emphasis and efforts have been concentrated on recovering American and
Allied personnel from Japanese prison camps, returning troops to the United
States, rolling-up bases not needed and disposal of surplus property, estab­ lishing necessary supply reserves, recovering battlefield salvage, trying
Japanese war criminals, and malrtng post-war plans to insure the coordination
of current operations with the needs of the post-war period.
None of these tasks was entirely new to AFWESPAC, but for several months
after V-J Day they formed the main part of its activities. 2!hey were grad­ ually replaced by duties pertaining to occupation, relief, and rehabilita­ tion, which will not be included in this study.
On 1 January 1947, in compliance with a directive from the Joint
Chiefs of Staff dated 11 December 1946, AFPAG was redesignated as Far East
Command (FEC), under General MacArthur, Commander in Chief, Far East
(CinCFE); and on the same date AFWESPAC was redesignated as the Philippines-
Byukyus Command (PHILEYCOM). FEC, with headquarters at Tokyo, consisted

- 45 ­

of the Eighth Army, the U. S. Army Forces in Korea (USAFIK, established
on 27 August 1945), PHILSYCOM (with headquarters at Manila), the Marianas-
Bonins Command (MABBO), U. S* Naval Forces, Par East (NATO), and Far East
Air Forces (FEAF). The reorganization of 1 January 1947 marks the end of
the chain of commands under which the war was won and the Allied forces
engaged in it were demobilized.

- 46 ­

Notes on Chapter I

1. No manuscript or printed account of the organization and admin­ istration of the Southwest Pacific Area as a whole has been found. In
this study the subject is dealt with only as related to transportation.
Two charts, labeled "United States Army Services of Supply, Southwest Pac­ ific Area" and "United States Army Forces, Western Pacific," prepared by
Capt. Robert R. Smith, Historical Division, SSUSA, have been repeatedly
consulted in the preparation of this chapter and the following. Copies
of the charts are in the file of the Historical Branch, Office of the Chief
of Transportation, under SWPA - Organization. The file will be designated
throughout this study as OCT HB file. All abbreviations and symbols used
hereafter are identified in a note at the end of this study.
2. Had (par), CofS USA to Gen Douglas Mac^rtfaur, 27 Jul 41. In OCT
HB file, SWPA - Philippines - Organization* The Philippine Department,
commanded by Maj Gen George Grunert from May 1940 to Oct 1941, became a
supply organization and was redesignated in Jan 1942 as the Bataan Service
3. (l) Reinforcement of the Philippines, prepared by Alfred J. Bing­ ham, HB OCT, 1 Sep 47. In OCT HB file, SWPA. (2) Memo, Actg ACofS G-4
GSUSA (Brig Gen R. A. Wheeler) for TAJG, 8 Oct 41, sub: Supply of Gasoline
for U. S. Forces in the Far East. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Philippines ­ Supply. (3) Ltr, AG, U. S. Forces in the Philippines, to TAG, 26 Mar 42.
In OCT 370.5-SS9 SWPA (clear file). (4) Statistical Summary, Transporta­ tion Corps, issued by Control Div OCT SOS, Ho. 13 (15 Oct 42), p. 38. (5)
Monograph Ho. 5, Historical Unit, OCT ASF, prepared by Mr. Harold Larson,
Aog 1944, sub: Water Transportation for the United States -*rmy, 1939-1942,
pp. 82-86. In OCT HB file, monographs. (6) Ltr, Actg ACofS G-4 GSUSA to
CG SITE, 1 Oct 41, sub: Code Names for Shipments to Philippine Islands,
G-4/27573-25. In GSUSA G-4, Transportation Br file, 000.900 Philippines,
Vol II. (7) Memo, Lt Col C. M. Easley, GSC, for ACofS G-4 GSUSA, 7 Oct 41,
sub: Transportation for Aviation Gasoline in Far East. Same file. (8)
Memo, Actg ACofS G-4 GSUSA for TAG, 22 Oct 41, sub: Schedule of Shipments
to Philippines, G-4/27573-18. Same file. (9) Rad (par), CG USAZFE to TAG,
25 Oct 41, AG 575.l(l0-25-4l)MC. Same file.
4. The Mactan. built in Scotland in 1898, was an oil-burning freight
and passenger vessel 312 feet long, wit'h a speed of from 10 to 12 knots and
a cargo capacity of 97,965 cubic feet. It was chartered by the Army from
the owners, Compania Maritima, in Dec 1942, and three days later was char­ tered by the Filipino Red Cross in Manila. After the vessel arrived in
Australia the charter was canceled in February 1942 and the vessel, con­ sidered unseaworthy, was used by the Australians as a floating storehouse.
Shipping shortage led the U. S. Army to take over the Mactan again in Jan
1943 and convert part of the cargo space into troop compartments. Later
the vessel was used as a station ship in Hew Guinea, where it was occupied
by the CG, USASOS. On 29 Hov 44 the Mactan sailed from Hollandia for Leyte
with the advance echelon of Hq, USASOS. The vessel was used as quarters

- 47 ­

for the CG, USASOS, and his staff at Tacloban, and later as an interisland
transport out of Manila, On 1 Sep 45 it needed extensive repairs and was
about to be returned to its owners, (l) HTC Hq., Sep-Oct 1944, p. 7; Nov
1944, p. 2 (2) Had, OQ>IG to CG USAFIA, 16 Feb 42. In OCT HB file, Ocean
Transportation - Vessels - Name File. (3) Transportation Corps Courier,
AFWESPAC, Vol I, No. 7 (l Sep 45), p. 6. In OCT HB file, SWPA - TC Courier.
The abbreviation HTC is used throughout this study to designate the serial
histories of the Transportation Corps in the Southwest Pacific Area pre­ pared by the transportation office in the theater and filed in OCT HB file.
The series is described in note at the end of this study.
5. (1) Memo, ACofS G-3 USAFIA for CG USAJIA, 11 Jul 42, sub; History
of G-3, USAFIA, 1 Jan - 30'Jun 42. App 4 to rpt, Maj Gen Julian F. Barnes,
formerly CG USAPIA, to AG USASOS, 6 Nov 42, sub: Report of Organization and
Activities, United States Armed Forces in Australia, 7 Dec 4 1 - 3 0 Jun 42.
(Hereafter cited as Barnes B p O In SSUSA HD file. (2) Military History
of the United States Army Services of Supply in the Southwest Pacific, com­ piled by USASOS, undtd. (Hereafter cited as USASOS Military History.)
Same file. (3) Information from Pacific Sec, HD SSUSA.
6. (l) Barnes Rpt, pp. 1-7. (2) Task Force - South Pacific, GO 1,
12 Dec 41. Incl 2 in Barnes Rpt. (3),Rad, 0ofS USA, to CO, Task Force ­ South Pacific, 13 Dec 41, Incl 4 to Barnes Rpt. U ) USASOS Military His­ tory. (5) Diary, Hq USAFIA, prepared by a staff officer of USAFIA. Final
incl, unnumbered, in Barnes Rpt. (6) Task Force - South Pacific, GO 4, 19
Dec 41. Incl 8 in Barnes Rpt.
7. (1) Barnes Rpt, pp. 6-7. Memo, Actg ACofS WPD, GSUSA (Brig Gen
L. T. Gerow) for CNO, 12 Dec 41, sub: Messages for Transmission (Convoy to
Brisbane), AG 381 Far Eastern Situation (11-27-41) Gen., inclosing message,
Marshall to MacArthur. In OCT EB file, SWPA - Shipping. (3) Memo, Actg
ACofS WPD GSUSA for TAG, 17 Dec 41, sub: Secret Orders to General Brett,
inclosing message, Marshall to Brett. In G-4/33861, Vol I. (4) Ltr, Deputy
CofS USA (Maj Gen R. C. Moore) to CG USFIA, 19 Dec 41. Same file. (5)
Ltr, TAG to CG USFIA, 20 Dec 41, sub: G-4 Administrative Order - Plan X,
AG 38l(l2-20-4l)MSC-D-M. In GSUSA G-4, Transportation Br file, 000.900
Australia, Vol I. (6) Serial 738 (J.B. 325), Joint Army-Navy Board, special
meeting 20a, 21 Dec 41, sub: Agreement on Organization and Coordination of
Army and Navy Support for Army and Navy Forces in the Philippines, the
Netherlands East Indies, and Australia. Notes in OCT HB file, SWPA - Phil­ ippines - Miscellaneous.
8. 9. 10. 11. 12. (1) Barnes Rpt, pp. 7-10. (l) Barnes Rpt, pp. 8-10. Barnes Rpt, pp. 12-15.
Ibid., pp. 8-11.
Proceedings of the American-British Joint Chiefs of Staff Conference
(2) USASOS Military History.
(2) HTC Australia, I, 1-2.

- 48 ­

Held in Washington, D. C., on Twelve Occasions between December 24, 1941,
and January 14, 1942. JCCS-4, 4/l/t 4/5. (2) The Army Air Forces in
World War II, prepared by Office of Air Force History, U. S. Air Force,
tinder editorship of Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate (Chicago, 1
vol. to date, 1948), I, 367-70.
13. (l) Barnes Rpt, pp. 30-32e. (2) Development of the United States
Supply Base in Australia, prepared by Mrs. Elizabeth Bingham, Control Div,
Hq, ASP, revised by Maj Bichard Leighton, pp. 95-98. In SSUSA HD file.
14. (1) Development of the U. S. Supply Base in Australia, p. 97.
(2) The Army Air Forces in World War II. I, 396, 713. (3) Minutes of
Meetings of the Combined Chiefs of Staff: Post-Arcadia (Washington, 1942),
8th, 11th, and 12th meetings. (4) Memo, ACofS WPD GSUSA for TAG, 23 Feb
42, sub: Assignment of General Brett to Commend U. S. Troops in Australia,
WPD 4639-45. In G-4/33861, Vol III. (5) Ead (par), CofS USA to CG USAEFE,
8 Apr 42, Cm-Out 1171 (8 Apr 42). Atchd to ltr, AG SFPE to CG USAFFE, 26
Jan 44, sub: Supply Policy - Other than United States Forces. In OCT 401
15. The reason for the redesignation was not announced, but was pro­ bably to eliminate the implication that the command included Navy as well
as Army forces.
16. (1) EEC Australia, I, 2-3. (2) USAFIA GO 7, 27 Jan 42. Incl 19
to Barnes Rpt. (3) Barnes fipt, pp. 21, 39.
17. (l) The Army Air Forces in World War II. I, 370-71. (2) Develop­ ment of the U. S. Supply Base in Australia, pp. 89-92. (3) USA30S Mili­ tary History, pp. 4-5. (4) Memo, ACofS WPD GSUSA for TAG, 30 Jan 42, sub:
Far Eastern Situation, containing draft of rad, Marshall to Barnes. In
G-4/33861, Vol II. (5) Barnes Rpt, p, 32.
18. (l) Extract from Directive from General MacArthur, 30 Apr 42.
Hef 3(cc) to HTC Australia, Vol I. (2) Barnes fipt, pp. 33-38. (3) USASOS
Military History, pp. 17-20, 23-26. (4) Ltr, Hq USA7FE to CGs, 6th Army,
5t£ Air Force, and USASOS, 26 Feb 43, sub: Allocation of Administrative
Functions within United States Army Forces in the Far East. Exhibit A to
questionnaire submitted to GH$ SWPA by CG ASF and returned with replies,
undtd, no sub, originally attached to memo, CG ASF for CofS ASF, 3 Oct 43.
(Hereafter designated as Somervell questionnaire, 3 Oct 43.) In ASF Hq
file, Questionnaire re Somervell1 B Trip to SWP, 1943.
19. Brig Gen Arthur E. Wilson, formerly ACofS G-4 USAFIA, expressed
the opinion on 1 Jul 42 (before USASOS was established) that "the name of
the Service of Supply should not be confused with the United States Army
Forces in Australia11 and that USATIA should not be a service of supply,
but that the service of supply should be a separate organization, with
jurisdiction over the whole of SWPA, while, as movements were made to the
north, USAFIA would remain confined to continental Australia, fipt, Wilson

- 49 ­

to CG SOS, 1 Jul 42, subs Report on Australia. Inspection Trips.

In OCT EB file, POA ­

20. (1) Memo, ACofS G-3 USAPIA for CG USAPIA, 11 Jul 42, sub: His­ tory of G-3, USAFIA. App 4 to Barnes Rpt. (2) Development of the U. S.
Supply Base in Australia, p. 13. (3) The Army Air Forces in World War II.
I, 421-22, 717. (4) TJSASOS Military History, pp. 20-21.
21. (1) Barnes Rpt, pp. 20-21, 23a-24. (2) TJSASOS Military History,
pp. 4-5. (3) Memo, CofS USA for General Bryden, 21 Jan 42. In G-4/33861,
Vol II. (4) Ltr, CofS USA to CO USAPIA, 6 Peb 42. Same file. ( . 5 ) Ltr,
GofS USAPIA (Brig G-en Stephen J. Chamberlin) to ACofS G-4 GSUSA, 26 Peb
42. In OCT 563.5 Statistical Data. (6) Rpt, Brig Gen Arthur R. Wilson
to CG SOS, cited in n. 19. (7) Ltr, Chief QP, USAPIA (Brig Gen Arthur R.
Wilson), to CG SOS, 26 Mar 42. In OCT 541.2-558 StfPA.
22. (l) Barnes Rpt, pp. 16-18. General Barnes was originally a mem­ ber of all three committees. ^2) Report of Administrative Planning Com­ mittee to Accompany Report on Organization and Activities, USAPIA. App 22
to Barnes Rpt. (3) Development of the U. S. Supply Base in Australia, pp.
23* Ltr, TAG to CG USPIA, 20 Dec 41, cited in n. 7(5).

24. Ltr, TAG to CG USAPIA, 2 Peb 42, sub: Supply of United States
Army Porces in the Australian Area, AG 400( 1-31-42)MSC-D-M. In G-4/33861,
Vol II, There are two earlier drafts of this letter: (l) Memo, Chief,
Supply Br G-4 GSUSA (Col H. B. Holmes, Jr) for Asst Executive, G-4, 20 Jan
42, subs Amended Supply Paragrapns for Revision of G-4 Administrative Order
- Plan X, G-4/33861. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Supply. (2) Ltr, TAG to CG
USAFIJL^ 1 Peb 42, sub: Supply of United States Army Porces in the Austra­ lian Area, AG 400(l-31-42)MSC-D-M. In GSUSA G-4, Transportation Br file,
000.900 Australia, Vol I.
25, "X" as a designation for Australia was apparently unofficial, but
had been used as early as 20 Dec 41, when it appeared in the title of nG-4
Administrative Order - Plan X." Though the ACofS, War Plans Div, referred
thus to Australia on 3 January 42, the Deputy Director of Operations, SOS,
observed on 30 Apr 42 that "The designation ! X' has never been authorized
for official use and is unknown to most War Department agencies," and di­ rected the CofTS to eliminate the use of this term in his organization.
On 1 May 42 the Transportation Service notified the CO, Seattle Port of
Embarkation, that SUMAC to designate Australia should be added to a list
of secret code designations previously furnished; but on 3 May the Chief,
Traffic Sec, Transportation Service, informed the CG, SPPE, that "The term
'X1 is used to designate Australia in official correspondence." "X" appar­ ently continued to be used in this sense for a considerable time afterward,
(l) Memo, Deputy Director of Operations, SOS (Col R. C. L. Graham) for CofTS,
30 Apr 42, Improper Use of Code Words. (2) Memo, Col N. M. Coe, Transpor­ tation Service, to CO, Seattle Port of Embarkation, 1 May 42, sub: Code
Designations. (3) Memo, Chief, Traffic Sec, Transportation Service (Col

- 50 ­

N. H. Vissering), to CG STPB, 3 May 42. All in OCT 370.5- SWPA (clear file),
26. (1) Memo, ACofS WPD GSUSA (Brig Gen L. T. Gerow) for ACofS G-4
GSUSA, 3 Jan 42, sub; Defense Reserve Levels for "X," WPD 4630-15. In OOT
KB file, SWPA - Shipping. (2) Memo, Actg Executive, G-4 GSUSA, for Chiefs,
Transportation Br, Construction & Real Estate Br, and Supply Br, 10 Jan 42,
sub: Shipments for Forces in the Philippines. In GSUSA G-4, Transportation
Br file, 000.900 Philippines, Vol II.
27. Memo, ACofS G-4 GSUSA for QtfG, 16 Jan 42, sub: Supply of Troops in
Australia and in the Pacific Islands. In G-4/33861, Vol II.
28. 29. 30. Development of the U. S. Supply Base in Australia, p. 127.
Barnes Rpt, pp. 21-22.
Ltr, CofS USA to CG USAFIA, 6 Feb 42. In G-4/33861, Vol II.

31. (l) Development of the U. S. Supply Base in Australia, pp. 99-101.
(2) Rad, CG USAFFS to CofS USA, 8 Feb 42, WPD 3251-78. In OCT HB file,
SWPA - Philippines - Supply.
32. (l) Memo, ACofS WPD GSUSA (Brig Gen L. T. Gerow) for TAG, 17 Jan
42, sub: Far Eastern Situation, WPD 4560-9, containing draft of rad, Mar­ shall to CG USAFIA. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Philippines - Supply. (2)
Memo, same for same, 19 Jan 42, sub: Far Eastern Situation, WPD 4560-9,
containing draft of rad, Marshall to CG USAFIA. In OCT KB file, SWPA ­ Philippines - Organization. (3) Barnes Rpt, p. 23. (4) Development of
the U. S. Supply Base in Australia, p. 101.
33. (1) Blockade Running to the Philippines, prepared by Alfred J.
Bingham, K3 OCT, 1 Sep 47. In OCT E3 file, SlfPA. (2) Interview with Brig
Gen C. H. Arnold, formerly Chief Signal Officer, USAFIA, 29 Jun 49.
34. p. 106. (l) Ibid. (2) Development of the U. S. Supply Base in Australia,
(3) Barnes Rpt, pp. 23-23a.

35. (1) Blockade Running to the Philippines. (2) Memo, CofS USA for
CHO, 29 Jan 42, sub: Attached Message from General Wavell, WPD 4560-9.
In OCT HB file, SWPA - Philippines - Supply. (3) Memo, CHO for CofS USA,
29 Jan 42, sub: Gen. Wavell1 s Despatch re Use of Submarines, WPD 4560-9.
Same file. (4) Rad, CofS USA to CG, U. S. Army Forces in the Philippines,
30 Mar 42. Same file.
36. (1) Rad (par), CG USAFEE to CofS USA, 22 Feb 42, G-4/33817. In
GSUSA G-4, Transportation Br file, 000.900 Philippines, Vol II. (2) Rad,
CG USAFIA to CofS USA, 4 Mar 42, sub: PI Relief. In OCT HB file, SWPA ­ Philippines - Supply.
37 (l) Memo, ACofS G-4 GSUSA for CofS USA, 22 Feb 42, sub: Supply of
U. S. Forces in the Philippines, G-4/33817. In OCT KB file, SWPA - Philip­

- 51 ­

pines.- Supply. (2) Ltr, Chief, Transportation Br, G-4 GSUSA (Col C. P.
Gross), to CO NOPE, 23 Feb 42, sub: Supply of the Philippines. Same
number and file. (3) Memo, CofS USA for the President, 24 Feb 42, WPD
4560-26. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Philippines - Shipping. (4) Memo, ACofS
G-4 GSUSA to TAG, 6 Max 42, sub: Supplies for Philippines, containing draft
of rad to CG, USAFIA. In G-4/33861, Vol IV. (5) Blockade Banning to the
38. (1) Memot CofS USA for Chief, Code Sec, AGO, 27 Mar 42, SPRYA
541.2 Philippines, containing draft of rad to CG USABTB. In OCT- 370.5
SWPA. (2) Blockade Running to the Philippines. (3) Memo, Chief, Alloca­ tions and Schedules Sec, Transportation Service (Maj Richard D. Meyer),
for CofTS, 13 Apr 42. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Philippines - Shipping. (4)
Had, CofS USA to CG USAFFE, 12 Apr 42. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Philippines
- Supply. (5) Rad, CG USAPFB to CofS USA, 13 Apr 42. Same file. (6)
Memo, CG SOS to CG SFPE, 21 Apr 42. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Philippines ­ Shipping.
39. (l) Rpt, Brig Gen Arthur R. Wilson for CG SOS, 1 Jul 42, cited
in n. 19. (2) Blockade Running to the Philippines, quoting Report of Oper­ ations, Quartermaster General, United States Army, in the Philippine Cam­ paign, 1941-1942, by Brig Gen Charles C. Drake, Chief QM, U. S. Army Forces
in the Philippines.
40. The southern boundary was not defined but was apparently the inter­ section of the 110th and 159th meridians at the South Pole.
41. (1) Minutes of Meetings of the Combined Chiefs of Staff: Post-
Arcadia, 12th and 14th meetings, 17 and 31 Mar 42. (2) JCS 388/3, 6 May
44, sub: Summary of Boundaries Currently Used by U. S. Army and Navy; and
map attached to Appendix B of same, showing boundaries with date and auth­ ority for establishment. In OCT HB file, Overseas - General - Theaters,
Theater Commanders, and Code Names. (3) Memo, ACofS G-4 USAFIA for CG
USAFIA, 11 Jul 42, sub! History of G-3, USAFIA, 1 Jan - 30 Jun 42. App 4
to Barnes Rpt. (4) Had, CinC AFPAC to C§, U. S. Army Forces, Middle Paci­ fic, and OG, 10th Army, 26 Jul 45. In OCT 323.3 SWPA. From other sources
it appears that the eastern boundary drawn on 30 Mar 42 ran south from the
equator on the 165th meridian to 10° S, thence southwest to 17° S, 160° X,
and thence south, and that the straight boundary on the 159th meridian was
established on 1 Aug 42. Admiral King proposed on 18 Feb 43 that the bound­ ary run south from the equator on the 154th meridian to 8° S, thence south­ east to 13° S, 160° B, thence south. The line of 30 Mar 42 thus placed all
of the Solomon Islands in SWPA; that of 1 Aug 42 bisected Santa Isabel,
leaving Guadalcanal in SPA and Choiseul and Bougainville in SWPA; and the
proposed line of 18 Feb 43 placed all of the Solomons in SPA. General Mar­ shall did not approve the proposed change, (l) Memo, CHO for CofS USA, 18
Feb 43, sub: Development of Operations in South-Southwest Pacific, WDCSA
350.4 SPA. (2) Memo, CofS USA for CNO, 19 Feb 43, sub: same, WDCSA 381
SPA( 2-19-43). Both in GSUSA' file.

