In addition to the Fifth Air Force units, elements of Seventh and Thirteenth Air Force advanced into the theatre as Japanese land and naval forces were driven out of the Central and South Pacific Areas.
Airfields and major unit assignments
These airfields, and the headquarters of major units assigned (less Australia) were:
By 1944, Port Moresby had eight airfields, with units deploying their headquarters and squadrons around the area. Operational airfields in the area included Kila Airfield (3 Mile) for fighters and bombers; Wards Airfield (5 Mile) Airfield for heavy bombers and transport planes; Jackson Airfield (7 Mile) which was primarily a command base; Berry Airfield (12 Mile) a fighter and medium bomber base near Bomana; Schwimmer Airfield (14 Mile) for fighter and medium bomber base; Durand Airfield (17 Mile) another fighter and medium bomber base; Rogers Airfield (Rarona, 30 Mile), a fighter and medium bomber base, and Fishermans Airfield (Daugo), an emergency landing strip on offshore island.
Major United States Army airfield in the Philippines from 1919. Occupied by Imperial Japanese Army January 1942 – January 1945. Active USAF base from after liberation until 1991 when destroyed after Mount Pinatubo explosion.
The Fifth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). It is headquartered at Yokota Air Base, Japan. It is the U.S. Air Force's oldest continuously serving Numbered Air Force. The organization has provided 70 years of continuous air power to the Pacific since its establishment in September 1941.
South East Asia Command (SEAC) was the body set up to be in overall charge of Allied operations in the South-East Asian Theatre during World War II.
The American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command, or ABDACOM, was a short-lived, supreme command for all Allied forces in South East Asia in early 1942, during the Pacific War in World War II. The command consists of the forces of Australia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. The main objective of the command, led by General Sir Archibald Wavell, was to maintain control of the "Malay Barrier", a notional line running down the Malayan Peninsula, through Singapore and the southernmost islands of Dutch East Indies. ABDACOM was also known in British military circles as the "South West Pacific Command", although it should not be confused with the later South West Pacific Area command.
Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) is a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force and is also the air component command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM). PACAF is headquartered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, and is one of two USAF MAJCOMs assigned outside the Continental United States, the other being the United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa. Over the past sixty-five plus years, PACAF has been engaged in combat during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
South West Pacific Area (SWPA) was the name given to the Allied supreme military command in the South West Pacific Theatre of World War II. It was one of four major Allied commands in the Pacific War. SWPA included the Philippines, Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, East Timor, Australia, the Territories of Papua and New Guinea, and the western part of the Solomon Islands. It primarily consisted of United States and Australian forces, although Dutch, Filipino, British and other Allied forces also served in the SWPA.
The Australian First Tactical Air Force was formed on 25 October 1944 by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Its purpose was to provide a mobile force of fighter and ground attack aircraft that could support Allied army and naval units fighting the Empire of Japan in the South West Pacific Area. One of several Allied tactical air forces formed during World War II, it evolved from the RAAF's No. 10 Operational Group, established a year earlier. Following action in the assaults on Aitape and Noemfoor, the group was renamed the First Tactical Air Force to better reflect its size and role. It was beset with morale and leadership issues in early 1945, but recovered to take part in the battles of Tarakan, North Borneo, and Balikpapan. Reaching its peak strength of over 25,000 personnel in July 1945, No. 1 TAF's squadrons operated such aircraft as the P-40 Kittyhawk, Supermarine Spitfire, Bristol Beaufighter, and B-24 Liberator. The formation remained active following the end of hostilities in the Pacific until it was disbanded on 24 July 1946.
The New Guinea campaign of the Pacific War lasted from January 1942 until the end of the war in August 1945. During the initial phase in early 1942, the Empire of Japan invaded the Australian-administered Mandated Territory of New Guinea and the Australian Territory of Papua and overran western New Guinea, which was a part of the Netherlands East Indies. During the second phase, lasting from late 1942 until the Japanese surrender, the Allies—consisting primarily of Australian forces—cleared the Japanese first from Papua, then the Mandate and finally from the Dutch colony.
The New Britain campaign was a World War II campaign fought between Allied and Imperial Japanese forces. The campaign was initiated by the Allies in late 1943 as part of a major offensive which aimed to neutralise the important Japanese base at Rabaul, the capital of New Britain, and was conducted in two phases between December 1943 and the end of the war in August 1945.