- 52 ­

42. (1) Barnes Bpt, p. 33. (2) USASOS Military History. (3) Cir­ cular, TAG, 27 Apr 42, sub: Address of General Douglas MacArthur, U. S.
Army, AG 201 MacArthor, Gen.(4-24-42)OA, In OOT HB, Gross file, Australia.
(4) Ltr, TAG to CGs, AGP, AAF, and SOS, 19 Jul 42, sub: Notification of
Change of GH<}, Southwest Pacific Area. In OCT 323.3 SWPA. '
43. (1) Ltr, Hq USASOS, addressee unnamed, 23 Feb 43, sub: Organiza­ tion and Administrative Information Incidental to the Establishment of
Headquarters, United States Army Forces in the Par Bast. Quoted in USASOS
Military History, pp. 23-26. (2) Ltr, Hq USAPPB to CGs, 6th Army, 5th Air
Force, and USASOS, 26 Peb 43, sub: Allocation of Administrative Functions
within United States Army Forces in the Par East, cited in n. 18(4). (3)
Rpt, G-4 USAFFE, addressee not named, 15 Apr 43, sub: G-4 Periodic Report,
Quarter Ending March 31, 1943 (except Air Corps Technical Supply). In ASP
Planning Div file, 12c G-4 Reports - SWPA.
44. (l) Somervell questionnaire, 3 Oct 43, questions 2-7b, 15. (2)
Memo, CG ASP for CofS USA, 3 Oct 43. In GSUSA file, WDCSA 350.4 So Pac
45. Had, CinC SWPA to CofS USA, 31 Jul 43, Cm-In 22577(31 Jul 43).
In ASF Hq file, Chief of Staff.
46. General MacArthur1 3 headquarters was at Manila, Admiral Nimitz's
at Guam; and it was therefore impossible to maintain contact by daily con­ ference or to merge the two staffs.
47. In Apr 1945 the general staff consisted of Lt Gen Richard K.
Sutherland, CofS; Brig Gen Bonner P. Fellers, ACofS G-l; Brig Gen Charles
A. Willoughby, ACofS G-2; Maj Gen Stephen J. Chamberlin, ACofS G-3; and
Maj Gen Lester J. Whitlock, ACofS G-4.
48. (l) "M«Arthur Retains Staff for Wider Job." In New York Times.
6 May 45; clipping in OCT HB file, SWPA - Clippings & Releases. (2)
Diary, Pacific Sec, Theater Br, Planning Div, ASP, 16 Jun 45. In ASP
Planning Div file, Diary POA. (3) "Divided Command Seen as a Pacific
Problem. Army, Navy and Air Forces Control Not Unified but Coordinated,11
by Hanson V. Baldwin. In New York Times. 29 Jul 45; clipping in OCT HB
file, Central Pacific - Papers & Releases. (4) "Washington Order." In
New York Times. 5 Aug 45; clipping in OCT HB file, SWPA - Clippings &
Releases. (5) Rad, CinC APPAC to V/D, 3 Sep 45. In G-3 Journal, Hq SWPA.
(6) Information from Capt Robert R. Smith, Pacific Sec, HD, SSUSA. (7)
Rad, Marshall to MacArthur, received at Manila 15 Aug 45, cited in Lt Col
D. W. Eddy, "Manila and the Capitulation." In Signals: Journal of the
Army Signal Association, Vol I, No. 5 (May-Jun 1947), p. 46. General
orders announcing most of these changes have not been found. Authority
for dates of transfer of GHQ,, APO 500, is Numerical Listing of APOs, Jan
1942 - Nov 1947, prepared by Army Postal Service and Strength Accounting
Branches, undtd.


- 53 ­

49. (1) Rpt, Lt Cols Alfred W. Parry, Jr, and Rudolph G. Lehnau, Con­ trol Div, ASF, 12 May 43, sub: Report on Inspection Trip, Southwest Pacific
Area and South Pacific Area, 16 March to 4 May 43, p. 3. In OCT HB file,
SWPA - Miscellaneous. (2) "Washington Order." In New York Times. 5 Aug
45; clipping in OCT HB file, SWPA - Clippings & Releases.
50. Army Transportation Corps Weekly News Letter, issued " b y Office of
Technical Information, 20 Aug 46. In OCT HB, Topical file, TC General ­ Biographies.
51. (1) HTC Hq, Mar-Dec 1942, p. 8. (2) HTC Australia, I, 4, 60. (3)
Barnes Rpt, p. 39. U ) GHQ, SWPA GO 17, 20 Jul 42. In 0-3 Journal. (5)
Numerical Listing of APOs, data concerning APO 707.
52. (1) HTC Australia, II, 1-3, 7. (2) USASOS Military History, pp.
20, 28, 32, 33, 35, 40. (3) Development of the U. S. Supply Base in Aus­ tralia, p. 15.
53. Numerical Listing of APOs, data concerning APO 707, cited in n. 48.
54. Ltr, CinC SWPA to CofS USA, 16 May 45, sub: Recommendation for
Award of the Oakleaf Cluster to the Distinguished Service Medal. In AG
201 Prink, James L.
55. USASOS GO 44, 12 Feb 45. Ref 1 in HTC Hq, Peb 1945.
56. Interviews with Brig Gen Jonathan L. Holman, formerly CofS USASOS,
30 Jun 49; Brig Gen A. Robert Ginsburgh, formerly G-l USASOS, 2 May 49; and
Col Harry H. Baird, formerly G-l USAFFE, 29 Jun 49. The quoted expressions
are from Gen Holman.
57. USASOS GO 93, 20 Dec 43, sub: Mission and Major Functions of Con­ trol Branch. Exhibit 5 to G-4 Periodic Report, USASOS, Quarter Ending 31
December 1943, undtd. In AG 319.l(31Dec43)(2).
58. Interview with Brig Gen Jonathan L. Holman, cited in n. 56.
Ref 2 to

59. USASOS GO 166, 30 May 45, sub: Assumption of Command. HTC Hq, May 1945.

60 (1) AFWESPAC, Semi-Annual Re-port. 1 Jun - 31 Dec 45 (n.p.,n.d.),
p. vii. (2) APPAC GO 3, 1 Jun 45. In same, p. v. (3) "MacArthur Sets Up
Supply Command." In New York Times. 20 Jun 45; clipping in OCT HB file,
SWPA - Clippings & Releases. (4) HTC Hq, Nov 1946, p. 1. During the same
month the U. S. Army Forces, Middle Pacific (AFMIDPAC), was established,
consisting of Central Pacific Base Command (CEHPACBACOM), which included
the Hawaiian Islands, the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, Okinawa, and the
South Pacific Area, and Western Pacific Base Command (WESPACBACOM), which
included the Marianas, the Palaus, and Iwo Jima. Operations of AFMIKPAC
belong to the history of Pacific Ocean Areas (the former Central Pacific

- 54 ­

and South. Pacific commands) and are not included in this study.
61. AFWESPAC, Semi-Annual Report. 1 Jun - 31 Dec 45, p. viii.
62. (l) Miscellaneous Ltr 170, OCT, 31 Dec 46, sub: Far East Command,
TCADM 323.3. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Miscellaneous. (2) HTC Hq, Jan 1947,
p. 1.

- 55 ­


Local Commands as Related to Transportation

Service policies in the Southwest Pacific .Area were formed in head­ quarters; service operations centered in ports and were controlled by the
commands that controlled the ports. No headquarters of the services of
supply as a whole (as distinguished from single services) was established
at any inland point.
The ports formed two classes: (l) "supply points" (such as Merauke,

Morotai, and Zamboanga), which remained under tactical commands and were
never transferred to the services of supply; and (2) ports in which the
U. S. Army established "base command11 headquarters, "base section" head­ quarters, "base" headquarters, or "port headquarters." fined in this chapter to ports of the second class.
Of the twenty-two ports in the second class the eight Australian ports,
Port Moresby, and Milne Bay were never occupied by the Japanese. The other
Attention is con­

twelve ports (six in New Guinea, five in the Philippines, and one in Oki­ nawa) were seized from the Japanese. The service operations of such a

port were normally controlled by a task force or other tactical command
from the time of the initial landing till the port and the adjacent terri­ tory were cleared of enemy forces. If the port was transferred to the con­

trol of the services of supply and if a local service command had been
established by the tactical command, the service commsjid was turned over
to the services of supply. If such a command had not been established,
This chapter is limited to the headquar­

the services of supply set one up.

ters of local commands taken over or established by the U. S. Army services

- 56 ­

of supply.
Commands of the U. S. Army services of supply located in the twenty-
two ports of the second class, with the exception of Naha, were designated
by either numbers or letters. Headquarters of a local command of the U. S.
Army services of supply were located in, and controlled, each of the ports,
and more or less extensive adjacent territory, between the dates indicated
in the following table. No numbers or letters other than those included
in the table were assigned to local headquarters of the services of supply.
Designation Location Darwin Townsvilie Brisbane Melbourne (Adelaide (Cairns Perth Sydney Milne Bay Oro Bay Beli-Beli Bay Port Moresby Lae Finschhafen Hollandia Biak Tacloban Lingayen Gulf Unassigned Batangas Cebu City Unassigned Manila ITaha 5 5 5 5 3 7 3 15 20 13 27 6 19 15 7 20 25 13 11 23 5 5 13 31 Dates Jan 42 ­ 9 Jul 44 Jan 42 - 20 Jun 45 Jan 42 - 20 Jun 45 Jan 4 2 - 1 Jun 44 Mar 4 2 - 8 Jan 43 Sep 4 3 - 7 Feb 44 Mar 42 - 10 Jan 43 Mar 42 - 30 Nov 46 Aug 42 - 25 Jul 45 Dec 4 2 - 7 Sep 45 Apr 43 ­ - 45 Jun 42 ­ 7 Sep 45 Sep 43 ­ 7 Sep 45 Nov 43 - 30 Apr 46 Jun 44 - 25 Jan 46 Aug 4 4 - 6 Apr 46 Dec 44 ­ Feb 45 ­ Apr 45 - 10 Jun 45 Apr 45 - 26 May 47 May 4 5 - 1 5 Feb 46 Apr 45 - 10 Jun 45 Feb 45 ­ Jul 45 ­

2 3 4


6 7



Classification and description of these commands and headquarters are
excessively difficult, involving the presentation of a mass of complicated
facts, relations, and changes which cannot be stated simply, summarized
briefly, or retained by an ordinary memory. The nature of the task is

suggested by the following chronology:

5 3 15 6 20 20 15 13 8 10 21 27 31 15 15 7 21 15 15 15 11 11 7 13 13 24

Jan 42 Mar 42 Apr 42 Jun 42 Aug 42 Aug 42 Oct 42 Dec Jan Jan Apr Apr May Aug Aug Sep Sep Nov Nov Nov Jan Jan Feb Feb Feb Mar 42 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 44 44 44 44 44 44

1 Jun 44 1 Jun 44 1 Jun 44 7 Jun 44 25 9 23 20 16 Jun Jul Jul Aug Sep 44 44 44 44 44

22 Oct 44 1 Nov 44 11 13 25 16 29 13 Nov Dec Dec Jan Jan Feb 44 44 44 45 45 45

Base Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 established Base Sections 5 (Adelaide) and 6 established Base Section 7 established Detachment of 2d Port Headquarters arrived Port Moresby U. S. Advanced Base established at Port Moresby U. S. Advanced Sub-Base established at Milne Bay Combined Operational Service Command in Australian New Gui­ nea established Port Detachment E established at Oro Bay Base Section 5 (Adelaide) discontinued Base Section 6 discontinued Sub-Bases A and B established Sub-Base C established Sub-Base D established U. S. Advanced Base redesignated Advance Section (ADSEC) Sub-Bases A, B, and D redesignated Advance Bases A, B, and D Base Section 5 reestablished at Cairns 23d Port Headquarters established at Lae Headquarters, Intermediate Section (INTERSEC), established Advance Bases A, B, and D redesign&ted Bases A, B, and D and placed under INTERSEC Bases E and F established and placed under ADSEC USASOS Pioneer Task Force No, 1 established Base E transferred to USASOS Pioneer Task Force No. 1 Base Section 5 (Cairns) discontinued USASOS Pioneer Task Force No. 1 discontinued Base E transferred to INTERSEC USASOS Base G Command established temporarily on Goodenough Island Base Section established in Australia Base Section 1, 2, 3, and 7 redesignated Bases 1, 2, 3, and 7 and assigned to Base Section Base Section 4 discontinued USASOS Base G Command redesignated Base G and placed directly under Headquarters, USASOS Base G transferred to INTERSEC 3ase 1 discontinued Array Service Command (ASCOM) established Base H established under INTERSEC Base K Headquarters established temporarily at Hollandia under ASCOM Base K Headquarters transferred to Tacloban under ASCOM Base M Headquarters established temporarily at Hollandia under ASCOM Base M Headquarters transferred to Tacloban under ASCOM Base 3 discontinued Base K Headquarters transferred to USASOS at Tacloban Base M Headquarters transferred to San Fabian under ASCOM Base X established at Manila ASCOM discontinued

- 58 ­

13 13 13 13 15 15 26 1 1 5 11 20 21 23 5 10 16 19 25 26 31 20 7 6 15 1 1 5 5 16 25 15 6 30 23 1 30 23 26 26

Feb Feb Fe"b Feb Fe"b Feb Mar Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr May Jun Jun Jul Jul Jul Jul Aug Sep Oct Oct Nov Nov Nov Nov Jan Jan Fe"b Apr Apr May Jul Nov May May May

45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 47 47 47

Luzon Base Section (LU3SEC) established Base X discontinued Base M transferred, to LUBSEC Base R Headquarters established temporarily at Tacloban Base Section redesignated Australia Base Section (ABSEC) INTiiRSEC redesignated New Guinea Base Section (MJGSEC) Base S Headquarters established temporarily at Tacloban LUBSEC discontinued Philippine Base Sec (PHIBSEC) established Base T Headquarters established temporarily at Tacloban Base Q, Headquarters established temporarily at Tacloban Base X reestablished Base M Headquarters transferred to San Fernando Base R Headquarters transferred to 3atangas 3ase S Headquarters transferred to Cebu City Base Q, Headquarters and Base T Headquarters disbanded at Tacloban without assignment Base X discontinued a second time Bases 2 and 7 discontinued Base A discontinued Base X reestablished a second time Island Command, Okinawa, transferred from Pacific Ocean Areas to ASCOM-I, AFWESPAC HUGSEC discontinued Bases B, D, and E discontinued PHIBSEC discontinued ASCOM-I redesignated Okinawa Base Command (OBASCOM) Base R redesignated Sub-Base X and placed under Base X Base S redesignated Sub-Base K and placed under Base K Sub-Base X redesignated Sub-Base R Sub-Base £ redesignated Sub-Base S ABSEC redesignated Australian Base Command (ABCOM) Base G discontinued Sub-Base S discontinued Base H discontinued Base F discontinued Philippine Base Command (PHIBCOM) established OBASCOM redesignated Ryukyus Command (BYCOM) ABCOM discontinued Base X discontinued a third time PHIBCOM absorbed by Headquarters, Philippines-Hyukyus Command. Sub-Base R discontinued

This chronology, which contains only a few items selected from later
pages of this chapter to illustrate problems in terminology, refers to
thirteen kinds of commands. Regarding the terminology of these commands
the following preliminary observations may be made:

5 " . 9

"Port headquarters" and "port detachment" were misnomers, to an ex­ tent that will not be realized without detailed explanation.
"Base command" was applied to (l) the Okinawa Base Command, 15 Octo­ ber 1945 - 1 July 1946; (2) the Australian Base Command, 16 Janu­ ary - 30 November 1946; (3) the Philippine Base Command, 23 May
1946 - 26 May 1947.
"Base section" was applied to (l) the seven U. S. Army service head­ quarters in the several Australian ports, 5 January 1942 - 1 June
1944; (2) the single U. S. Army service headquarters for all Aus­ tralia, designated Base Section, 1 June 1944 - 15 February 1945;
(3) the Luzon Base Section, 13 February - 31 March 1945, the New
Guinea 3ase Section, 15 February - 20 August 1945, the Australia
Base Section, 15 February 1945 - 16 January 1946, and the Philip­ pine Base Section, 1 April - 6 October 1945
"Advanced base" was applied to (l) U. S. Advanced Base, 20 August
1942 - 15 August 1943; (2) three U. S. Army service headquarters
in New Guinea ports, 15 Augast - 15 November 1943.
"Base" was applied to (l) seven U. S. Army service headquarters in
New Guinea, 15 November 1943 - 30 April 1946: (2) four TJ. S. Army
service headquarters in Australia, 1 Jun 1944 - 19 July 1945; (3)
seven U. S. Army service headquarters in the Philippines, 16 Sep­ tember 1944 - 26 May 1947.
"Sub-base" was applied to (l) four U. S. Army service headquarters
in New Guinea, 21 April - 15 August 1943; (2) various small U. S.
Army service headquarters in Australia and the Philippines, each
subordinate to a larger local U. S. Army service headquarters.
"Advanced sub-base" was applied to U. S. Advanced Sub-Base (Milne
Bay), 20 August 1942 - 21 April 1943, and (perhaps informally) to
other New Guinea headquarters during the same period.
"Advance section" was applied only to Advance Section (in New Gui­ nea) , 15 August 1943 - 1 March 1944, apparently coordinate with
headquarters then contemplated that were established as Inter­ mediate Section (New Guinea), 15 November 1943 - 15 February 1945,
and Base Section (Australia), 1 June 1944 - 15 February 1945.
"Army Service Command" referred to a temporary U. S. Army service
headquarters designed to operate, and operating, under a tactical
command and not under the services of supply.
Combined Operational Service Command, USASOS Pioneer Task Force No.
1, and USASOS Base G Command were unique in the theater.
All these terms, as used in the Southwest Pacific Area, will be in

least danger of being mi sunder stood if attention is confined entirely to
(1) official definitions of them as common nouns in directives and manuals
issued by SWPA and (2) deductions from their recorded official use as pro­ per nouns designating headquarters established in SWPA. Any effort to
define or use the terms in conformity to their definition or use by the
War Department or by theaters other than SWPA will result in needless con­ fusion.
Base Headquarters and Headquarters Related Thereto
The twenty-three numbered or lettered headquarters listed at the
beginning of this chapter, and the headquarters at Naha, with the terri­ tories, personnel, and facilities controlled by them, may be loosely desig­ nated as "bases" except in contexts requiring greater precision.
The base headquarters, with such service headquarters as were inter­ mediate between them and Headquarters, USAFIA, USASOS, AFWSSFAC, and
PHILRYCOM, formed four groups, each having characteristics of its own.
The Australian bases were within the Australian Zone of Interior and sup­ ported operations mainly in Hew Guinea. The New Guinea bases were estab­ lished for temporary support of combat forces in their vicinity and later
in the Philippines; their facilities were built up on primitive and unde­ veloped coasts and were abandoned to the jungle when no longer needed.
The Philippine bases were established'for semipermanent use in the recon­ quest and rehabilitation of the Philippines and in support of operations
in Japan and on the mainland of Asia. The Okinawa base was established to
control service activities in Okinawa and adjacent islands and to serve as
a station between the Philippines and Japan.


Bases In Australia
In effect the first U. S. Army base in Australia was established at
Brisbane on 3 January 1942, when Headquarters, USFIA, removed to Melbourne,
leaving at Brisbane Headquarters Detachment, USFIA (set up by General Order
No. 6, Headquarters, USFIA, on 24 December 1941). On 5 January 1942 Gen­ eral Order No. 1, Headquarters, USAPIA, established Base Sections 1 (Dar­ win), 2 (Townsville), 3 (Brisbane), and 4 (Melbourne), and Operational
Base No. 1 (Soerabaja, Java, abandoned in February 1942). The commanding
officers of the four base sections were charged with control of all U # S.
troops and supplies within their sections, and of such facilities as were
allocated to the U. S. Army by Australia. Organization of base section
headquarters at Townsville and Brisbane was completed on 13 January 1942.
On 3 March 1942, by General Order No. 20, Headquarters, USAFIA, Base
Sections 5 (Adelaide) and 6 (Perth) were established, and it was directed
that base section commanders (l) "provide for the quartering, administra­ tion, supply, hospitalization, and evacuation of all United States troops
received in, or assigned to, their respective area," (2) "receive all United
States supplies arriving at their ports,11 and store and distribute these in
accordance with instructions issued by Headquarters, USAPIA, and (3) route
all communications with the War Department through Headquarters, USAFIA.
Each base section included one port and other installations. It was desired
that base section commanders, in addition to their other duties, act as
port commanders, and that the staffs of the ports act also as staffs of
the base sections. Fort headquarters were to be organized according to T/0
10-260-1; pending the arrival of a complete port headquarters or portion
thereof, the port commanders were to assign available personnel to key

- 62 ­

positions only; and no port was to be "developed beyond the strength
necessary to operate under existing requirements." Organization of base

section headquarters at Perth was completed on 8 March, and at Adelaide on
11 March.2
On 15 April 1942, by General Order Ho. 38, Headquarters, USAFIA, the
order of 3 March 1942 was revoked, Base Section 7 (Sydney) was established
(organization was completed 19 April), and the boundaries of the seven
base sections were defined. Base Sections 4 and 7 were exactly coextensive
Base Section 1 was bounded

with Victoria and New South Wales respectively.

on the east by the 138th meridian and on the south by a line from Broome
to 21° S, 138° B. Base Sections 2 and 3 constituted Queensland, divided
Base Sections 5 and 6 constituted
(Slight changes in

by a line drawn due west from Emu Park#

the rest of Australia, divided at the 129th meridian. some of these boundaries were made later.)

The former language regarding

the servicing of troops and the reception, storage, and distribution of
supplies and equipment was repeated in substance. The relation between

the base section commanders and the chiefs of services in Headquarters,
USAFIA, was set forth as follows:
6. In accordance with policies set forth by the Chiefs of Services
and the Chief of Transportation, USAFIA, who are authorized direct contact
with their technical staffs in each base section, the base section com­ manders will co-ordinate and administratively supervise the various activ­ ities of the ports, and the depot and maintenance functions of the Engineer
Department, Signal Corps, Ordnance Department, Chemical Warfare Service,
Medical Department and the Quartermaster Corps. ...
7. £. The technical and supply staff, whose members receive techni­ cal instruction, and in some cases operational instructions, direct from
their chiefs in Headquarters, USAFIA, include the Ordnance Officer, Sur­ geon, Quartermaster, Engineer Officer, Aviation Officer, Chemical Warfare
Officer, Signal Officer, Superintendent of Army Transport Service, and
the Regulating Officer and his assistants. The Regulating Officer of a
Base Section will regulate transportation of all types, according to general

- 63 ­

policies and specific orders issued by the Chief of Transportation, Head­ quarters, USAFIA*
8. In dealing with the several technical and supply staff members
listed in Paragraph 7c, the Base Section Commander will not interfere with
the technical and operational instructions issued by the Chiefs of Services,
Headquarters, United States Army Forces in Australia, ...
10. The base Section Commander has administrative control over and
responsibility for, all service troops, not assigned to a tactical organ­ ization, within his base section. The term service troops includes per­ sonnel of units of any branch of the services assigned to the base section,
port and camp overhead.
The authority of the Chief of Transportation Service in base sections
was clarified by General Order No. 40, Headquarters, USAFIA, issued on the
same date and containing the following:
In general, a Regulating Officer and a Superintendent of Army Transport
Service will be assigned to each Base Section Headquarters, on the staff
of the Base Section Commander, They and their assistants will receive
technical and operational instructions directly from the Chief of Trans­ portation Service, who, through these representatives at each Base Sec­ tion, will move and ship troops, supplies, and equipment as ordered. The
type of transportation to be used for such movements or shipments will be
selected by the Chief of Transportation Service and not by the Base Sec­ tion Commander.4
On 16 July 1942 General Order No. 76, Headquarters, USAFIA, rescinded
General Order No. 38 of 15 April 1942 and made minor changes in the boun­ daries of Base Sections 1-7# Most of the language of General Order No. 38

in regard to the authority of base section commanders was repeated without
change. Effort was made, however, to clarify further the status of service
officers, as follows:
7. c , . The technical and supply staff, whose members receive certain
instructions directly from their Chiefs of Headquarters, USAFIA, include
the Ordnance Officer, Surgeon, Quartermaster, Engineer, Aviation Officer,
Chemical Officer, Signal Officer, Finance Officer, Superintendent of Army
Transport Service, and the Regulating Officer.
8. In dealing with the several technical and supply Staff Officers
listed in paragraph 7 ct the Base Section Commander will not interfere
with the technical and certain operational instructions issued by the

- 64 ­

Chiefs of Services, Headquarters, USAPIA. However, the Staff Officer is
subject to the orders of the Base Section Commander. Operational instruc­ tions from this Headquarters will generally "be transmitted to the Base
Section Commander. Technical instructions will be given directly by the
Chiefs of Services of this Headquarters to the Base Section Staff Officer
concerned; and in addition, certain operational procedures may be trans­ mitted by the Chiefs of Services directly to the Base Section Staff Officer.
These procedures will include such subjects as design, inspection, purchases,
reports, supplies, and transportation service matters with which the Base
Section Commander will not be directly involved. The technical and supply
Staff Members are responsible for keeping the Base Section Commander in­ formed at all times of their whereabouts, activities, and instructions from
their respective Chiefs of Services.5
On 29 August 1942 General Order Ho. 10, Headquarters, USASOS, rescinded
the provision of 15 April 1942 for a regulating officer in each base section
and substituted the following provisions:
2. Transportation Service will provide, at each Base Section Headquar­ ters, a Transportation Officer, who will be on the staff of the Base Section
Commanding Officer. Such Officer will be responsible for Motor, Rail, and
Air Transportation; he and his assistants will receive technical and oper­ ational instructions direct from the Chief of Transportation Service, who,
through these representatives at each Base Section, will move and ship
troops, supplies, and equipment, as ordered.
3« The Transportation Officer assigned to Base Section 3' will, in
addition to his other duties, handle liaison between Transportation Service
USASOS, SWPA, and Advanced L.H.Q.. AEq, Allied Land Forced/.
4. All references to the designation "Regulating Officer" used in
publications issued by this Headquarters are hereby amended to read "Trans­ portation Officer."6
It will be noted that the "transportation officer11 of a base section had
no control over water transportation, which continued to be in charge of
the superintendent of Army Transport Service. The Chief of Transportation

Service was thus represented in a base section by two officers, neither
subordinate to the other.
In effect this situation was corrected by USASOS Regulations No. 60-5
of 12 January 1943, which authorized the Chief Transportation Officer,
after consultation with the appropriate base commander, to provide at each

- 65 ­

"base or sub-base headquarters a transportation officer, an air transport
officer, a motor transport officer, a rail transport officer, a small ships
superintendent, a superintendent of Army Transport Service, and a transpor­ tation supply officer, who were to "be assigned to the Transportation Sec­ tion of the base headquarters. It was implied, "but not stated, that the
last six of these officers, or as many of them as were assigned to a given
"base headquarters, were subordinate to the transportation officer in the
base headquarters.
The same regulation provided that the Chief Transportation Officer,
Headquarters, USASOS, would assign ships and floating equipment "to such
Base Sections or other installations as will best serve the military estab­ lishment11; that he would furnish commanding officers of base sections and
other installations with lists of all floating equipment assigned to their
commands and would inform them as to what items were under the supervision
of the Water Transport Division or the Small Ships Division in the Office
of the Chief Transportation Officer; that- equipment assigned to Small Ships
Division would normally operate within the confines of a base and that ATS
ships assigned to Water Transport Division would operate between bases;
that changes of assignment of floating equipment would be made only with
approval of Headquarters, USASOS, except in emergency cases which would be
promptly reported; and that operational instructions to base sections would
be issued by the Chief Transportation Officer, Similar provisions were

made in regard to "subordinate headquarters" of USASOS, which had been estab­ lished in New Guinea.
In late 1943 a sweeping change was made in the organization of at least
three base sections. Available documents are not adequate to make clear the

-66 ­

purpose, the dates, and the authority for these changes, and confusion
is increased by apparent contradictions among documents. These difficul­ ties require statement in chronological order.
(1) On 2 September 1943 a regulation concerning the mission, organ­

ization, and methods of operation of "base sections and advance sections
required that all operational instructions from chiefs of services to
their respective staff officials in the base sections be transmitted
through command channels to the base section commanders. Direct communi­ cation continued to be authorized for technical instructions.
(2) An undated nine-page document, without .APO number or other local
identification, with the title "Organization & Standard Operating Procedure,
Base Port Command,u states in elaborate detail the mission, organization,
and functions of an unnamed port command, which consisted of a "base trans­ portation officer (base port commander),11 an executive officer, a water
division, and a traffic division. The traffic division.contained cargo

movement, air transportation, rail transportation, and troop movement sec­ tions. The document is signed H C. S. Maclntyre Lt Col TC Base Port Commander."

Lt. Col. Charles S. Maclntyre was Transportation Officer at Base 3 (Brisbane)
from 1 July to 8 October 1943, and later in October was Chief of the Water
Transportation Division, Office of the Chief Transportation Officer. The
context of the document suggests that it was issued in October 1943. These
facts seem to confine the document within the first eight days of October
1943. The system described had not been in effect in Base Section 3 on 11

August 1943, when an entirely different system, like that outlined on 12
January 1943, had been announced for Base Section 3.9 The document may

have been only an exceptionally detailed statement of procedure for Base

- 67 ­

Section 3, but its use of the term "Base Port Command" is probably the
earliest occurring in records consulted in the preparation of this study,
(3) A letter of Headquarters, USASOS, 19 October 1943, subject:
Reorganization of Base Section, amended by a letter of 24 October 1943,
subject: Base Section Reorganization, directed base sections to reorganize
in accordance with a chart showing a base section organized into a base
port command, a base service command, and one or more base area commands*
No copy of either letter has been found, but the following explanation of
the new system was given in a USASOS letter addressed to chiefs of all
sections in Headquarters, USASOS, on 25 October 1943:
3 ,&. The primary function of the heads of Base Technical and supply
services is command of their respective services, their special staff
functions being incidental and secondary to their operating functions.
The several services concerned are grouped in a Base Service Command, the
Commander of which is the directing head of a completely integrated and
correlated Base Service*
J t > . The new Port Command organization is similar to the Base Service
Command organization in that the Port Commander likewise is the head of a
completely integrated and correlated Base Transportation service,
£. The new Base Area Command provides for grouping of camps, sta­ tions, and staging areas and replacement depots under a Base Area Commander,
More than one Base Area Command may be organized when necessary to provide
for proper administration of widely separated localities, ,..
6. Base Sections One, Four and Five are to operate with skeleton
organizations of the type prescribed above in order to provide the basis
for any expansion that may be necessary in the future,^
(4) Base Section 7 (Sydney) was reorganized in October 1943 into a
base port command and a base service command; a base area command is not
mentioned. Staff Memorandum No. 76, Base Section 3, 28 October 1943, sub­

ject: Reorganization Base Section Three, effective 1 November 1943, estab­ lished in Base Section 3 (Brisbane) a base port command, a base service
command, and two base area commands (Brisbane and Rockh&mpton)# Base

- 68 ­

Section 4 (Melbourne) was organized in a port command, a service command,
and an area command on 19 November 1943. n The New Guinea bases were

instructed on 6 November 1943 to establish in each base the three-command


On 21 November 1943 a revision of Regulations No. 60-5, Headquar­

ters, USASOS, stated that the Chief Transportation Officer, "after consulta­ tion or communication with the appropriate section or base commander,11 would
designate in sections or bases (l) a transportation officer, (2) officers
for a water transport section, a land transport section, a troop and cargo
movement section, and a supply section, and, (3) when required, "construc­ ting officers." Transportation officers and their assistants would receive

technical instructions direct from the Chief Transportation Officer, USASOS."
This document makes no reference to port, service, or area commands or to
operational instructions. No other mention of "constructing officers"
The apparent discrep­

under the Chief Transportation Officer has been found.

ancy between this regulation and the status of the base sections reorganized
under the three-command system is not explained.
In spite of the revised Regulations No. 60-5, it seems safe to de­ scribe the system established at Brisbane on 1 November 1943 as represent­ ing, in outline, the system established at Townsville and Sydney. The

Base Port Command at Brisbane, commanded by the Base Section Transportation
Officer, consisted of "all troops, activities and installations relating
to the Transportation Corps and the operations of the ports within the
Base Section, including supplies and equipment in transit and the transpor­ tation of personnel and things." The Base Service Command, under a com­

manding officer detailed by Headquarters, Base Section 3, consisted of
"all troops, activities, installations and establishments within the Base



Section pertaining to supply and the services" (specifically Base Chemical
Service, Base Engineer Service, Base Ordnance Service, Base Quartermaster
Service, Base Signal Service, and Base Medical Service). The two Base Area

Commands, under commanding officers detailed " b y Headquarters, Base Section
3, consisted of "all troops, activities and establishments connected with
the operation and administration of replacement depots, camps, staging
areas and all other administrative functions of the Base Section not assigned
to the Base Port Command and the Base Service Command." The Adjutant Gen­

eral, the Chaplain, the Finance Officer, the Inspector General, the Judge
Advocate, and the War Bonds and Insurance Officer functioned for the entire
base section and were coordinated by the Executive Officer. All communica­ tions to higher or equal headquarters, originating within any of the com­ mands, were to be prepared without signature and submitted to the Adjutant
General for dispatch. Under the Base Port Commander and Transportation
Officer, as announced on 8 November 1943, were a Water Division, a Land
Division (with Hail, Air, and Motor sections), a Movement Office (with Cargo
Movement and Troop Movement sections), a Supply Division, a Purchasing and
Contracting Section, and a Baggage Section. An organization chart of 6
November 1943 shows these divisions, an Assistant for Operations and an
Administrative Officer, and also a Labor Pool (containing the 323d and 324th
Quartermaster Boat Companies), as well as a smaller transportation office
in thefiockhamptonArea.14
No comment on the implications of these changes is found. It seems

safe, however, to assert that direct communication was not permitted between
the Chief Transportation Officer, USASOS, and the Base Port Commander and
Transportation Officer, Base Section 3. The system at Townsville and


Sydney may have "been the same, but available records do not settle the
A further change was made on 1 January 1944 when motor vehicles and
their operating personnel were directed to " b e assigned in each base to a
separate Motor Command, independent of the port commander and responsible
only to the base section commander. A Base Motor Command was established
at Melbourne 4 February 1944, at Brisbane 15 February 1944, at Sydney 16
February, and at Townsville 24 March.15 The Base Motor Command at Mel­

bourne was established in pursuance of the USASOS Organization Manual, Part
II, 1 January 1944. The earliest available definition of the Base Motor

Command is a revision of this manual dated 15 Aagust 1944, according to
which the mission of the Base Motor Command was "to provide motor transpor­ tation for the movement of troops and supplies," and its major functions
were to plan for the use of motor vehicles, to operate "the Base Motor Vehi­ cle Pool and Sub-Pools," to control vehicle operations to insure maximum
efficient operations, and to assure proper maintenance of motor vehicles.
The base motor commander could direct the base Quartermaster to furnish
drivers and the base Ordnance officer to provide 3d-, 4th-, and 5th-echelon
maintenance, and under certain conditions could commandeer unused "organic
vehicles" and "casual drivers" from tactical organizations stationed in
the base section.
On 3 March 1944 General Frink directed all section and base commanders
to "institute, without delay, every possible consolidation in the storage
of supplies and in the operation of the various other facilities and util­ ities under their control," and to report as of 1 April the consolidations
accomplished or in progress, "together with the resultant savings in military

- 71 ­

and civilian personnel and service units."

Commanders were warned that

there was already a shortage of service personnel and civilian manpower
and that many service troop units, key officers, and enlisted men would
soon " b e transferred to new bases and activities. General Prink explained

that "logistic support of coming operations" would require USASOS to employ
its means with the utmost efficiency and that "operations in the forward
areas necessarily will have precedence over those of less importance toward
the rear.11 By this time two of the original seven base sections had al­ ready been discontinued — Base Section 5 (Adelaide) on 8 January 1943 and
and Base Section 5, reestab­

Base Section 6 (Perth) on 10 January 1943 —

lished at Cairns on 7 September 1943, had again been discontinued on 7 Feb­ ruary 1944. 18
By General Order Ho. 65, Headquarters, USASOS, 4 May 1944, effective
1 June 1944, Base Section, USASOS, was established with headquarters at
Brisbane; Base Sections 1 (Darwin), 2 (fownsville), 3 (Brisbane), and 7
(Sydney) were redesignated Bases 1, 2, 3, and 7 respectively without change
in personnel or organization; and Base Section 4 (Melbourne) was discontinued,
its properties and personnel passing to the control of the Commanding Gen­ eral, Base 7. Brig. Gen. William H. Donaldson, Jr., was appointed Command­ On 1 June 1944 at least eleven headquarters
GHQ,, Allied Land Forces, Allied Naval Forces,

ing General, Base Section.

were thus located in Brisbane:

Allied Air Forces, US.AFFE, USASOS, Sixth Army, Fifth Air Force, 14th Anti­ aircraft Command, Base Section, and Base 3. All these headquarters except
the last two were transferred to Hollandia, Hew Guinea, on or before 8
September 1944. Australia had become a rear area within little more than
three months, and Base Section was a rear-area command of USASOS. It should

- 72 ­

"be t o m e in mind that Advance Headquarters, USASOS and GB£, had teen estab­ lished in ITew Guinea more than a year "before the main headquarters were
The functions of Base Section included command of all USASOS troops
on the Australian mainland; inspection, supervision, and control of all
administrative and service functions of the four bases, provision for their
requirements, and "coordination of base tasks in support of combat opera­ tions"; supervision in Australia of evacuation, salvage activities, dis­ position of supplies and equipment, and Bed Cross and recreational activi­ ties; "the necessary overall surveillance of transportation activities to
insure that ports are built up to their required capacities, effectively
and efficiently operated daily to the full capacity required, and that
timely steps are taken through proper channels to distribute the total load
in such a manner as to avoid congestion or idleness at any port11; and var­ ious other functions. All the functions mentioned pertained also to Inter­ mediate Section, USASOS, with respect to New Guinea. Other functions,

assigned exclusively to Base Section, included procurement of supplies and
maintenance of stocks in Australia and Tasmania; establishment of schedules
to insure movement of supplies and equipment to New Guinea; maintenance of
central records and preparation of reports relating to salvage and laundry
activities, the Graves Registration Service, and the Baggage and Personal
Effects Service throughout SWPA; supervision of Transportation Accounts and
Inspection activities and civilian personnel activities for the whole thea­ ter; general court-martial jurisdiction over all U. S. Army personnel on
the Australian mainland; the compilation of USASOS histories; and other

- 73 ­

It will be noted that some of these functions involved services for
the whole theater rather than exclusively for the territory assigned to
Base Section. As more fully explained in the preceding chapter, these
functions had been detached from Headquarters, USASOS, "Because accommoda­ tions for the necessary personnel, equipment, and records were not avail­ able in New Guinea and were not expected to become available before Head­ quarters was established in Manila.
On 7 June 1944 General Donaldson directed the commanders of the four
remaining bases in Australia to inventory all items of supply and equip­ ment in readiness for movement to any "requiring forward base," and to
"prepare detailed plans for the severance o€ the various tentacles neces­ sarily grown and extended during the past two years to perform missions
which are no longer pertinent to this area of the theater. The same en­

thusiasm and alacrity that characterized the acquisition and organization
must now be displayed as the procedure is reversed," the following USASOS troops were left in Australia:
Base 1 2 3

By 15 September 1944

Officers 24 278 1,118 406 1,826

Enlisted Men 324 2,880 9,562 3.521 16,287

Enlisted Women 24 128 358 107 617


These troops formed slightly more than 9 percent of the total of 206,000
USASOS troops in the theater on 15 September 1944.
Base 1 (Darwin) had been disbanded as a USASOS organization on 9
July 1944, when its installations were transferred to the Far East Air
Force. Base 3 (Brisbane) was absorbed by Headquarters, Base Section, on

13 December 1944. Headquarters, Base Section, had removed to Sydney in

- 74 ­

August and September but moved back again in December and January.