The Philippines campaign, Battle of the Philippines or the Liberation of the Philippines, codenamed Operation Musketeer I, II, and III, was the American and Filipino campaign to defeat and expel the Imperial Japanese forces occupying the Philippines during World War II. The Japanese Army overran all of the Philippines during the first half of 1942. The liberation of the Philippines commenced with amphibious landings on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on October 20, 1944. United States and Philippine Commonwealth military forces were progressing in liberating territory and islands when the Japanese forces in the Philippines were ordered to surrender by Tokyo on August 15, 1945, after the dropping of the atomic bombs on mainland Japan and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.
The South West Pacific theatre, during World War II, was a major theatre of the war between the Allies and the Axis. It included the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Borneo, Australia and its mandate Territory of New Guinea and the western part of the Solomon Islands. This area was defined by the Allied powers' South West Pacific Area (SWPA) command.
The Battle of Hollandia was an engagement between Allies of World War II and Japanese forces during World War II. The majority of the Allied force was provided by the United States, with the bulk of two United States Army infantry divisions being committed on the ground. Air and naval support consisted largely of U.S. assets, although Australia also provided air support during preliminary operations and a naval bombardment force.
No. 78 Squadron was a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fighter squadron of World War II. It was formed in July 1943 as part of expansion of the RAAF's fighter force, and was assigned to mobile striking forces for the duration of the war.
The Battle of Noemfoor was part of the New Guinea campaign of World War II. It took place on the island of Noemfoor, in Dutch New Guinea, between 2 July and 31 August 1944. During the battle, Allied forces landed on the island to capture Japanese bases as part of their advance through the Pacific towards the Philippines. The initial landing was largely unopposed and the Japanese defenders withdrew inland as the US troops came ashore. Sporadic fighting took place over the course of two months as the Allies secured the three airfields on the island and pushed the surviving Japanese troops to the southeastern coast. The island was later used by the Allies to support operations around Sansapor and on Morotai.
The Battle of Morotai, part of the Pacific War, began on 15 September 1944, and continued until the end of the war in August 1945. The fighting started when United States and Australian forces landed on the southwest corner of Morotai, a small island in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI), which the Allies needed as a base to support the liberation of the Philippines later that year. The invading forces greatly outnumbered the island's Japanese defenders and secured their objectives in two weeks. Japanese reinforcements landed on the island between September and November, but lacked the supplies needed to effectively attack the Allied defensive perimeter. Intermittent fighting continued until the end of the war, with the Japanese troops suffering heavy loss of life from disease and starvation.
Batchelor Airfield, is an airport located south of Batchelor, Northern Territory, Australia. The airport currently has no commercial air services; however, it is utilised by the Northern Australian Gliding Club and the Alice Springs Aero Club as a flight training base.
During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces established a series of airfields in Australia for the collective defense of the country, as well as for conducting offensive operations against the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. It was from these airports and airfields in Australia, that the Fifth Air Force was able to regroup, re-equip and begin offensive operations against the Empire of Japan after the disasters in the Philippines and Dutch East Indies during 1942.
During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces fought the Empire of Japan in the Central Pacific Area. As defined by the War Department, this consisted of most of the Pacific Ocean and its islands, excluding the Philippines, Australia, the Netherlands East Indies, the Territory of New Guinea the Solomon Islands and areas to the south and east of the Solomons.
RAAF Command was the main operational arm of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during World War II. The command was formed in September 1942 and by April 1943 comprised 27 squadrons, including units from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as Australia. Coming under the operational authority of Allied Air Forces Headquarters in the South West Pacific Area, RAAF Command exercised control of its units through geographically based area commands in Australia and, later, New Guinea, as well as large mobile formations including the Australian First Tactical Air Force. The command reached a strength of 41 squadrons in October 1944. From the time of its establishment, until its disbandment in September 1945, it was led by Air Vice Marshal Bill Bostock.
North-Western Area Command was one of several geographically based commands raised by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during World War II. Its wartime sphere of operations included the Northern Territory, adjacent portions of Queensland and Western Australia, and the Dutch East Indies. The command was formed in January 1942, following the outbreak of the Pacific War, from the western part of Northern Area Command, which had covered all of northern Australia and Papua. Headquartered at Darwin, North-Western Area Command was initially responsible for air defence, aerial reconnaissance and protection of the sea lanes within its boundaries.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) operated Vultee Vengeance dive bombers during World War II. The Australian Government ordered 297 of the type in late 1941 as part of efforts to expand the RAAF. This order was later increased to 400 aircraft. A few Vengeances arrived in Australia during 1942, and large-scale deliveries commenced in early 1943; further orders were cancelled in 1944 after 342 had been delivered.