It was

redesignated Australia Base Section (ABSEC), without change of functions,
on 15 February 1945, and was again transferred to Sydney on 20 June 1945.
On the same date the Office of the U. S. Army Representative, APO 923, was
established at Brisbane; Base 2 (Townsville) was discontinued; the Office
of the U. S. Army Representative, APO 922, was established at Townsville;
and Base 7 (Sydney) was discontinued, its personnel, equipment, and func­ tions being transferred to Headquarters, ABSEC. Thus by 20 June 1945, less

than thirteen months after the establishment of Base Section, the USASOS­ AWESPAC organization in Australia had been reduced to Headquarters, ABSEC,
and the Offices of the Army Representatives at Townsville, Brisbane, Mel­ 21
bourne, Adelaide, and Perth.
ABSEC, thus reduced, survived somewhat more than seventeen months.
It was redesignated as the Australian Base Command (ABCOM) on 16 January
1946. 3rig. Gen. William H. Donaldson, in command since June 1944, was

relieved on 1 March 1946 by Col. Roy L. Schuyler, formerly commander at
Hollandia. The Offices of the U. S. Army Representatives at Adelaide and

Perth were closed on 25 October 1945. Sub-Base 4 (redesignation of the
Office of the U. S. Army Representative at Melbourne) was closed on 31
March 1946, and Sub-Base 2 (formerly Office of the U. S. Army Represen­ tative at Townsville) on 31 May 1946. Sub-Base 3 (formerly Office of the

U. S. Army Representative at Brisbane) was maintained as late as 30 June
1946. The strength of ATO3SPAC in Australia dropped from 250 on 1 January

1946 to 61 on 30 June. During the first six months of 1946 ABCOM shipped
228,019 measurement tons of Army supplies from Australia, leaving a balance
of 47,468 tons to be shipped out. °

- 75 ­

Orders of 17 October 1946 directed the discontinuance of ABCOM
effective 30 November 1946. All troop units (less two officers) were
to proceed to Manila and report on arrival to the Philippine Base Ser­ vice Command. Equipment of organizations and of Headquarters, JLBCOM,
was to accompany Headquarters Detachment, ABCOM (redesignated as the 8101st
Service Detachment) to Manila, where the detachment was to be disbanded.
After 30 November certain procurement and claims activities were to be
completed in Australia, and activities of the Graves Registration Service
were to continue in the two American cemeteries at Sydney and Brisbane
until the repatriation of the dead could begin. Military personnel remain­ ing in Australia was to be carried in the status of temporary duty from
Headquarters, AIWESPAC. The twelve civilian employees remaining were to
be paid by the Military Attache at Melbourne. Transportation of war brides
was transferred to the Consul General. ABCOM was discontinued, as sched­ uled, on 30 November 1946.
With the establishment of Base Section, USASOS, at Brisbane on 1
June 1944 a Transportation Section was organized under Lt. Col. George
P. Bradford, Transportation Officer, with the following branches:
Branch Administrative and Personnel Traffic Water Transportation Engineering Land and Air Transportation Supply Accounts and Payroll Director Maj. Wilson C. Dockery Lt. Col. George P. Bradford Maj. Harold W. Haggett Capt. Calvin M. Pritchard Maj. Wesley P. Pettys Capt. Stanley E. Cummins Maj. Sidney Tobias

Study was begun at once to eliminate activities no longer required and to
consolidate remaining activities in support of forward operations. The
four port commanders in Australia were instructed to deal with Headquarters,

- 76 ­

USASOS, only through Headquarters, Base Section, and to recommend means
of curtailing transportation activities on the continent. The Transpor­

tation Section was moved on 21 September 1944 to Sydney, on 4 January 1945
back to Brisbane, and again on 20 June 1945 to Sydney, where it remained.
Its chief activities were the shipment of supplies to New Guinea and the
Philippines, the closing of accounts with the Australians for shipping » w f l
construction services and materials, and the transportation of war brides
to the United States. Lieutenant Colonel Bradford was relieved as Trans­ portation Officer on 16 ITovember 1944 by Col. Fred M. Pogle (formerly
Transportation Officer, Intermediate Section), who was succeeded by Lt. Col.
Royall A. Jacobs in June 1945 and by Maj. Howard M. Shepard on 1 July 1946.
Consolidation and retrenchment continued until 30 November, when the only
remnant of the Transportation Corps in Australia was two civilian employees
in Sydney and one in Melbourne.^
The eight Australian bases may be briefly characterized, though var­ ious details of their organization and activities will be more fully treated
in later chapters. Three bases — Perth, Adelaide, and Oairns — were main­

tained only a few months.
Perth (Base Section 6) was expected to serve as a point of departure
for operations in the Netherlands East Indies and a center of defense
against possible attack frora that quarter. It was the station of the 197th

Coast Artillery (Antiaircraft), the 699th Signal Reporting Company, and the
5th Station Hospital, in addition to Headquarters, Base Section 6. The

total strength of these units on 30 May 1942 was 2,187 officers, men, and
nurses. By 6 November the strength of the section had dwindled to 25, and

by 25 January 1943 all remaining personnel had departed.

- 77 ­

Adelaide (Base Section 5) was established as a base mainly to supply
the 32d Division, which arrived at Adelaide 14 May 1942 and went into
training near Gladstone (125 miles from Adelaide). The last elements of

this division departed for the north on 28 July 1942. Provision was made
on 17 June 1942 for a regulating officer and an assistant regulating officer
at Alice Springs, the northern terminus of a railway connecting with a
highway through the desert center of Australia to Darwin (to check American
cargo on this Australian-operated route); but the need for this rail-highway
project gradually decreased.*5
Base Section 5, inactivated at Adelaide on 8 January 1943, was reestab­ lished at Cairns, Queensland, on 7 September 1943, to handle heavy move­ ments which temporarily overflowed the facilities at Townsville (Base Sec­ tion 2). Within five months the volume of traffic was sufficiently reduced

to permit the return of this base section to the control of the Commanding
General, Base Section 2. Cairns had the advantage of being considerably
closer to New Guinea than any other available port was, but full develop­ 27
ment of its facilities was not found necessary.
Two other bases, Darwin and Melbourne, were of decreasing use as the
war progressed. Darwin (Base Section l) was originally developed for Army

use as the port in Australia that was nearest to the Netherlands East
Indies and the Philippines. It was raided by the Japanese on 19 February

1942, with a loss of some 225 lives, and it suffered about 50 raids later
in 1942. In consequence most of the units and offices of the base section
were removed to Birdum and Adelaide River (not to be confused with the city
of Adelaide, about 900 miles distant). As late as 14 June 1943 the naviga­ tion of the harbor was impeded by 13 sunken ships, and a 700-foot wharf,

- 78 ­

partly destroyed on 19 April 1942, had not yet been repaired.

The desert

hinterland of Darwin provided no subsistence or other supplies of military
value, and the port was accessible from more developed parts of Australia
only with the greatest difficulty. During 1942 the supply of large eir

forces and of units of the Australian Army at Darwin was considered to be
so imperatively necessary that the Australians established a truck service
between the railheads at Alice Springs and Birdum, and a special organiza­ tion, Motor Transport Command No. 1, was maintained by the U. S. Army from
25 May to 29 October 1942 to move supplies by truck over the desert from
the railhead at Mt. Isa, Queensland, to the railhead at Birdum. The latter-

service was continued on a reduced scale by the 48th Quartermaster Truck
Company till late April 1943, and thereafter by the Australian Army. Prom
February 1942 through April 1943 a total of less than 1,000 measurement
tons of U. S. cargo was delivered to Darwin by water; during the rest of
1943 about 3,000 measurement tons arrived by water each month. Darwin was
mainly an air station, and its development for other uses did not seem
necessary after the threat of Japanese invasion of Australia was entirely
removed. On 9 July 1944 USASOS ceased to maintain installations at Darwin:

part of the personnel, equipment, and supplies pertaining to the former
Headquarters, Base 1, was transferred to the Commanding General, Far East
Air Forces; and the Commander, Allied Land Forces, assumed responsibility
for water transportation to Darwin.28
Melbourne had the advantages of well-developed harbor facilities, con­ venient location for railway movements, local manufacturing'and repair
establishments, easy access to the most productive agricultural regions of
Australia, a temperate climate, and maximum remoteness from possible Japanese

- 79 ­

attack. Melbourne was the headquarters of several agencies of the Common­ wealth Government. For these reasons Melbourne was selected as the head­ quarters of General MacArthur, 21 March - 20 July 1942, and of USAFIA and
USASOS, January - September 1942. The 41st Infantry Division arrived at
Melbourne 6 April 1942 and went into training at Camp Seymour, about seventy
miles to the north. A disadvantage of Melbourne, increasingly felt during
1942, was its remoteness from New Guinea. following approximate mileages: Water Melbourne - Sydney Sydney - Brisbane Brisbane - Townsville Total Hail The disadvantage is shown by the

576 515 785

590 613 832

(The distance from Townsville to Port Moresby by water was about 580 miles.)
The disadvantage of remoteness from the zone of combat was aggravated by
the severe shortage of ships, small craft, railway equipment, and fuel, by
changes of railway gauge at Albury (between Melbourne and Sydney) and at
Brisbane, and by the poor condition of highways and the shortage of trucks.
The landing of personnel and materiel from the United States at Melbourne
for transshipment to New Guinea placed a needless strain on available
transportation facilities. The necessity of shortening the route to New
Guinea was the main reason why Melbourne did not remain after the summer
of 1942 the chief Army base in Australia. considerable quantities of Army traffic.^
Sydney, Brisbane, and Townsville were the ports that shipped most of
the U. S. Army personnel, equipment, and supplies to New Guinea after 1942
and maintained the rear installations necessary for this purpose. The
It continued, however, to handle

- 80 ­

character and activities of these ports will be discussed in Chapter VIII.
Bases in New Guinea
The first U. S. Army organization in New Guinea was the 96th Engineer
Battalion, three companies of which arrived at Port Moresby on 28 April
1942 to work on aerodromes. On 29 April 1942 all U. S. troops at Port

Moresby were attached to Base Section 2 (Townsville) for administration
and supply. Other U. S. troops, consisting of Air Corps, Coast Artillery,

Engineer, Medical, and Ordnance units, arrived at Port Moresby during May
and later. A small medical detachment and Company E of the 46th Engineer
Regiment arrived at Milne Bay on 25 June 1942, and other U. S. forces
followed. Company 3 P of the 46th Engineer Regiment arrived at Merauke,

Dutch New Guinea, in July 1942. Until August 1942 all these forces remained
attached to Base Section 2.^0
By General Order No. 7, Headquarters, USASOS, 11 August 1942, effec­ tive 20 August, U. S. Advanced Base, New Guinea, was established with head­ quarters at Port Moresby, under the command of Col. Albert G. Matthews.
The Commanding Officer, Advanced Base, was charged with receiving all TJ. S.
troops and supplies and commanding U. S. service troops in New Guinea. The

U. S. Army forces at Milne 3ay were organized as an advance sub-base com­ manded by Col. Prank L. ^urns. Responsibility for supplying U. S. forces

in New Guinea was transferred on 12 August from Base Section 2 to Base Sec­ tion 3 (Brisbane).
Instructions issued on 12 August 1942 by USASOS to the Commanding
Officer, Advanced Base, notified him that all Australian and U. S. Army,
Navy, and Air Forces serving in Australian New Guinea were designated as

- 81 ­

the New Guinea Force, and that the General Officer Commanding Allied Land
Forces in Australian New Guinea was designated as Commander, New Guinea
Force. This officer (an Australian) was not to disturb the execution of

plans of the Commanding Officer, Advanced Base, except when attack was
imminent or in progress. Normal routine instructions from Headquarters,
USASOS, would be routed direct to the Commanding Officer, Advanced Base;
and the Commander, New Guinea Force, would deal through the Commanding
Officer, Advanced Base, in all matters affecting TJ. S. Army service troops
(except Air Force troops) in Australian New Guinea. The Commander, New

Guinea Force, was authorized to make "geographical sub-divisions of his com­ mand," in each of which the Commanding Officer, Advanced Base, was to appoint
a local USASOS commander. Supply by water from Australia was charged to the

Allied Land Forces for Australian units and to USASOS for U» S. Army units
(including Air Force). Each command, Allied Land Forces and USASOS, would

operate its own transportation and supply service and maintain its own port
organizations, except that in ports handling little traffic one or the other
of the commands could arrange by mutual agreement to take over the whole
responsibility. The coordination of separate ports was a responsibility

of the Commander, New Guinea Force. Cargo capacities of ships under con­ trol of either command were to be utilized as much as possible in serving
both Australian and U. S. forces. Merauke, being outside Australian New
Guinea, was not subject to the Commander, New Guinea Force, Supplement­ ary instructions of 27 August provided that a military port authority would
be designated in each port by the Commander, New Guinea Force, and that
the latter would control movements.
These arrangements were modified by instructions from GHQ, dated 5

- 82 ­

October 1942, effective 15 October, establishing a Combined Operational
Service Command in Australian Hew Guinea, subordinate to the Commander,
Hew Guinea Force. The new command did not replace the existing service
Advanced Base (XJSASOS) and the Australian Lines
The Commander, Com­

commands in Hew Guinea — of Communication —

but was superimposed upon them.

bined Operational Service Command, was charged with the coordination of
all construction and sanitation except what was incidental to combat;
docking, unloading, and loading of all ships; receipt, staging, and dis­ patch of personnel; transportation in line of communication areas; oper­ ation of repair ships, depots, and major utilities; hospitalization and
evacuation; and such other activities as might be designated. A branch

command was authorized to be established at each port of operation.

Combined Operational Service Command was organized in the following sec­ tions: Supply and Transportation, Ordnance, Engineer Construction, Medi­

cal, Small Ships, and AHGAU (Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit, a
part of the Australian Army, responsible for the employment and care of
native Hew Guinea labor). In each of these, except AHGAU, representatives
Brig. Gen. Dwight F.

of USASOS and the Australian Army were designated.

Johns, Commanding General, U. S. Advanced Base in New Guinea (appointed 15
October 1942), was designated as Commander, Combined Operational Service
Command, in addition to his other duties, with Brigadier V. C. Secombe,
Australian Army, as Deputy Commander.00
In effect this command was a delegation of the responsibility of the
Commander, Hew Guinea Force, to coordinate supply operations and movements,
There is no indication that the command was authorized to interfere with
the internal administration of either Australian or U. S. service forces.

- 83 ­

The New Guinea bases of the U. S. Army were nominally local commands of
the Combined Operational Service Command, but actually bases under U. S.
Advanced Base, USASOS. The Combined Operational Service Command was dis­

continued in or about April 1943,
Additional U. S. service forces arrived in Port Moresby and Milne
Bay and also in Oro Bay and Goodenough Island. USASOS personnel arrived

at Oro Bay between 12 and 20 December 1942 and established a sub-base.
Other USASOS personnel (Port Detachment B) arrived at Beli Beli Bay, Good-
enough Island, on 27 April 1942 and established another sub-base. The four

sub-bases were redesignated as Sub-Bases A (Milne Bay, 21 April 1943), B
(Oro Bay, 21 April 1943), C (Beli Beli Bay, 27 April 1943), 3 4 and D (Port
Moresby, 31 May 1943). All four had been nominally under the Combined
On 6 July 1943

Operational Service Command until their redesignation.

Headquarters, U. S. Advanced Base, was transferred to Milne Bay, Brigadier
General Johns had been succeeded in April 1943 by Col. Emer Yeager.
The internal organization of U. S. Advanced Base during this period
of expansion is not clear. The first Transportation Officer of U. S. Ad­

vanced Base was evidently Lt. Col. Charles S. Maclntyre, who on 22 July
1943 was awarded the Legion of Merit
for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding
services as Transportation Officer, Advanced Base, Southwest Pacific Area,
from 16 September 1942 to 15 April 1943. Lieutenant Colonel Maclntyre was
charged with the operation of all Transportation Corps facilities and agencies,
both by water and by motor, of the Advanced Base. He planned, organized and
supervised all Army Transportation Service .activities and coordinated them
with those of the Australian forces. With very limited facilities and under
exceptionally difficult conditions, he accomplished the discharge and load­ ing of ships. Throughout the period, Lieutenant Colonel Maclntyre worked
without regard to time or his ov/n physical limitations. By his expert knowl­ edge of transportation procedures, by his energy and his leadership, he made
an important contribution to the support of the combat operations.

- 84 ­

Lieutenant Colonel Maclntyre was relieved by Col. Edward M. Grimm, with
Maj. Eeeford P. Shea as Executive Officer.35
By General Order No. 42, Headquarters, USASOS, 14 August 1943, U. S.
Advanced Base was disbanded (effective 14 August), its personnel, unit
funds, and equipment were transferred to Advance Section (established
effective 15 August with headquarters at Milne Bay), and (effective 15
August) Sub-Bases A, B, and D were redesignated as Advance Bases A (Milne
Bay), B (Oro Bay), and D (Port Moresby). Brig. Gen. William H. Donaldson,
Jr., was designated as Commanding General, Advance Section. By General
Order No. 47, Headquarters, USASOS, 29 August 1943, the Commanding General,
Advance Section, was charged with responsibility for commanding all advance
bases and U. S. Army service troops in New Guinea "and forward thereof" not
assigned to the Air Force or other command not under the Commanding General,
USASOS; carrying out all administration, supply, transportation, hospital­ ization, and evacuation functions for all U. S. Army organizations in New
Guinea "and forward thereof" except functions specifically charged to other
organizations; operating such ports as might be designated; and carrying
out all engineering and construction activities in and beyond New Guinea
that were the responsibility of the Commanding General, USASOS, These
functions were to be discharged wherever possible by decentralization to
the commanding officers of the advance bases; the primary function of Head­ quarters, Advance Section, was to supervise, coordinate, and assist the
several advance base headquarters. The General Officer Commanding New Gui­ nea Forces retained operational control over all service troops in New
Guinea but was not authorized to disturb the plans of the Commanding General,
USASOS, unless attack was imminent or in progress. Headquarters, Advance

889954 O—50


Section, was transferred to Port Moresby on 16 September 1943."'
In September 1943, while visiting the Southwest Pacific, General
Somervell, Commanding General, ASP, inquired into the organization of sup­ ply and service activities in "outlying bases." In response GHQ, described

the procedure that was developing in New Guinea for the establishment of
new USASOS bases. The first landing on an enemy shore and the conquest of

enemy forces in the adjacent areas were the responsibility of a task force,
which included service troops. The task force commander was initially
responsible for all service and supply functions in the occupied area and
for transportation from the nearest established USASOS base. At a later
stage in the occupation the responsibility for transportation to and from
the area was transferred to USASOS, but all service troops remained under
the command of the task force commander. When the task force or its ele­ ments went forward on a new mission, USASOS took over whatever service
elements and functions were left behind and, if necessary, established a


base and assigned these elements and functions to the base commander.'"
By General Order No, 73, Headquarters, USASOS, 14 November 1943,
effective 15 November, Headquarters, Advance Section, was transferred to
Lae; Bases 1 (Lae) and P (Finschhafen) were established and were placed
under control of Advance Section; all USASOS units, establishments, and
activities previously under control of Advance Section were transferred
to Intermediate Section, established on the same date with headquarters
at Port Moresby; and Advance Bases A, B, and D were redesignated Bases A
(Milne Bay), B (Oro Bay), and D (Port Moresby). The functions and respon­

sibilities of the Commanding Generals, Advance Section and Intermediate
Section, were substantially the same as those previously assigned to the

- 86 ­

Commanding General, Advance Section. Brigadier General Donaldson was
appointed Commanding General, Intermediate Section, and Brig. Gen. Samuel
M. Oonnell was appointed Commanding General of the new Advance Section.
Shortly "before these reorganizations the advanced bases had "been instructed
on 6 November 1943 to establish in each "base the three-command system (port
command, service command, and area command) already prescribed for the Aus­ tralian bases. Headquarters, Advance Section, was transferred to Finsch­ hafen on 11 January 1944 under command of Brig. Gen. Frayne Baker. On the

same date all USASOS personnel, units, organizations, and establishments
previously under the control of the Commanding General, Advance Section,
except those in Base F and those attached to the Fifth Air Force in Base E,
were placed under control of a newly established USASOS Pioneer Task Force
Ho. 1. The main work of this task force, commanded by General Gonnell, was
The task force

to complete a 25-mile highway to the airfield at Nadzab.

was terminated on 13 February, when its components were transferred to
Base E. Base B passed on the same date to control of Intermediate Section.

On 1 March 1944 Base F was transferred to Intermediate Section, and Head­ qtiarters, Advance Section, was closed.38 On 1 June 1944 Brigadier General

Donaldson was succeeded as Commanding General, Intermediate Section, by
Brig. Gen. Homer Brown, who was succeeded in August 1944 by Brig. Gen.
Clarence L. Sturdevant.
By General Order No. 91, Headquarters, USASOS, 19 December 1943,
effective on or about 24 December, Advance Headquarters, USASOS (ADSOS),
under immediate command of the Commanding General, USASOS, was established
at Port Moresby to deal directly with Advance Echelon, GHq, in matters
pertaining to tactical operations; to prepare and publish "USASOS Logistic

- 87 ­

Instructions" to support tactical operations; to coordinate activities of
the Intermediate and Advance Sections in connection with tactical opera­ tions; and to allocate supplies, personnel, units, and transport in exe­ cution of logistic instructions of USASOS. The Commanding Generals,

Intermediate Section and Advance Section, were to communicate directly,
as "before, with USASOS headquarters at Brisbane on all routine matters,
and with ADSOS only on matters pertaining directly to tactical operations
in progress or immediately impending. These functions were expanded on

25 February 1944 to include issue of critical and controlled items in New
Guinea, operation of an ADSOS fleet, evacuation, and movement of units,
ADSOS was closed on 15 March 1944. Its control of critical and con­ trolled items reverted to Eteadquarters, USASOS, and all its other functions
passed to the Commanding General, Intermediate Section, The Organization

Manual of USASOS on 25 March 1944 and again on 15 August 1944 announced
that ADSOS, "the Advance Headquarters of USASOS,11 was "established at var­ ious times to perform specific missions in connection with operations in
areas forward of the Australian mainland," and that "at times when G.H.Q,,
is established in the forward area, ADSOS is the principal command post of
the Commanding General, USASOS, from which logistical operations are planned
and directed." ADSOS was revived a number of times.^

The structure and personnel of the transportation sections in the
headquarters of Advance Section, Intermediate Section, and ADSOS are not
indicated in detail by available records. Maj. Heeford P. Shea was appointed
Transportation Officer, ADSEC, on 16 August 1942, and was succeeded in Octo­ ber by Col. Melville McKinstry, formerly Chief Transportation Officer, Head­ quarters, USASOS, The Transportation Officer, ADSEC, was originally charged

- 88 ­

with responsibility for operating the ADSOS fleet, assigning harbor craft
in lew Guinea and maintaining harbor craft records, assigning key personnel
to the bases and maintaining personnel records, supervising maintenance
and repair of all vessels assigned to operation in the New Guinea aree,
supervising port operations in that area, and supervising TC supply. The
original transportation functions of the Intermediate Section were advance
planning and port operations, control and operation of all craft specific­ ally assigned to bases, and supervision of port operations and "surveillance
of Transportation Corps activities within the bases.*
The original transportation staff in nTTEHSEC headquarters consisted
of Col. Fred M. Fogel, Transportation Officer; Maj. George T. Wright,
Operations Officer; llaj. C. S. Freeman, Control Officer; Oapt. B. T. Pevear,
Small Ships Officer; Capt. B. W. Heaphy, Tanker Officer; 1st Lt. G. W. Ema,
Administration Officer; and 1st Lt. J. M. Moskwa, Maintenance and Repair
On 24 February 1944 and subsequently till January 1945, the transpor­ tation staff of Intermediate Section consisted of Colonel i'ogel, Transpor­ tation Officer (relieved in November 1944 by Lt. Col. George T. Vright);
Lt. Col. George P. Bradford, Deputy Transportation Officer (relieved by
Lt. Col. Albert B. Camp, later by Maj. George T. Wright); Maj. George T.
Wright, Operations and Executive Officer, and Maj. E." M. Wegman, Operations
Officer (one or both relieved by Maj. C. S. Freeman, Executive Officer,
and Capt. A. G. Prince, Operations Officer); Maj. C. S. Freeman, Control
Officer; and 2nd Lt. G. Spens, Harbor Craft Officer. A Supply Depot Oper­ ations Section was established under Lt. Col. Morton E. Townes, and a Unit
Training Program under Lt. Col. H. E. Jeeter. In January 1945 the staff

- 89 ­

consisted of the following:
Lt. Col. G r . T. Uright Lt. Col. C. S. Freeman Maj. R. W. Heaphy Maj. C. W. Scoville Capt. C. L. Downey Capt. T. C. Yager Capt. R. B. Knight Capt. K. G. Roeder Capt. C. U. Gulko Capt. 0. H. Olsen Capt. A. 3. Newland 1st Lt. G . Spens 1st Lt. M. S. Rizzo 2d Lt. W. S. Herbein 2d Lt. K. Stroud 2d Lt. M. H. Thornton r Ens. S. V , . Ranahan Mr. John Schmid Transportation Officer
Depot Operations Officer
Port Operations Officer
Maintenance and Repair Officer
Executive Officer
Depot Operations
Vessel Operations Officer
Operations, Small Ships
Troop and Cargo Movement
Maintenance and Repair
Personnel Officer
Harbor Craft Officer
Air and vvater Travel Officer
Control Officer
Vessel Operations - Records
Administration Officer
Coast Guard Liaison Officer
Maritime Personnel Representative4^

USASOS Base G Command was established, with temporary headquarters
on Goodenough Island, on 24 March 1944 in anticipation of operations at
Hollandia. The command, attached successively to Alamo Force (Sixth Army)

and I Corps, observed the first landing and subsequent operations at Hol­ landia. It ;vas dissolved on 7 June 1944, when Base G .was established with

headquarters at Hollandia, operating as an advance base directly under
Headquarters, USASOS. Base G passed to the control of Intermediate Section
on 25 June 1944. Base H (Biak) was established on 20 August 1944 as an
advance base, though under Intermediate Section. With Biak the chain of
seven New Guinea USASOS bases was completed, and all were under control of
Intermediate Section. The four remaining bases in Australia were already

under control of Base Section (established 1 June 1944); plans for Philip­ pine operations were far advanced; and Headquarters, U S A S O S , was transferred
from Brisbane to Hollandia on 8 September 1944. The further transfer of

Headquarters, USASOS, from Hollandia to Tacloban, Leyte, on 4 February 1945
left New Guinea as a rear area. On 15 February 1945 the limits of Base

- 90 ­

Section and Intermediate Section, and the fact that New Guinea had joined
Australia as a rear area, were indicated when the two sections were re­ designated, without change of function, as Australia 3ase Section (ABS2C)
and New Guinea Base Section (NUG5EC).41 Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Sturdevant,

previously Commanding General, INTERSEC, was appointed Commanding Gerierrl,
NUGSEC. He was succeeded on 10 July 1945 " b y Col. Floyd S. Fix.

The closing of the Hew Guinea bases was accomplished within fifteen
months of the designation of NUGSEC. By a series of general orders issued
by AFW3SPAC between 27 June and 17 August 1945, Headquarters, 1I17GS3C, was
discontinued on 20 August 1945; Headquarters and Headquarters Company,
NUGSSC, moved to Manila and was discontinued; Base A (Milne Bay) was dis­ continued on 25 July 1945 and its personnel was transferred to Base X for
attachment to 5th Camp Battalion; Bases B (Oro 3ay), D (Port Moresby), and
E (Lae) were discontinued on 7 September 1945, and their personnel, equip­ ment, and functions were transferred to Headquarters, AM2SPAC; and Bases
F, Gf and H were instructed to report directly to Headquarters, API/ESP AC,
"on all matters." A Transportation Officer, New Guinea (TONG), was estab­ lished at Biak on 10 July 1945 to operate the New Guinea fleet, but was
witndrawn on 17 August, after which date the transportation officers in
the New Guinea bases reported directly to the Chief of Transportation,
Headquarters, AIWESPAC. Base G (Hollandia) was discontinued 25 January

1946, Base H (Biak) on 6 April 1946, and Base F (Finschhafen) on 30 April
1946; and their headquarters and headquarters companies were discontinued
on arrival at Manila. The 1st Composite Group (Mobile Port) was estab­

lished at Tinschhafen on 15 February 1946 to "roll up" the remaining New
Guinea bases; it was discontinued 25 June 1946. By this time all U. S.
Army forces had been removed from New Guinea.

- 91 ­

Bases in the Phi lip-pine a
Detailed planning for Philippine operations began with the establish­ ment of the Army Service Command (ASCOM) at Brisbane on 23 July 1944. Its
mission, as stated on 25 July, was to prepare and execute (l) "the immediate
combat logistical support of Army Task Forces to which it may be attached,
as directed by Commanding General Sixth Army," and (2) "plans for the estab­ lishment and development of new bases in accordance with USASOS Directives
and Logistic Instructions." Headquarters, ASCOM, opened officially on 26
July under command of Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Casey, Chief Engineer, GHQ, SWPA,
who had been placed on detached service from GHQ,, Initial plans were made
in USASOS headquarters at Brisbane. ASCOM was organized on 15 August in an
Administration and Personnel Section, an Intelligence Section, a Troop Unit
Section, a Base Development Section, and a Construction Section. One duty
of the Troop Unit Section was to arrange for transportation of troops.
The duties of the Base Development Section were "to plan the organization
and operation of the new bases to be set up in each objective area; ascer­ tain their supply and equipment requirements, and prepare requisitions;
absorb and organize the personnel of each new base; and, finally, after the
establishment of base headquarters, transfer personnel, records, and plans
to it as required." The Deputy Commander, ASCOM, was to be familiar with
After the establishment of a base he was

whatever operation was planned.

to be transferred from ASCOM as base commander, with a former Assistant
Chief of Staff, ASCOM, as executive officer of the new base. ASCOM was to
draw supplies and personnel mainly from USASOS and to act under direct com­ mand of the Sixth Army. ASCOM determined supply and transportation require­ ments, prepared base development plans and standing operating procedures,

- 92 ­

and submitted requisitions for personnel and supplies to USASOS.
Headquarters, ASCOM, was transferred on 6 September 1944 to Hollandia,
where plans were coordinated in Sixth Army headquarters with USASOS, Sixth
Army, I Corps, and GHQ. Plans centered on three operations: K-l (Sarangani
Bay, Mindanao, scheduled for 15 October and canceled 15 September), K-2
(Leyte, scheduled for 20 December but advanced on 15 September to 20 Octo­ ber) , and M-l (Lingayen Gulf). A Civil Affairs Service was organized as

an ASCOM agency to recruit and employ civilian labor in the Philippines.43
K-2 and M-l divisions of ASCOM were separated as Advance Echelon and
Rear Echelon on 25 September 1944. Headquarters, Base K, had been estab­ lished on 16 September at Hollandia. Headquarters, Base M, was established
at Hollandia on 1 November 1944 under Col. Herbert 3 D . Vogel. Advance
Echelon, ASCOM, landed at Leyte on 22 October 1944 and established Base K
at Tacloban. Rear Echelon arrived at Tacloban on 11 November and reestab­ Base K (Tacloban) was transferred from ASCOM to USASOS

lished Base M there.

on 25 December 1944, when Eighth Army relieved Sixth Army of tactical duties
and missions in the Leyte-Samar Area. Personnel of Base M arrived in Lin­ gayen Gulf on 13 January 1945. Base M opened at San Fabian on 16 January,
assumed control of service operations in Lingayen Gulf on 19 January, and
established Sub-Bases 1 (^hite Beach), 2 (Dagupan), and 3 (Port Sual).
(Headquarters, Base M, was removed to San Fernando on 21 April 1945.) On

28 January ASCOM announced plans for developing a base at Manila and organ­ izing a transportation command to operate all railway, long-distance high­ way, and water transportation in Luzon. Base X was established at Manila
on 29 January, and Headquarters, ASCOM, was removed to Manila. ASCOM itself


reverted to control of USASOS on 13 February 1945. "

- 93 ­

By General Order No. 42, Headquarters, USASOS, 11 February 1945,
effective 13 February, ASOOM was redesignated as Luzon Base Section
(LUBSEC), with headquarters at Manila, and Base X was discontinued. Head­

quarters, Base R, was established temporarily at Tacloban on 13 February
and was removed to Batangas on 23 April. The mission of LUBSEC included

the development of bases on Luzon and the logistic support of current
tactical operations; all the new construction on Luzon for which USASOS
was responsible; organization and control of the Luzon Engineer District;
control of a transportation command operating the railway and long-distance
highway transportation of Luzon and water transshipment between Luzon bases;
recruitment, classification, and assignment of civilian labor; and such
other civil affairs missions as might be assigned by higher authority. The

Transportation Command, LUBSEC, controlling and coordinating the operations
of the 775th Hallway Grand Division and the Highway Transportation Division,
was established on'20 February 1945. An organization chart of LUBSEC re­ vised 16 March 1945 shows four coordinate commands Immediately subject to
the Commanding General, LUBSEC: the Manila Port Command, the Manila Area
Command, the Manila Motor Command, and the Transportation Command. The

Manila Area did not constitute a base command or other form of single admin­ istrative entity; a separate base headquarters to administer the three
Manila commands was not considered necessary. Operations of the ports in

LUBSEC were coordinated and supervised by a Deputy Commander for Port Oper­ ations (Col. Edward M. Grimm), acting for the Commanding General, LUBSEC;
and operations of the supply and service installations in the Manila Area
were coordinated and controlled by a Deputy Commander for Service Opera­ tions, who also provided information relative to the status of supply

- 94 ­

equipment in LUBSEC. Six technical services were represented in the special
staff (Chemical Warfare, Engineer, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signal, and
Medical), but no transportation officer was included in this staff. Base
M (San Fabian) was subject to the Commanding General, LUBSEC; but Base K,
outside the limits of the command, was directly subordinate to the Command­ ing General, USASOS. At the end of March 1945 USASOS consisted of Head­ quarters, Australia Base Section (ABSEC), New Guinea Base Section (HUGSEC),
Luzon Base Section (EUBSEC), Base K, and USASOS General Depot (the last-
mentioned reserved for discussion in a later chapter).4^
By General Order No. 92, Headquarters, USASOS, 26 March 1945, effec­ tive 1 April, Luzon Base Section was redesignated as Philippine Base Sec­ tion (PHIBSSC) "without change in personnel or functions"; the Transporta­ tion Command, LUBSEC, was dissolved; and the 775th Railway Grand Division
and the Highway Transportation Division were made separate field agencies
of PHIBSEC. An effect of the establishment of PHIBSEC was to place Base K
within the redesignated base section. Headquarters, Base R, had been estab­ lished 13 February 1945; Headquarters, Base S, on 26 March; Headquarters,
Base T, on 5 April; and Headquarters, Base Q, on 11 April - all temporarily
at Tacloban. Base E was transferred to Batangas on 23 April and Base S to
Cebu City on 5 May. The headquarters of Bases Q and T, held in readiness
for assignment to projected bases, were disbanded on 10 June 1945 when it
was realized that need for additional bases in the Philippines would not
develop. Base X was reestablished at Manila on 20 April 1945, relieving-
PHIBSEC of direct administration of the Port, Area, and Motor commands of
the Manila Area. Headquarters, Base M, as already mentioned, was removed
from San Fabian to San Fernando on 21 April 1945. Base X was consolidated

- 95 ­

with PHIBSEC on 16 June 1945 but was reestablished a second time on 26
July. The 775th Railway Grand Division (less personnel engaged in traffic
control) was transferred from PHIBSEC to Headquarters, Special Troops,
AIWESPAC, on 13 July. The Highway Transportation Division was discontinued
on 16 July; and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 100th Highway Trans­ port Service, activated on 17 July, was in effect a division of the Office
of the Chief of Transportation, Headquarters, AIWESPAC, By General Order
No. 178, 15 September 1945, effective 6 October, PHIBSEC was discontinued,
its missions and functions were assumed by Headquarters, AFWESPAC, and all
base8 currently under control of PHIBSEC were transferred to direct control
of the Commanding General, AFWESPAC.46
In the meantime two concurrent plans had been drawn up for operations
in Japan: OLYMPIC for the invasion of southern Kyushu and CORONET for the
invasion of Honshu. For the direct logistical support of these invasions
ASCOM-0 was organized for OLYMPIC and ASCOM-C for CORONET, each ASCOM (Army
Service Command) unit consisting of three base commands. ASCOM-0 under
Maj. Gen. Frederick Gilbreath, formerly Commanding General, South Pacific
Base Command, assigned to Sixth Army, and ASCOM-C under Maj. Gen. James L.
Frink, formerly Commanding General, USASOS, assigned to Eighth Army, began
assembling in June 1945. Brig. Gen. William YJ. Wanamaker, formerly Chief
Transportation Officer, USASOS and AFVESPAC, was announced as Chief Trans­ portation Officer, Headquarters, TJSASCOM-C, on 3 August 1945. Supplies
were concentrated for Japanese operations, additional dumps and depots
were established, floating reserves were strategically located for prompt
supply, requisitions for further personnel and supplies were submitted, and
personnel was trained for invasion duties. Operation BLACKLIST was planned

- 96 ­

for the occupation of Japan, to take effect after the success of OLYMPIC
and COBOHET. After V-J Day the two units were redesignated ASCOM-6 and
ASCOM-8 to support the Sixth and Eighth Armies occupying Japan, the appli­ cable parts of OLYMPIC and COEONET were consolidated with BLACKLIST, and
ASCOM-24 was organized for the logistical support of XXIV Corps in Korea.
The operations of these ASCOM units lie outside the Southwest Pacific Area
and are not further considered in this study.47
Por eight months after the discontinuance of PHIBSEC the Philippine
bases were supervised directly by Headquarters, AIWESPAC. On 1 November

1945, Headquarters, Bases E (Batangas) and S (Cebu City), were redesig­ nated as Sub-Bases X and K respectively, under the operational and admini­ strative control of the commanding officers, Bases X and K. Sub-Bases X and K were redesignated as Sub-Bases E and S. On 5 November

Sub-Base S was

discontinued on 15 February 1946, when supplies and equipment remaining in
Cebu were taken over by the 32d Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade Command for
disposition. This command was inactivated on 1 June 1946. During the first

half of 1946 supply points were closed in Morotai, Negros, Panay, Davao
Mindoro, Zamboanga, and Agusan.
By General Order No. 145, Headquarters, AIWESPAC, 23 May 1946, effec­ tive 1 June, Headquarters, Base X, was redesignated as Headquarters, Phil­ ippine Base Service Command (PHIBCOM). By Administrative Order No. 6,

Headquarters, AFV/ESPAC, 18 May 1946, effective 1 July, logistic responsi­ bility for the whole of the Philippine Islands area was assigned to PHIBCOM,
and Bases M and K were relieved of all supply responsibilities except for
personnel and U. S. property within their own limits. Base M, Base K, and
PHIBCOM appear in an AMESPAC organization chart of June 1946 as coordinate

- 97 ­

commands under the Commanding General, A3WESPAC.

Sub-Base E was discon­

tinued and Camp Batangas was concurrently established on 26 May 1947. On
the same date PHIBCOM was absorbed by the PMlippines-Byukyus Command
(PHILEYCOM, which had succeeded AEWESPAC on 1 January 1947); Transporta­ tion Service, Philippines (8119th Service Detachment, APO 707), was estab­ lished at Manila to provide transportation for such troops within PHILETCOM
as were not supported by "other major subordinate commands"; and Col,
Joshua B. Messersmith was appointed as Commanding Officer, Transportation
Service, Philippines, in addition to his other duties as Transportation
Officer, PHILRYCOM.49

The Base in the Ryukyus
As part of plans for the conquest of Okinawa an Island Command (Army
Garrison Force) was activated in Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 13 December
1944, under command of Maj. Gen.. Fred C. Wallace, within Headquarters,
Tenth Army, Its mission was to provide administrative and logistic sup­

port for all elements of the Tenth Army in the Byukyu Archipelago; to exe­ cute a base development plan prescribed by the Commander in Chief and the
Commanding General, Pacific Ocean Areas; to garrison and defend all areas
on Okinawa and outlying islands as progressively assigned to the Island
Command; and to command all Army, Navy, and Marine garrison forces assigned
to the Command. The main body of Island Command troops went ashore in

Okinawa on 1 April 1945, The Command delivered cargo and personnel, built
and maintained roads, bridges, airfields, and piers, constructed ware­ houses and hospitals, controlled traffic, fed, housed, and clothed the
forces on Okinawa, maintained and repaired vehicles and other equipment,
administered prisoners of war and enemy civilians, and cared for the sick

- 98 ­

and the wounded.

The "mop-up period" was completed in Okinawa on 2 July

1945, and thereafter the Island Command was responsible for practically
all the defense (except antiaircraft) of the islands.50
On 31 July 1945 the Tenth Army with assigned and attached units, includ­ ing the U. S. Army forces of the island commands of Okinawa and Ie Shiaa,
was transferred from control of Admiral Nimitz, Commander in Chief, Pacific
Ocean Area, to dontrol of General MacArthur, Commander in Chief, Army Forces,
Pacific. Tenth Army 'became an administrative and tactical command report­ The Island Commands of Okinawa and Ie

ing directly to General MacArthur.

Shima were redesignated as Army Service Command I (ASCOM-I), which was
assigned to Commanding General, AFVESPAC. U. S. Army antiaircraft units of
ASCOM-I passed to operational control of Commanding General, Tar East Air
Force; all other U. S. Army elements of ASCOM-I remained under operational
control of Commanding General, Tenth Army, who was responsible for logistic
support (except Air Force technical and ammunition supply) of all U. S. Army
forces within the Eyukyus and was further responsible, in conjunction with
local Savy and Air Forces, for control, defense, and military government of
the Byukyus. The Commanding General, Army Forces Middle Pacific, continued

to be responsible for deliveries to but not within the Byukyus in support
of all U. S. Army forces there. Logistic support of all Naval and Marine
forces remained the responsibility of Commander in Chief, Pacific.
The Tenth Army was inactivated on 14 October 1945, and on 15 October
ASCOM-I was redesignated as Okinawa Base Command (OBASCOM), with headquar­ ters at Naha, Okinawa. OBASCOM was responsible for all tactical and logis­

tical missions previously assigned to Tenth Army, the imposition on remain­ ing Japanese of the execution of the agreed surrender terms, and provision

- 99 ­

for ground defense and internal security in the Ryukyus. On the same date
Maj. Gen. Fred 0. Wallace was succeeded in command by Brig. Gen. Lawrence
A. Lawson. On 1 July 1946 Okinawa Base Command was redesignated Byukyus
Command (BTCOM). When AFWESFAC was redesignated on 1 January 1947 as the
Philippine-Ryukyus Command (PHILRTCOM), it retains PHIBCOM and ETCOM as
territorial commands.0*5

Port Headquarters
Port headquarters in the Southwest Pacific Area were only nominally
transportation organizations "before the latter part of 1945. They were

actually pools of service personnel, used as sources of grades and ratings
where most needed. The theater was obliged to take this action "because

other sources were not available. Port headquarters were most often em­ ployed as the equivalent of base headquarters. After August 1945 they were
confined to port operations but were not trained organizations which kept
a substantial continuity of personnel and equipment. They were of four

kinds — port detachments, major ports, medium ports, and port commands.

Port Detachments and Major Port Headquarters
Utilized as Base Headquarters
Seven port detachments, numbered from A through G, and three major
port headquarters - the 2d, the 22d, and the 23d - existed in Australia
and New Guinea at various dates between 1942 and 1945. Only fragmentary
information is available concerning the actual functions, structure, and
assignments of these ten units; but they were not what their titles indi­ cated.
A detachment of the 2d Port of Embarkation (Overseas), consisting of
- 100 ­

2 officers and 21 enlisted men commanded by Capt. Douglas S. Mapes, arrlTed
at Port Moresby 6 June 1942 and was organized as Port Detachment A on 26
July. Its inactlvation was announced on 12 -August 1942, when its personnel

was transferred to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Port of Embar­ kation. Port Detachment A was reestablished on 26 October 1942 at Portland
Boads, Queensland, where it served as Headquarters, Subsection 2, Base
Section 2 (Townsville). Its function was "to operate and administrate

ports of smaller size than ports of embarkation and debarkation" and "to
furnish the necessary facilities of a smaller area, on a more or less emer­ gency basis.11 On 9 September 1943 Port Detachment A was assigned to Base

Section 5 (Cairns), within which it served as Headquarters, Base Area Com­ mand Ho. 2 (Portland Roads). It was transferred to Townsvllle on 14 Decem­

ber 1943, and its personnel was absorbed in Base Section 2. A Port Detach­ ment A was constituted as Headquarters, Base H (Biak), on 13 August 1944;
its personnel was transferred to Base H on 20 August. No further reference
to this detachment is found.

A Port Detachment B was stationed at Milne Bay by 12 August 1942,
when it was inactivated and its personnel was transferred to Headquarters
and Headquarters Company, 2d Port of Embarkation. A Port Detachment B

arrived at Goodenough Island 27 April 1943 to operate Sub-Base C. 54
later history is unknown.

A Port Detachment C was inactivated on 12 August 1942 en route from
Australia to Port Moresby. Its personnel was transferred on arrival to
Port De­

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Port of Embarkation.

tachment C was reconstituted at Sydney on 9 September 1942, with personnel
drawn fron various bases and units, and in November began training for

889954 0—50


duty in Hew Guinea,

xhe detachment was committed in May 1943 as the Bin­ An

ocular ITorce to participate in the establishment of a base at Lae.

advance detail (3 officers, 20 enlisted men) was dispatched to Oro Bay in
June 1943 to establish a staging area for the detachment. On 5 August

1943 the personnel and equipment of Port Detachment C were transferred to
23d Port Headquarters (scheduled for Lae), and the designation of Port
Detachment C was transferred to the former 23d Port Headquarters in Base
Section 1 (Darwin). The personnel, equipment, and funds of Port Detach­

ment C were transferred to Headquarters, Base Section 1, on 15 November
1943, and the detachment was transferred without personnel and equipment
from Adelaide River to Headquarters, Base Section 3 (Brisbane).
A Port Detachment D (6 officers, 149 enlisted men) was inactivated on
12 August 1942 en route from Australia to Port Moresby, where its personnel,
like that of Port Detachments A, B, and C, was transferred to Headquarters
and Headquarters Company, 2d Port of Embarkation. On 13 August 1942, appar­

ently, 12 officers and 150 enlisted men commanded by Maj. Douglas S. Mapes
(formerly constituting Port Detachment A) were assigned to Port Detachment
D to operate the port of Port Moresby. By June 1943 the detachment was at

Cairns. When Headquarters, Base Section 5, was established p,t Cairns on
7 September 1943, it was provided that Port Detachment D, supplemented by
personnel to be assigned or attached, would operate as Headquarters, Base
Section 5, under command of Col. Ray H. Lewis. The personnel, equipment,

and funds of Port Detachment D were transferred to Headquarters, Base Sec­ tion 5, on 15 November 1943, and the detachment was transferred without
personnel and equipment to Headquarters, Base Section 3 (Brisbane).
Port Detachment E was activated at Camp Darley, Victoria, 20 July 1942.

- 102 ­

After months of training in Australia the detachment was assigned the
mission of establishing a supply base at Oro Bay. An advance party of
the detachment, combined with elements of other units and commanded by
Maj. Carroll K. Moffatt, arrived at Oro Bay on 13 December 1942; the rest
arrived on 20 December. On 7 May 1943 the personnel, equipment, and unit

funds of Port Detachment E were transferred to Headquarters, 22d Port,
which v/as transferred on the same date from Melbourne to Oro Bay; and Port
Detachment E was transferred without personnel and equipment to Headquar­ ters, Base Section 3 (Brisbane). In November 1943 Port Detachment E estab­

lished and operated at Milne Bay a plant known as "Little Detroit" for
assembling motor vehicles. The detachment was later redesignated as the

3143d Ordnance Medium Automotive Maintenance C o . ^
- were scheduled at Hollandia for the K-l
Port Detachments F and G (Mindanao) and K-2 (Leyte) operations. V . ' h e n K-l was canceled on 16 Sep­ tember 1944, these detachments were disbanded at Hollandia and their per­ 53
sonnel was transferred to Headquarters, Base K, scheduled for Leyte.
Three major port headquarters functioned nominally in the Southwest
Pacific Area — zhe 2d, the 22d, and the 23d. All three, like the port

detachments described above, served at times as headquarters of bases or
base sections, but only the 2d Port Headquarters developed into a major
port in anything like a full sense of the term. The 2d Port was activated

as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, New York Port Headquarters (Em­ barkation), on 10 February 1941, was redesignated as Headquarters and Head­ quarters Company, 2d Port of Embarkation, by order of 17 February 1942,
sailed from San Francisco for Townsville on 22 April 1942, and landed at
Adelaide with the 32d Division on 14 May 1942. The 22d and 23d Ports were

- 103 ­

activated in Australia on 1 August 1942, apparently at Melbourne and Dar­ win respectively.59 The three ports were organized under T/O 10-260-1,

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Port (Mobile), dated 1 July 1942,
which established an organization of 84 officers, 5 warrant officers, 1
nurse, and 438 enlisted men (total 528), under command of a major general,
to provide "headquarters administrative and operating overhead for a port
of embarkation or debarkation," to which "operating and service units, in­ cluding port battalions," could be attached as required. By War Department

General Order No. 38, 31 July 1942, the type of organization designated as
Port Headquarters (TJO 10-260-1) was transferred from the Quartermaster
Corps to the Transportation Corps and was redesignated Port Headquarters,
Transportation Corps (T/O 55-100-1).60 The transfer was given effect in

the Southwest Pacific Area by General Order No. 36, Headquarters, USASOS,
effective 13 November 1942, which redesignated the Headquarters and Head­ quarters Companies, 2d, 22d, and 23d Port of Embarkation (T/O 10-260-1),
as Headquarters and Headquarters Companies, 2d, 22d, and 23d Port Headquar­ ters, TC (T/O 55-100-1). At an unknown date, apparenL:.^ in 1943, these

were redesignated in the theater as 2d, 22d, and 23d Headquarters Companies,
Port (Mobile). On 30 April 1944 they were again redesignated as Headquar­

ters and Headquarters Companies, 2d, 22d, and 23d Ports, TC, and were re­ organized according to T/O&E 55-110-1, Headquarters and Headquarters Company,
Major Port (Overseas), dated 20 November 1943, which established an organ­ ization of 109 officers, 1 warrant officer, and 409 enlisted men (total
519), to which port marine maintenance units, port battalions and companies,
harbor craft companies, amphibian truck companies, and other units would
be attached. On 30 August 1945 the Chief of Transportation, AIW1SPAC,

- 104 ­

remarked that as recently as July 1945 "not one single organized port ex­ isted in the theater," that the grades and ratings of the three "major ports"
credited to the theater had been "utilized to form various headquarters,"
and that "the groups attempting to operate the ports were simply individuals
gathered together and directed to run the ports." The 2d Major Port absorbed

the Port Command, Base X (Manila) , on 10 August 1945 and gradually became
an "organized port." The Headquarters and Headquarters Companies, 22d and

23d Ports, TC, were inactivated at Manila on 15 October 1945, and their
personnel was assigned to Headquarters, AFWESPAC, for reassignment.
As already mentioned, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 22d Port
of Embarkation, was activated 1 August 1942, apparently at Melbourne. On

15 August 1942 Headquarters, Base Section 4 (Melbourne), was redesignated
22d Port of Embarkation and Base Section 4, which on 22 March 1943 was again
redesignated as Headquarters, 22d Port, TC, and Base Section 4. On 7 May

1943 this organization was once more redesignated as Base Section 4; all
personnel, equipment, and unit funds of 22d Port Headquarters were trans­ ferred to Headquarters, Base Section 4; and the 22d Port Headquarters was
transferred without personnel and equipment to Sub-Base 3 (Oro Bay), where
it replaced Port Detachment B as headquarters of the base. The personnel,

equipment, and funds of 22d Port Headquarters were transferred to Headquar­ ters, Base B, on 15 November 1943, when the 22d Port Headquarters was
transferred without personnel a"d equipment to Base F (Finschhafen), where
it again operated as headquarters of the base. The 22d Port Headquarters

was transferred to Port Moresby on 1 February 1944; to Oro Bay, without
personnel and equipment, on 8 November 1944; and to Manila, without person­ nel and equipment, on 20 July 1945. It was inactivated at Manila, as

- 105 ­

mentioned above, on 15 October 1945.
Headquarters and Headquarters Conroany, 23d Port of Embarkation, as
already mentioned, was activated on 1 August 1942, probably ?t Darwin. On

5 August 1943 the 23d Port Headquarters was transferred from Darwin to Oro
3ay (scheduled for Lae) rnd Port Detechment C was transferred from Oro Bay
to Darwin, both without personnel and equipment, and the personnel and
equipment of each organization were transferred to the other. Headquarters

personnel arrived at Lae on 19 September 1943. Headquarters, 23d Port,
received by transfer on 8 January 1944 the personnel, equipment, and funds
of Headquarters, Advance Section, USASOS, at Lae. It was transferred to

Oro Say, without equipment and personnel, on 14 November 1944; to Kollandia,
without equipment and personnel, on 25 January 1945; to Tacloban, without
equipment and personnel, on 1 February 1945; and to Manila, without equip­ ment and personnel, on 30 March 1945. It was inactivated at iianila on 15
October 1945.63
Headquarters, 2d Port of Embarkation (Overseas), which sailed from San
Francisco on 22 April 1948, was stationed in 3ase Section 2 (Tovnsville)
until 12 August 1942, when it was transferred without personnel end equip­ ment to Port Moresby, where it received by transfer the personnel of Port
Detachments A, 13, C, and D. On 24 December 1942 the personnel and equip­

ment of 2d Port, TC, were transferred to Headquarters, U. 3. Advanced Base,
USASOS, and the port headquarters was transferred without personnel and
equipment to Milne Bay. On 15 October 1943 Headquarters and Headquarters

Company, 2d Port, TC, vras designated as Headquarters, Advance B:\se A (Milne
Bay). On 15 llovember 194-3 the personnel, equipment, and unit funds of the

port headquarters were transferred to Headquarters, Base A (Kilne Bay), and

- 106 ­

port headquarters was transferred without personnel and equipment to Head­ quarters, Base Section 3 (Brisbane), of which the Commanding Officer was
designated as Commanding Officer, 2d Port Headquarters, TC, in addition to
his other duties. On 28 March 1944 2d Port Headquarters was transferred

to Goodenough Island and was constituted as Headquarters, Base G Command,
scheduled for Hollandia. Base G was established at Hollandia on 7 June

1944, with 2d Port Headquarters under command of the Commanding General,
Base G. By 18 September 1944 2d Port Headquarters had been retransferred

from Hollandia to Brisbane, and by 1 March 1945 it had been transferred to
Manila, where on 10 August 1945 it absorbed the Port Command. Consideration

of its later history is postponed to permit a review of data already pre­ 64
sented relating to port detachments and port headquarters.
i f o statement of the policy governing the use of port detachments and
port headquarters in the Southwest Pacific Area before 1945 is found in
available records. Conclusions, however, are suggested by the following

chronology, in which recorded complete transfers of personnel and equipment
from the units listed to other headquarters are shown by asterisks. Con­ jectural dates are inclosed in parentheses. The chronology is discontinued

with the latter part of 1944 because it appears that most of the units were
inactive thereafter. Dates ( _ i f c j y 42)- 12 Aug 42* 6 Jun 42 - 26 Jul 42 ( ­ Jul 42)- 12 Aug 42* 26 Jul 42 - 12 Aug 42* ( 1 Aug 42)- 7 May 43* ( 1 Aug 42)- 5 Aug 43* 12 Aug 42 - 24 Dec 42* (13 Aug 42 -( - Jun 43) 25 Oct 42 - 14 Dec 43 Unit 2d Port Dtchrat of 2d Port Port Dtchmt B Port Dtchmt A 22d Port 23d rort 2d Port Port Dtchmt D Port Dtchmt A Station Townsville Port Moresby Milne Bay Port Moresby . Melbourne Darwin Port Moresby (Adv. Base; Port Moresby (Sub-3ase) Portland Roads

- 107 ­

13 Dec 4 2 - 7 May 43* 24 Dec 42 - 15 Nov 43* 27 Apr 43 ­ ­ 7 May 43 - 15ttov43* ( ­ Jun 43)- 13 ITov 43* 5 Aug 43 - 15 Nov 43* 19 Sep 43 - 14 Nov 44* 15 Nov 43 ­ 1 Feb 44 15 Hov 43 - 28 Mar 44 1 Feb 4 4 - 8 Nov 44 7 Jun 44 -(18 Sep 44) 13 Aug 4 4 - 2 0 Aug 44

Port Dtchmt E 2d Port Port Dtchmt B 22d Port Port Ptchmt I1 Port Dtchmt C 23d Port 22d Port 2d Port 22d Port 2d Port Port Dtchmt A

Oro Bay Milne Bay Goodenough Island Oro Bay Cairns Darwin Lae Finschhafen Brisbane Port Moresby Hollandia Biak

This chronology suggests that these units, except initially the 2d
Port (organized in the United States), were impromptu aggregations of per­ sonnel and equipment, retaining no continuity excerpt their designation and
serving in practice not as port organizations but as headquarters of bases
and as reservoirs from which base commanders drew personnel and equipment.
Port detachments (for small ports) and port headquarters (for large ports)
actually functioned somewhat like elements of the temporary Army Service
Commands (ASCOMs) devised in 1944 and 1945, each element being assembled
and trained as a future base headquarters. Port detachments and port head­ quarters were not identical with port commands. They performed all the

functions of base headquarters till the establishment of complete base
headquarters became possible. Typically, however, only the personnel of

a port detachment or port headquarters, not the detachment or headquarters
itself, was redesignated as a base headquarters. personnel was normally accompanied by promotions. The redesignation of the
The personnel of the

unit was temporarily designated as identical with that of a base headquar­ ters, and later the personnel and equipment of the unit were transferred
to a base commander and the designation of the unit was transferred to
other personnel and equipment. A unit designation was successively applied

- 108 ­

to two or more organizations of the same type, with or without intervening
periods in which no personnel or equipment was assigned and in which the
designation existed only as an unused authorization. This policy was followed

approximately from the middle of 194? till the latter part of 1944. The
policy was adopted "because of a shortage of service personnel in the thea­ ter and was discontinued after the practices that had developed were other­ wise provided for in the regulations governing ASCOM.
As further explained by Col. Harry E. Baird, formerly S-l, USAFiTS, "T/Os
set up in the United States were inoperable in SWPA, where no two situations
were the same. SV/PA was a theater of ingenuity, where the most unheard-of

situations had to be met with insufficient means, and with little or no hope
of help from the United States, where emphasis was on ILTO." It was necessary

to "shove in troops and give them a name." Port detachments were devised
to meet part of the needs that developed, and port headquarters were applied
to the same purpose. Soon after the 2d Port Headquarters arrived in the

theater, its Commanding Officer was appointed to command the 4th Replace­ ment Eepot (Camp Earley), its Judge Advocate was appointed Judge Advocate
of the services of supply headquarters, its Inspector General was appointed
Inspector General in Base 2, and more than half of its other grades end
ratings were reassigned, because of their special qualifications, to a wide
variety of duties. 3y the middle of 1942 the 2d Port Headquarters was a
"paper organization," of which the contents had been removed because no
other source of grades and ratings was available. Charts of unused or

dormant port detachments and port headquarters were hung on a wall, '/hen
need existed for what Col. Floyd S. Fix calls "an accountable unit, some­ thing to assign people to," one of the charts would be taken down, assign­

- 109 ­

merits would be made, and the chart would be filed till the unit that it
designated was again emptied of personnel, v/hen the chart v/ould be hung
up once more in token that the designation was available for future use.
The transfer of a port headquarters or a port detachment was a "paper
movement," not involving physical movement of personnel or equipment. It

was possible for personnel stationed in a base to be entirely unaware of
their assignment to or reassignment from such an "accountable unit," and
to be under the impression that they were assigned to the base headquar­ ters. 64a
The 2d Major Port, assigned to Base X (Manila) on 10 August 1945, was
apparently the first port headquarters in the Southwest Pacific Area to
function as indicated by its table of organization — that is, as a port

command, not as a base headquarters. Discussion of it is therefore post­ poned to permit its inclusion among the port commands.
Port Commands and Medium Ports
As already shown, the transportation activities in bases were assigned
on 15 April 1942 to two coordinate officers — superintendent of Army Transport Service. a regulating officer and a

On 29 August 1942 the regulating

officer was redesignated as transportation officer, in charge of motor,
rail, and air transportation, the superintendent of Army Transport Service
retaining charge of water transportation. tation activities — On 12 January 1943 all transpor­

air, motor, rail, small ships, large ships, and trans­

portation supply — were directed to be placed under a single transportation
officer in each base. On 19 October 1943 certain bases or all bases were
instructed to reorganize in three sections — base port command, base service

- 11) ­

command, and base area command.

This reorganization became effective at

Sydney in October, at Brisbane and Townsville on 1 November, and at Mel­ bourne on 19 Uovember. Under the reorganization, as'announced at 3risbane,

the base port command consisted of all troops, activities, and installations
of the Transportation Corps within the base and was commended by the base
section transportation officer. The port command was thus, in all respects
It ceased to be so in conse­

except its name, the transportation command.

quence of instructions dated 1 January 1944, which directed the establish­ ment of a base motor command, coordinate with the other three commands.
The mission of a base port command and of a base motor command was
prescribed by the U5ASOS organization manual on 1 January 1944. according
to a revision dated 15 -august 1944 the mission of a base port command was
"the operation and maintenance of port facilities for the movement of troops,
supplies, and equipment." and a traffic division. The command was to consist of a water division

The water division was to consist of an armament

section, a boarding officer, a harbor boat service, a maintenance section,
a maritime personnel section, and a pier superintendent. The traffic division

was to consist of a cargo movement section and a troop movement section.
One of the eleven functions of the traffic division was the "scheduling of
incoming and outgoing- cargo and personnel by rail or by air." An air trans­ portation section and a rail transportation section of the traffic division
were therefore to be included in the port command in bases where they were
necessary. *• Transportation Corps supply depot was not to be included un­

less specifically authorized by Headquarters, USASOS. A TC supply depot
was normally with supply depots of other services under the Commanding Of­ ficer, base service center. Motor transportation was assigned to the base

- Ill ­

motor command.
The extent to which these reorganizations and redesignations were
actually applied is not entirely clear. Dates for the establishment of

"base port commands in four Australian bases are given above. Dates and
titles of whatever base port commands may have been established in Darwin
and Port Moresby are not found* In Oro Bay a transportation officer had

been appointed in December 1942, under whom were an Army Transport officer,
a small ships officer, and a motor transport officer. The title of trans­

portation officer at Oro Bay was changed at some time after October 1943 to
base port commander; and a port command existed at Oro Bay by March 1944.
At Milne Bay the transportation officer was redesignated as base port com­ mander in January 1944. At Lae a base port command was established within
forty-eight hours of 13 September 1943, when the port was captured. During

the next year and a half this organization consisted of a port commander,
his executive officer, a water operations section, a cargo control section,
a troop movement section, a civilian personnel section, a harbor control
section, a transportation supply section, and a maintenance and repair sec­ tion. There was a separate base motor command. A base port command existed

at Finschhafen from the establishment of 22d Port Headquarters there on 15
November 1943, the base port commander being subordinate to the Commanding
Officer, 22d Port Headquarters. A base port command was established at
Hollandia with the activation of Base G on 7 June 1944, and at Biak with the
activation of Base H on 20 August 1944.
The port command at Tacloban (Bas e K) was set up on 24 October 1944
(four days after the beginning of the attack on the Philippines). A base

port command for Base M was established at Tacloban (scheduled for Lingayen

- 112 ­

Gulf) on 15 November 1944, under the Base Port Commander and Transporta­ tion Officer. The command consisted temporarily of a Coordination Staff

(Port Commander and Executive Officer, Administration and Personnel Di­ vision, Maritime Personnel Division, '.fater Division, Traffic Division, and
Supply Division) and a Held Operations Section (Stream Operations, Pier
Operations, and Marine Operations). with the base port command. The base motor command was coordinate

Advance elements of the base port command

landed at San Fabian, Lingayen Gulf, on 11 January 1945 and organized the
base port command for operation on 16 January. The Manila Port Command

was established with the Luzon Base Section on 13 February 1945. Actual
port operations, previously controlled by the 4th Engineer Special Brigade,
were assumed by the Port Command on 3 March 1945; but elements of the 4th
Engineer Special Brigade continued to conduct port operations under the
Port Command, and from 6 to 20 April 1945 the Commanding General, 4th Engi­ neer Special Brigade, served as Commanding General, Manila Port Command.
The Command consisted of a Water Division, a Port Facilities Division, a
Port Supply Division, a Maritime Personnel Section, an Administrative Di­ vision, a Control Branch, a Traffic Section, and a Civilian Personnel Di­ vision. Port operations at 3atangas began on 7 April 1945, and Base P .

assumed control of the port on 27 April. At Cebu City the Port Conmand,
Base S, received control of the harbor from the Ajnerical Division on 15
June 1945. 68
The designation of base port command was altered in all the Philippine
bases in the latter part of 1945, beginning with 10 August, when Headquar­ ters and Headquarters Company, 2d Major Fort (Overseas) (T/O&S 55-110-1),
was attached to Base X (Manila) and the personnel of the Port Command, Base

- 113 ­

X, was transferred to this headquarters.

In announcing the change the

Commanding General, FHIBSEC, explained that the action "does not contem­ plate any increase or decrease in personnel other than that desired by
your headquarters or is it in any way intended to do more at the present
time than give the port people a unit to which they can belong and in which
they can begin to build up pride and achievement." i a j o r Port (Over­ The 2d i

seas) was one of the largest port installations in the world, with 11 piers,
capable of discharging 30 Liberty ships simultaneously. The organization

of the port in 1945 is not shown by available records. AJfter a reorganiza­ tion made in February 1946, when the operations and personnel of the port
had been considerably reduced, the port was commanded by the Port Commander,
under whom was a Deputy Port Commander, with seven special officers (Inspec­ tor General, Judge Advocate, Provost Marshal, Adjutant General, Intelligence
Officer, Chaplain, and Headquarters Commandant), a director and an Assistant
Director of Port Services, a Director and an Assistant director of Fort
Operations, the 54th TC Service 'Sroup (under an Executive), and the Head­ quarters Company, follows:
Dir. of Port Services Dir. of Port Operations Special Sv. & Army Exch. Troop Movt. Div. Claims & Contracts . f l aiming Finance Operations Ordnance Port Trans. IIv. Signal Materials-handling Port Mail Officer Equipment Fiscal & Procurement Operations Civilian Employment Motor Army Air Torce »'ater Div. Chemical Stevedore Opns. Engineer Lighterage Surgeon Tanker & PS Quartermaster Accounting & Transportation Supply Statistical 54th TC Sv Grp 47th TC Sv Bn 48th TC Sv 3n 51st TC Sv Bn 119th Port 3n 706th Tank Bn 281st QM Car Co The operating branches were internally organized as

- 114 ­

Senior Service Officer I n t r a n s i t Area Intraaiuros Depot No. 4 Depot No. 1

Ocean Traffic Vessels Operation Operations Small Ships 3 o o k & Manifest
Cargo Movt.
Maintenance & Repair Div. Plans & Projects
Marine Maint.

The motives of this reorganization are not indicated, but the details of
the reorganization show that many or most of the functions of the former
Base Service Command and the former Base Area Command, as described in the
TJSASOS manual in 1944, had been taken over by the Port Commander. In the

absence of comparable information regarding the organization of Base X
(Manila) at this time, it is impossible to determine whether several of
the functions and offices in the 2d Major Port were duplicated in the organ­ ization of Base X. port organization. Consolidations rapidly reduced the elaborateness of the
On 1 June 1946 the 26. Major Port was transferred to

Japan and was replaced at Manila by the 670th Medium Port, formerly at
Batangas. During the whole existence of the Manila Port Command and the

2d Major Port at Manila a 3ase Motor Command had controlled most motor trans­ ... 69
The 54th TC Service Group, mentioned above, had been activated at
Leyte on 18 March 1945 under command of Col. Marc J. Logie. at Manila 1 April. It arrived

It was described as "an intermediate administrative

echelon between its subordinate units and base headquarters," charged with
"making necessary personnel and unit adjustments as well as with the super­ vision of daily routine and the maintenance of a high level of morale within
the command in an effort to increase the efficiency of the port operations."

- 115 ­

It administered military units working under the operational control of
the Port Command. Colonel Logie was replaced as Commanding Officer by Lt.

Col. Joseph J * . V.rhitemer in June 1945. Units attached or assigned at various
times to the 54th TC Service Group included the 46th, 47th, 48th, 50th, and
51st Service Battalions, the 118th, 119th, 365th, 477th, and 521st Port
Battalions, the 803d Army Marine Ship Repair Company, the 706th Tank Bat­ talion, the 903d and 924th Air Base Security Battalions, the 1st Military
Police Battalion, the 775th Railway Grand Division, and the 54th TC Float­ ing Spare Parts Depot. The 54th TO Service Group was transferred without

personnel and equipment from AFWESPAC to XXIV Corps in Korea in March 1946.
The strength of the Manila Port Command anl the 2d Major Port was re­ 7l
ported as follows (not including attached units after February 1946):

Month 19 4 5 Feb 25

la. 54th TC Sv Grp 0 EM . 0 EM

4th ESB 0. EM

Total Military






Mar Apr May

Jul Aug Sep

Oct Nov Dec
19 4 6

120 120 — 186 — 350 308
300 192 264 241 258

— 202 228 262 769 564
562 336 240 247 396

— 191 196 — 618 402

4,972 5,423

— — 11,719 5,080

4 31 124 112 577 10,136 585 10,668 464 7,380 (13,800) 671 11,080 753 10,255 840 12,227 968 12,488 710 5,644
560 472 3,982 2,535

2 724
7,492 11,021 11,964 14,457 17,600 19,730 22,254 21,683 24,976

37 960
18,205 22,274 19,808 28,257 29,351 30,738 35,321 35,139 31,330


Feb Mar
Apr May

260 2,860 280 2,199 — _ — _


23,648 10,417 8,380 8,570 7,616

28,190 13,424 8,884/ 9.05&/ 8,270/

These figures, compared with those in Appendix 14, show the following ratios

- 116 ­

between the number of personnel in the Manila Port Command (later the 2d
Major Port) and the total number of TC personnel in SWPA:
April 1945 May 1945 June 1945 July 1945 31$ 33$ 29$ 36$ August 1945 September 1945 October 1945 34$ 32$ 41$ Uovember 1945 December 1945 January 1946 February 1946 43$

In other words, nearly a third of all the TC personnel in the theater was
assigned to the Manila Port Command within two months of its establishment,
and the proportion increased till in January 1946 it exceeded half. In

view of this fact it is unfortunate that the organization of this command
cannot be described more fully from available records. Apparently, however,
the 2d Major Port differed from the Manila Port Command chiefly in name.
Neither organization consisted of units trained to work together and in­ tended to be kept together; both were aggregations of units assembled from
local sources or arrivals from Europe, and moved into and cut of the command
on such a scale that its composition lacked continuity.
The redesignation of Manila as a major port on 10 August 1945 was
followed by the redesignation of the other port commands in the Philippines
as medium ports on 15 October 1945. i'our medium ports were established —
S68th (Tacloban), 669th (San Fernando), 670th (Batangas) , and 671st (Cebu)
— according to T/0&3 55-120-1, Transportation Corps Headquarters and Head­

quarters Company, Medium Port (Overseas), 13 May 1944, each with an auth­ orized strength of 76 officers and 229 enlisted men. The table of organi­

zation refers to this type of unit as "a trained nucleus," to be activated
and trained simultaneously with a port battalion, a port maintenance unit,
an engineer utilities detachment, a finance detachment, a dispensary sec­ tion, and a signal service organization "in order that shipment overseas



— x 1± 1 7 — '

can be accomplished of this group as a unit."

The four companies activated

on 15 October 1945 were evidently not trained in the United States and
shipped to the theater with related units of a port group, but were estab­ lished by commanders of the bases concerned, "utilizing personnel from
sources under direct control'1 and requisitioning added personnel and equip­ ment as required. One source of added personnel may have been the Headquar­

ters and Headquarters Companies^ 22d and 23d Ports, inactivated on the same
date. All these medium ports had been preceded by the 53d Medium Port,
which had arrived in Okinawa on 3 May 1945 and had been relieved of attach­ ment to the 1st Engineer Special Brigade during the same month, receiving
by transfer all units previously assigned to the 1st Engineer Brigade.
Base K Port Command (Tacloban) was discontinued 3 November 1945 and
was succeeded by 668th Medium Port on 4 November. Similar action was taken

in Base R (Batangas, 670th Medium Port) on 27 November, and in Bases M (San
Fernando, 669th Medium Port) and S (Cebu City, 671st Medium Port) during
the same month. A separate base motor command was retained in each port.
A Base Transportation Office existed at Base M throughout the existence of
the 669th Medium Port and presumably exercised staff functions over the Port
and the Motor Command; but no description of its structure and functions
is found. In Okinawa a Transportation Section was activated 16 November

1945. Its office and personnel were transferred from Headquarters, OBASCOM,
to Headquarters, 53d Medium Port, on 25 February 1946, and Col. William D.
Schas was appointed as Chief of Transportation, OBASCOM, and Commanding
Officer, 53d Medium Port, on 16 April 1946. The personnel of 670th Medium
Port was transferred to Battery B, 4th Field Artillery Battalion, on 25 May
1946; and the 670th Medium Port was transferred without personnel and equip­

- 118 ­

ment to Transportation Service, Base X, on 1 June 1946, concurrently with
the transfer of 2d Major Port from Ease X to Japan. On 31 May 1946 the

668th, 669th, and 671st Medium Ports were inactivated, and all personnel
of the 668th Medium Port was transferred to the 338th Ordnance Depot Co. 73
These actions left the 670th Medium Port at Manila and the 53d Medium
Port at ITaha, Okinawa, as the only organized ports in the AFVfrJSPAC area.
By October 1946 the work formerly done by medium ports other than these
two was being done by a Base K Port Command at Tacloban (10 officers, 259
enlisted men), a Base M Transportation Section at San Fernando (8 officers,
37 enlisted men), and a Sub-Base B Transportation Section at Batangas (11
officers, 227 enlisted men). On 30 June 1946 Headquarters and Headquarters

Company, 53d Medium Port, TC, was redesignated as Headquarters and Head­ quarters Company, 53d Small Port, TC. By 12 February 194-7 Headquarters
and Headquarters Company, 52d Medium Port (Philippine Scouts) (18 officers,
1 woxrant officer, 240 enlisted men), had been established under the Trans­ portation Section, Sub-3ase fi. On 26 May 1947 the 670th Medium Port (65
officers, 1 warrant officer, 3 enlisted men) was assigned to 52d Medium
Port (Philippine Scouts) (10 officers, 211 enlisted men), which was trans­ ferred from 3atangas to I-iaaila on the same date. On 30 May 1947 the 670th

Medium Port was inactivated; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 53d TC
Small Port, was inactivated and its personnel was transferred to Headquar­ ters and Headquarters Company, 53d TC Service Group, EX"COM; and Headquar­ ters, Transportation Service, RYCOIi, wes made identical with Headquarters,
61st TC Service CJroup (Philippine Scouts), at Okinawa. On this date, there­

fore, the only surviving organized port was the 52d Medium Port (Philippine
\ 74
Scouts) at Manila.

- 119 ­

The only available organization chart of a medium port in SWPA is one
for 670th Medium Port (Manila) dated 30 June 1946. The port was commanded

by the Fort Commander, tinder whom were a Deputy Port Commander and an ex­ ecutive, with five special officers (Piccal Officer, Control Officer, In­ spector, Judge advocate, and Headquarters Commandant), a Director of Admin­ istration, a Director of Training, a Director of Operations, and a Director
of Supply and Utilities. The branches were organized as follows:
Dir. of Administration Dir. of Staff Service Army jilxchange Br. Adjutant Chemical Br. Military Personnel Ordnance Br. Civilian Personnel Engineer Br. Chaplain Claim, Duties, & Imp. Quartermaster Br. Special Services Army Air Force Br. Post Exchange Medical Br. Signal Br. Trans. Supply Br. Dir. of Training Military Training Info. & Education Athletics & Education Dir. of Operations Water Div. Planning Br. Freight Br. Maintenance Br. Operations 3r. Ship Service Troop & Passenger Intransit Storage Intramuros Int. A. Intrensit Depot 1 Intransit Depot 2 Baggage Transportation Rail Motor r E E (V/ater Express?) V ,

In the absence of indications as to the organization of other medium ports,
or the later organization of the 670th Medium Port, it seems unssfe to
generalize regarding their structure beyond remarking that they existed
during a period of demobilization and that each was reduced in personnel
and simplified in structure as the volume of its activity diminished.
Available personnel statistics of the several port commands, includ­ ing medium and major ports, are too fragmentary and vague to warrant col­ lection. °ome include only port headquarters, others also attached units,

and still others civilian employees; the components of totals are frequently
not indicated; and the total figures are therefore not to be trusted. The

- 120 ­

largest total of personnel in any port command outside Manila was apparently
the 11,240 (75 officers, 142 enlisted men, and 26 civilians in the port
command, 308 officers, 7,989 enlisted men, and 2,700 civilians in attached
units) reported for Base M (San Fernando) in September 1945. Other reported

totals from Base M and other ports were not in excess of 10,000, and few
exceeded 6,000, The identity of port commanders and their dates of- ser­

vice axe somewhat less imperfectly reported in available records. Such
names and dates as are on hand are tabulated in Appendix 13, which includes
only thirteen officers of rani: above lieutenant colonel and suggests that
the average length of service of a port commander was less than three months,

- 121 ­

Notes on Chapter II

1. (1) HTC Australia, I, 2-3, 68, 72. (2) Memo, unsgd, addressee
unnamed, undtd, evidently from Chief Gtf, USAFIA for CG USAFIA, ca SO Jun
42, sub: Narrative Account of Major Activities of 0 , 1 1 Section, p. 15. App
15 to Barnes Rpt.
2. (l) USAFIA GO 20, 3 Mar 42, sub: Establishment of 3ase Sections.
Incl 1 to History of Base Section 6, Perth, Vfestern Australia. In SSUSA
HD file, 780-4. * (2) History of Base Section 6, cited in (l). (s) KTC Aus­ tralia, I, 82.
3. (1) HTC Australia, I, 89. (2) USAFIA GO 38, 15 Apr 42, sub: The
Mission, Organization, and Methods of Base Sections. In OCT KB, Gross file,
4. USAFIA GO 40, 15 Apr 42, sub: Transportation Service, USAFIA. 3(a) to HTC Australia, Vol I.

5. USAFIA GO 76, 16 Jul 42, sub: The Mission, Organization, and Meth­ ods of Operation of Base Sections. Appended to History of Base Section 6,
Perth, V/estern Australia, cited in n. 2(l) above.
6. USASOS GO 10, 29 Aug 4-2. Ref 3(e) to HTC Australia, Vol I.

7. USASOS Regulations No. 60-5, 12 Jan 43, sub: Transportation Corps
Organization & Functions. Ref 2 to HTC Hq, Jan-Jun 1943.
8. USASCS Military History, pp. 58-59. The title and number of the
regulation are not indicated. No copy of it has been found.
9. (l) Organization & Standard Operating Procedure, Base Port Com­ mand, undtd, addressee not named, sgd Lt Col C. S. Maclntyre, TC, Base Com­ mander. Ref 5 to HTC Australia, Vol II. This copy is a . typed copy, from
which identifying information may have been omitted through oversight. The
document may have been prepared by Col Haclntyre before his transfer to Hq
USASOS but in contemplation of his imminent appointment as Chief, Water
Transportation Division, as a basis for discussion of a projected reorgan­ ization of base sections. It contains a very detailed description of port
procedure and organization. (2) HTC Hq, Jul 1943 - Feb 1944, p. 3. (3)
HTC Australia, II, 74. This passage refers vaguely to a reorganization of
October 1943 and cites Reference 5, which is (l) above.
10. (1) Staff Memo 76, Kq Base Sec 3, USASOS, 28 Oct 43, sub: Reorgan­ ization Base Section Three. Ref 7 to HTC Australia, Yol II. (2) History
of Major Activities of the Quartermaster Section, compiled by Historical
Sec, Administrative Div, Office of the Chief QJM, USASOS, IV, 5-6.
11. (1) HTC Australia, II, 84, 98, 125. (2) History of Major Activi­ ties of the Quartermaster Section, IV, 5. (3) StaJTf Memo 76, cited in n. 10(1)

- 122 ­


History of Major Activities of the Quartermaster Section, 17, 6.

13. USASOS Regulations No. 60-5, 21 Nov 43, sub: Transportation Corps
Organizations and Functions (mimeograph). In OCT SB file, SWPA - Organiza­ tion.
14. (1) Staff Memo 76, Hq Base Sec 3, USASOS, cited in n. 10 above.
(2) Memo, Office of the Port Base Commander, Hq Base Sec 3, USASOS, to sec­ tion chiefs, TC, Base Sec 3, 8 Nov 43. Ref 8 to HTC Australia, Vol II.
(3) Table of Organization, Office of the Transportation Officer, Hq Base
Sec 3, drawn by Maj W. F. Petteys, 6 Nov 43. In HTC Australia, Vol II,
following p. 95. At Townsville the Base Port Command established 1 Nov 43
consisted of the following sections: Water Transportation, Land Transpor­ tation, Movement, Supply, Ships1 Personnel Mail, Transit Warehouse, and
Fiscal. At Sydney the procurement, storage, and issue of TC supplies be­ came the responsibility of the Transportation Section, Base Service Command,
in Oct 1943. HTC Australia, II, 84-85, 125.
15. (l) Ibid.. Ill, 36, 39, 54. (2) The Base at Melbourne from Incep­ tion in January 1942 until Termination in May 1944. In SSUSA HD file, 780-5.
16. (l) Organization Manual, USASOS, Part II, revised 15 Aug 44. In
OCT HB file, SWPA - Organization. See Sec 202.05, Revision No. 1, 15 Aug
44. (2) Interview with Brig Gen Jonathan L. Holman, formerly CofS USASOS,
30 Jun 49.
17. Military History of Base Section USASOS from June to December 1944.
In SSUSA HD file, 780-14.
18. HTC Australia, I, 83, 87; II, 83.

19. (1) USASOS GO 65, 4 May 44. Ref 7 to HTC Australia, Vol III. (2)
Military History of Base Section USASOS, pp. 2-5.
20. Organization Manual, USASOS, Sec 201.00 (Revision 5, 15 Aug 44).
GO 65, cited above, directs that Base Section be organized according to
Organization Manual, USASOS, but no copy of an earlier revision of Sec 201.00
is found.
21. (1) Military History of Base Section USASOS, pp. 56, 11. (2)
USASOS GO 172, 29 Aug 44, sub: Disbandment of Base 1. Ref 10 to HTC Aus­ tralia, Vol III. (3) HTC Australia, III, 31. (4) USASOS GO 41, 6 Feb 45.
Ref 2 to HTC Hq, Feb 1945. (5) AFWESPAC GO 68, 18 Jul 45. Ref 11 to HTC
Hq, Jul 1945.
22. (l) AFWESPAC, Semi-Annual Rerport. 1 Jun - 31 Dec 45, p. 81. (2)
Ibid./l Jan - 30 Jun 46, p. 62.
23 (1) AFWESPAC GO 227, 17 Oct 46, sub: U s continuance of Australian
Base Command. Ref 2 to HTC Hq, Oct 1946. (2) HTC Hq, Nov 1946, p. 37.

- 123 ­

24. (1) HTC Australia, III, 109-10; IV, 1-2. (2) HTC Hq, Jul 1946,
p. 40. (3) AFWESPAC GO 227, 17 Oct 46, cited above.
25. (1) HTC Australia, I, 84-87. in n. 2 above.
(2) History of Base Section 6, cited

26. (1) HTC Australia, I, 82-84. (2) Base Section No. 5 at Adelaide,
South Australia, from Inception, 3 March 1942, to Termination on 8 January
1943. In SSUSA HD file, 780-13.
27. HTC Australia, II, 83.

28. (1) Ibid.. I, 66-68; II, 76-77. (2) Memo, Chief, Overseas Supply
Div SIPE (Col Abbott Boone), for CG SSFE, 11 Feb 43, sub: Report of Visit
to Pacific Bases. (Hereafter cited as Boone Rpt.) In OCT HB file, POA.
Col Boone remarks that as of Oct 1942 the port was very little used, but
might "become very important at a later date should strategic operations
change present direction." (2) Information from Mariners, Rpt No. 133,
compiled by Collection Unit, Military Intelligence Div, 21 Dec 43, giving
information from the Chief Mate of the SS Hall Young, at Darv/in 14-25 Jun
43. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Ports & Facilities. Referring to the wharf at
Darwin the observer remarks that "eight men and a small gasoline pile driver
were rushing the repairs to completion." (3) Base Section 1, at Darwin,
during Years 1942 and 1943, dtd 23 Oct 44. In SSUSA HD file, 780-9. (4)
Military History of Base Section USASOS from June to December 1944. In
SSUSA HD file, 780-14.
29. (l) The Base at Melbourne from Inception in January 1942 until
Termination in May 1944. In SSUSA HD file, 780-5. (2) HTC Australia, I,
78-81. (3) 2oone Rpt. (4) Rpt, Asst to CG SITE (Lewis Lapham), addressee
unnamed, 6 Mar 43. (Hereafter cited as Lapham Rpt.) Atchd to memo, Lt Col
Baymond C. Stone, Hq ASF, for Chief, Control Div, Hq ASF, 13 May 43. In
OCT EB file, POA - Inspection Trips. According to this report, Melbourne
was destined to "serve solely as a rest and rehabilitation centre for troops,
being well out of the malaria belt and provided with fine hospital facili­ ties, and as a procurement centre for material. American ships arriving
now, excepting hospital ships, are few and far between." (5) Information
from Mariners, Rpt No. 87, compiled by Intelligence Grp, Collection Unit,
Military Intelligence Service, 28 Aug 43. In OCT HB file, S W A - Ports &
30. USASOS Military History, pp. 60-G1.

31. (l) Ibid.. pp. 61-64. (2) Milne Bay, New Guinea, as a Base from
July 1942 to June 1944. In SSUSA HD file, 780-13. No copy of GO No. 7, Hq
USASOS, 11 Aug 42, has been found.
32. (l) Ltr, Hq USASOS to CO, U. S. Advanced 3ase, New Guinea, 12 Aag
42, subJ Directive. (2) Supplemental directive, same to same, 27 Aug 42.
Both in Origin and Purposes of Combined Operational Service Command and the

- 124 ­

Supply Plan for Hew Guinea at That Time. In SSUSA HD file, 780-2.
33. (1) Origin and Purpose p s e s of Combined Operational Service Command,
g 11 11 Z2 U 11 Z2% U ) ) U US SA AS S S S
Militar ^ ^ * ° yH History, pp. 64-S5. (3) HTC Australia,
^n ^ °


34. Sub-Base C was not formally established in 1943, or if established
was not organized as a USASOS headquarters. Plans for its transfer to
U3ASCS were not carried into effect, but USASOS personnel was assigned in
1943 to the forces on Goodenough Island. U3AS0S assumed control at a later
time. More precise information concerning the status of the service forces
on Goodenough Island is not found in available records.
35. (1) USASOS Military History, pp. 67-68. (3) HTC New Guinea, 1942-44, p. 6.
(2) GO 40, 22 Jul 43.

36. (1) GO 42, 14 Aug 43. lief 1 to HTC Hq, Jul 1943 - Feb 1944. (2)
USASOS Military History, pp. 68-70.
37. Somervell questionnaire, question 8.

38. (1) USASOS GO 73, 14 Nov 43, sub: Reorganization of USASOS Installa­ tions. Ref 3 to HTC Ho, Jul 1943 - Feb 1944. (2) USASOS Military History,
pp. 51-52. (3) "JSASOS GO 5, 8 Jan 44. Kef 2 to HTC Australia, Vol III.
(4) History of Major Activities of the Quartermaster Section, IV, 6.
39. (l) USASOS 00 91, 19 Dec 43, sub: Establishment of Advance Head­ quarters. Exhibit 2 to 6-4 Periodic Report, USASOS, Quarter Ending 31 Decem­ ber 1943. In AG- 319.1(31 Dec 43)(2). (2) USASOS Military History, pp.
52-54. (3) Organization Manual, USASOS, Sec 100.01 (Revision No. 3, 25
Mar 44), 200.02 (Revision Ho. 4, 15 .aug 44). In OCT H3 file, SWPA - Organ­ ization.
40. (1) HTC Hq, Jul 1943 - Feb 1944, p. 3. (2) Memo, Transportation
Officer, Hq Intermediate Sec USASOS (Lt Col George T. Wright), for CTO
USASOS, _ Jan 45, sub: Military History, Transportation Corps, Headquarters,
Intermediate Section. IncJ 15f to Rpt, Maj Mark C. Collarino, Overseas
Operation Br Planning Div OCT to ACofT for Operations, 1 May 45, sub: Notes
on Trip from Washington to POA and SW?A, 19 March to 22 April In OCT HB
file, POA. Certain details have been clarified by Col Floyd S. Fix (inter­ view of 7 Jul 49).
41. (1) HTC New Guinea, 1942-44, pp. 51-52. (2) USASOS GO 44, 24 Mar
44, sub: Establishment of USASOS Base G Command. Ref 6 to HTC Australia,
Vol III. (3) USASOS GO 82, 5 Jun 44. Ref lc to HTC ITew Guinea, 1942-44.
(4) USASOS GO 103, 25 Jun 44, sub: Control of Base G. Ref 8 to HTC Austra­ lia, Vol III. (5) Base G at Hollandia from Founding, March 1944, to May
1945. In SSUSA HD file, 780-21. (6) USASOS GO 153, 13 Aug 44, sub: Estab­ lishment of Base H. Ref Id to HTC Hew Guinea, 1942-44. (7) USASOS GO 41,
6 Feb 45. Ref 2 to HTC Hq, Feb 1945.

- 125 ­

42. (l) AFWESPAC GO 41, 27 Jan 45, sub: Discontinuance of Headquar­ ters, New Guinea Base Section. (2) AFWESPAC GO 76, 23 Jul 45. (3) 4FWESPAC
GO 80, 26 Jul 45. (4) AFWESPAC GO 95, 7 Aug 45. (5) AFWESPAC GO 119, 17
Aug 45, sub: Rescission of General Orders. All appended as Refs l(a)-l(e)
to HTC New Guinea, 1945. (6) AFWESPAC GO 50, 1 Jul 45, sub: Establishment
of Sub-Office of the Chief Transportation Officer, AFWESPAC. Ref 3 to HTC
Hq, Jul 1945. (7) AFWESPAC GO 6, 4 Feb 46. Ref 12 to HTC Hq, Jan 1946.
(8) AFWESPAC GO 123, 10 Apr 46, sub: Discontinuance of Base H. Ref 5 to
HTC New Guinea, 1945. (9) AFWESPAC GO 135, 6 May 46. Ref 2 to HTC Hq, Apr
1946. (10) HTC Hq, Aug 1945, p. 2; Jun 1946, p. 3.
43. (1) USASOS GO 132, 23 Jul 44, sub: Establishment of Army Service
Command. Ref 7 to HTC Australia, Vol III. (2) History of ASCOM from July
23 to December 26, 1944, pp. 1-4. In SSUSA HD file, 780-15.
44. (1) History of ASCOM from July 23, pp. 6-16. (2) Extract from
History of the Army Service Command, 26 December 1944 to 13 February 1945
(M-l Operation). In OCT HB file, SWPA - Organization. (3) Base K on Leyte
from the Inception, September 14, 1944, to December 25, 1944. Atend to (l)
above. (4) Base M on Luzon from Inception in November 1944 until March
1945. In SSUSA HD file, 780-20. (5) Chart prepared by Capt Robert R. Smith,
HD SSUSA, undtd, sub: United States Army Services of Supply, Southwest Pac­ ific Area. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Organization. (6) HTC Philippine Islands,
Apr 1945, p. 14.
45. (1) USASOS GO 42, 11 Feb 45. Ref 3 to HTC Hq, Feb 1945. (2) Luzon
Base Section, USASOS, from 13 February to 1 April 1945. In SSUSA HD file,
780-20. (3) Organization Manual, Luzon Base Section, USASOS, 1 Mar 45, with
certain revised pages of later date in Mar 1945. Incl 8 to Collarino Hpt.
(4) USASOS GO 45, 12 Feb 45. Ref 4 to HTC Hq, Feb 1945.
46. (1) USASOS GO 92, 26 Mar 45. Ref 2 to HTC Hq, Mar 1945. (2) USASOS
GO 101, 4 Apr 45. Ref 1 to HTC Hq, Apr 1945. (3) USASOS GO 107, 8 Apr 45.
Ref 2 to HTC Hq, Apr 1945. (4) USASOS GO 111, 11 Apr 45, sub: Establishment
of Headquarters, Base Q , . Ref 3 to HTC Hq, Apr 1945. (5) HTC Hq, Apr 1945,
p. 2; May 1945, p. 3. (6) HTC Philippine Islands, Apr 1945, pp. 1, 15. (7)
Chart cited above as n. 44(5). (8) Ltr, Hq USASOS to CG PHIBSEC, 13 Jul 45,
sub: Operational Control of Luzon Military Railroad System. Ref 7 to HTC Hq,
Jul 1945. (9) AFWESPAC GO 74, 22 Jul 45. Ref 6 to HTC Hq, Jul 1945. (lO)
A3WESPAC GO 178, 15 Sep 45, sub: Discontinuance of Philippine Base Section.
Ref 5 to HTC Hq, Oct 1945. (ll) AFV/ESPAC, Semi-Annual Report. 1 Jun - 31
Dec 45, p. 49. (12) History of Major Activities of the Quartermaster Section,
711, 9 (citing USASOS GO 161, 24 May 45, discontinuing Bases Q, and T effec­ tive 10 June 45).
47. (1) APWESPAC, Semi-Annual Report. 1 Jun - 31 Dec 45, pp. 5, 19.
(2) GO 8, Hq USASCOM-C, 3 Aag 45, sub: Announcement of Staff, App 1 to His­ tory of the Transportation Section, USASCOMC, Aug 1945. In OCT HB file,
Japan - Reports.
48. (1) AFWESPAC GO 239, 19 Oct 45. Ref 1 to HTC Philippine Islands,

- 126 ­

Oct 1945. (2) AiWESPAC GO 277, 5 Nov 45. Ref 4 to HTC Hq, Nov 1945. (3)
ABVESPAG GO 41, 23 Jan 46. Ref 4 to HTC Hq, Jan 1946. (4) HTC Hq, Jun 1946,
pp. 2-3. (5) A5VESPAC, Semi-Annual Report. 1 Jan - 30 Jun 46, p. 23.
49. (1) AFWESPAG, Semi-Annual Report. 1 Jan - 30 Jun 46, pp. xi, 23,
25, 39-40. (2) HTC Hq, May 1946, pp. 2, 28; Jun 1946, p. 21.
50. (l) History of Transportation Activities on Okinawa from Inception
through 1945. In OCT HB file, Okinawa. (2) ASWESPAC, Semi-Annual Report.
1 Jun - 31 Dec 45, p. 69.
51. Rad, CinC AtfPAC to CG U. S. Army Forces Middle Pacific and CG 10th
Army, 26 Jul 45. In OCT 323.3 SWPA.
52. (1) AFWESPAC, Semi-Annual Report. 1 Jun - 31 Dec 45, p. 69. (2)
Ibid., 1 Jan - 30 Jun 46, p. 43. (3) AFWESPAC GO 213, 9 Oct 45, Sub: Oki­ nawa Base Command. Ref 6 to HTC Hq, Oct 1945. (4) GO 2, Hq FEC, 1 Jan 47,
sub: Establishment and Redesignation of Commands and Units, Assignment of
Personnel, and Announcement of Organization. Ref l(b) to KTC Hq, Jan 1947.
53. (1) USASOS Military History, pp. 60, 66-67. (2) HTC Australia, I,
70; II, 71, 84. (3) USASOS GO 153, 13 Aug 44, sub: Establishment of Base
H. Ref Id to HTC New Guinea, 1942-44.
54. USASOS Military History, pp. 62, 66.

55 (l) Ibid., pp. 66, 71-72. (2) Base at Lae until March 1944, pp.
126, 130. In SSUSA HD file, 780-18. (3) USASOS GO 73, 14 Nov 43, sub: Re­ organization of USASOS Installations. Ref 3 to HTC Hq, Jul 1943 - Feb 1944.
56. (1) USASOS Military History, pp. 66-67. (2) HTC Australia, II, 82.
(3) HTC New Guinea, 1942-44, pp. 3-4. (4) USASOS GO 50, 7 Sep 43. Ref 10
to HTC Australia, Vol II. (5) USASOS GO 73, 14 Nov 43, cited in n. 55(3).
57 (1) HTC New Guinea, 1942-44, pp. 23-24. (2) USASOS Military His­ tory, p. 62. (3) History of Port Detachment S, 1 Jun 44. In possession
of Lt Col Carroll K. Moffatt. (4) Milne Bay, New Guinea, as a Base from
July 1942 to June 1944. In SSUSA HD file, 780-12.
58. Base K on Leyte from the Inception, September 14, 1944, to Decem­ ber 25, 1944. In SSUSA HD file, 780-15.
59 The date is from the source cited as n. 6l(l) below.

Planning Div, 7a Troop Unit file SWPA.
60. T/0 55-100-1 is not known to have been printed as such. Copies

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of T/0 10-260-1 were renumbered by hand as T/0 55-100-1, on authority of
WD GO No. 38.
61. (l) Historical Data cards for 2d Major Port and for 368th and 369th
Major Ports, Organized Reserves (formerly 22d and 23d Major Ports, regular
Army). In Organization and Directory Sec, Operations Br, Administrative
Services Div, AGO. (2) USASOS GO 36, 13 Nov 42. Hef 2 to ETC New Guinea,
1942-44. (3) USASOS GO 64, 2 May 44. Ref 3 to HTC Hq, Mar-Jun 44. (4) Ltr,
CG PHIBSEC to CG Base X, 9 Aug 45, sub: Assignment of Unit. Ref 1 to HTC
Philippine Islands, Aug 1945. (5) Ltr, CofT AFWESPAC (Brig Gen George C.
Stewart) to CofT ASF, 30 Aug 45. In OCT HB file, SWPA - Miscellaneous. (6)
AFtfESPAC GO 224, 13 Oct 45. Ref 8 to HTC Hq, Oct 1945. C o l. Floyd S. Fix,
formerly CG NUGSEC, remarks (interview of 7 Jul 49) that the Chief of Trans­ portation, ABVBSPAC, had recently arrived from Europe, which with regard to
service personnel had always been a "fat theater," and that he probably
failed to realize the peculiar circumstances which obliged SWPA to use port
headquarters as pools of grades and ratings.
62. (l) Historical Data card, 368th Major Port, Organized Reserve,
cited above. (2) HTC Australia, I, 81, 98; II, 98. (3) The Base at Mel­ bourne from Inception in January 1942 until Termination in May 1944. In
SSUSA HD file, 780-5. (4) USASOS GO 42, 14 Aug 43. Ref 1 to HTC Australia,
Vol II. (5) USASOS GO 73, 14 Nov 43, cited in n. 55(3). (6) AFWESPAC GO
224, 13 Oct 45, cited in n. 61(6).
63. (l) Historical Data card, 369th Major Port* Organized Reserve,
cited in n. 6l(l). (2) USASOS Military History, pp. 71-72. (3) Base at
Lae until March 1944, p. 130, cited in n. 55(2). (4) USASOS GO 5, 8 Jan
44, Ref 2 to HTC Australia, Vol III. (5) AFUKSPAC GO 224, 13 Oct 45, cited
in n. 61(6).
64. (1) Historical Data card, 2d Major Port, cited in n. 61(l). (2)
USASOS GO 36, 13 :Tov 42, cited in n. 61(2). (3) USASOS GO 42, 14 Aug 43,
cited in n. 62(4). (4) USASOS GO 73, 14 Nov 43, cited in n. 55(3). (5)
USASOS GO 44, 24 Mar 44. Ref 6 to HTC Australia, Vol III. (6) USASOS GO
82, 5 Jun 44. Ref lc in HTC New Guinea, 1942-44. (7) USASOS Military His­ tory, pp. 66-57. (8) Ltr, CG PHI3SEC to CG Base X, 9 Aug 45, cited in n.
65. See above, pp.

66. Organization Manual, USASOS, Sees 202.02 (Revision No. 5 ) , 202.03
(Revision No. 4 ) , 202.05 (Revision No. l ) , and charts E and F — all dtd
15 Aug 44. No copy of the first issue of this manual, 1 Jan 44, has been
67. According to HTC New Guinea, 1942-44, p. 28, the title of superin­ tendent of Army Transport Service was changed at Oro Bay to transportation
officer in Sep 1943. This assertion is erroneous, but in September 1943
the former superintendent of ATS (Army Transport officer) was appointed
transportation officer. Interview with Lt Col Carroll K. Moffatt, formerly

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transportation officer, Base B, 31 Mar 49.
68. (1) HTC Hew Guinea, 1942-44, pp. 16, 28, 30, 33-35, 42, 53, 59.
(2) HTC Philippine Islands, Oct 1944 - Jan 1945, pp. 1, 8-9, 14; Mar 1945,
pp. 10, 14-22; Jun 1945, p. 18. (3) USASOS, Semi-Annual Report. 1 Jun ­ 31 Dec 45, p. 53.
69. (l) Ltr, CG PHIBSEC to CG Base X, 9 Aug 45, cited in n. 61(4).
(2) USASOS, Semi-Annual Rerpo r t. 1 Jun - 31 Dec 45, p. 50. (3) Org chart,
2d Major Port (Overseas), Feb 1946. Hef 8 to HTC Hq_, ?eb 1946. (4) HTC.
Hq, Feb 1946, pp. 30-32; May 1S46, p. 22; Jun 1946, p. 21.
70. (l) ETC Philippine Islands, Apr 1945, p. 3; May 1945, p. 6; Jun
1945, p. 5. (2) HTC Hq, Mar 1S46, p. 5.
71. (l) HTC Philippine Islands, Har 1945, p. 21; Apr 1945, pp. 9-10;
May 1945, p. 5; Jun 1945, p. 5; Jul 1945, p. 3; *ug 1945, p. 5; Sep 1945,
p. 5; Oct 1945, p. 5; Hov 1945, pp. 8-9; Dec 1945, pp. 8-9. (2) KTC Hq,
Jan 1946, pp. 38, 40; 1 ' e b 1946, p. 35; Mar 1946, pp. 29-30; Apr 1946, p.
26; May 1946, pp. 26-27.
72. (l) AFWESPAC GO 224, 13 Oct 45, cited in n. 61(6) above. (2) His­ tory of Transportation Activities on Okinawa from Inception through 1945,
p. 7, cited in n. 50(l) above.
73. (1) HTC Philippine Islands, Fov 1945, pp. 15, 24. (2) History
of Transportation Activities on Okinawa, p. 16. (3) KTC Hq, Feb 1946, p.
47; Apr 1946, p. 40; May 1946, pp. 37, 39, 40.
74. HTC Hq, Jun 1946, p. 34; Oct 1946, Annex 1, p. 24; Teb 1947, p. 3;
May 1947, pp. 7-9, 51.
75. 1946.
76. Org chart, 670th Medium Port, 30 Jun 46. Ref 1 to HTC Hq, Jun

KTC Philippine Islands, lep 1945, n>, 6-7.

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