Appendix FLETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS TO MAJ. GEN. MILLARD F. HARMON,
COMMANDING GENERAL, U.S. ARMY FORCES IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC,
7 JULY 1942
- The establishment of the Pacific Ocean Area as an area of United States strategical responsibility under the command of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, became effective on May 8, 1942. The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, has been designated the "Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Area". Under the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Area, a U.S. Naval officer has been designated as "Commander, South Pacific Area". The South Pacific Force under COMSOPAC include the following:
- All base and local defense forces (ground, naval and air) now assigned or to be assigned to forces in the South Pacific Area. The New Zealand Chiefs of Staff are responsible for the land defense of New Zealand, subject to such strategic decisions affecting this responsibility as may be made by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, for the conduct of naval operations in the Pacific Ocean Areas.
- Assigned New Zealand, Free French, Dutch and other United Nations Naval forces.
- Such fleet types and aircraft as may be assigned by the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
- By direction of the President, you are designated as the "Commanding General, United States Army Forces in the South Pacific Area" (except CANTON Island) under the "Commander, South Pacific Area". Your short title will be COMGENSOPAC. As Commanding General of the United States Army Forces in the South Pacific Area, you will be responsible for the administration and training of all U.S. Army ground and air troops within the area, and will assist the Commander of the South Pacific Area in the preparation and execution of plans for the employment of Army forces in that area. Your responsibilities with regard to supply are covered in Paragraph 3, below.
- You will survey and analyze the means provided each Army command in the South Pacific Area for the execution of its assigned mission and, based thereon, submit for approval by the War Department, your recommendations for the rearrangement, reduction or augmentation of the personnel and material now allocated to each base command with a view to establishing a balanced, cohesive and efficient Army contingent for the execution of separate base command missions and for the effective defense of the South Pacific Area as a whole. In this connection you are advised that for the present, operations in the South Pacific Area are restricted to those necessary to support the strategic defensive. Requirements for the present for this area will be held to the minimum consistent with that role.
- Two mobile Army Air Forces, each comprising one heavy bombardment
group, have been established for operations in the Pacific and Southwest Pacific Areas, as may be directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These mobile air forces will comprise.
- A Hawaiian mobile air force, from units duly assigned to the Hawaiian Department, which will normally base and operate in Hawaii;
- An Australian mobile air force, from units duly assigned to the Southwest Pacific Area, which will normally base and operate in Australia.
- In cooperation with the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, and the Commanding General, Southwest Pacific Area, you will assist the Commander, South Pacific Area in the preparation of advance plans for the employment, protection and supply of these two mobile air striking forces so as to facilitate their employment in the South Pacific Area, if and when they are ordered to that area.
- As Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area, you will be responsible for the supply of all bases in that area for which the Army is responsible. The basic supply directive is WD letter, file Ag 400 (4-27-42) MC-SP-M, April 28, 1942, subject: "Supply of Overseas Department, Theaters, and Separate Bases". See Inclosure No. 2 attached. You are charged with the duties of overseas department, theater and separate base commanders as prescribed in paragraph 6 a of Inclosure No. 2 except as modified below.
- The San Francisco Port of Embarkation is assigned the responsibility for supply of your forces.
- Where possible, delivery of supplies will be made in full shipload lots to the respective bases in accordance with directives of COMSOPAC for supplies procured by the Joint Purchasing Board, and of the Commanding General, San Francisco Port of Embarkation, for supplies furnished by him. Where redistribution of supplies is necessary, COMGENSOPAC will notify the Commanding General, San Francisco Port of Embarkation of the destination of these supplies as directed by COMSOPAC. War Department letter, AG 400 (6-22-42) MS-SP-M, June 25, 1942, subject: "Supply of United States Army Forces in the South Pacific Area" is revoked upon your assumption of command (see Inclosure No. 3).
- The responsibility for Class III supplies of all categories at Army bases in the Area rests with the Navy. To this end, COMGENSOPAC will keep COMSOPAC fully informed of the need for this class of supply.
- You are specifically charged to:
- Secure information from Army Task Force Commanders as to what supplies can be procured at each base, and pass this information on to COMSOPAC, so that these supplies need not be furnished by the Joint Purchasing Board or Army sources at San Francisco Port of Embarkation.
- Receive strength reports from each base and relay them to the Commanding General, San Francisco Port of Embarkation and to COMSOPAC.
- Arrange for the automatic supply to all bases of Class I supplies which can be procured by the New Zealand Joint Purchasing Board. The actual distribution of these supplies will be made as directed by COMSOPAC.
- Notify the Commanding General, San Francisco Port of Embarkation of the Class I supplies which are being furnished locally.
- Have all requisitions for Class II and IV supplies routed through your headquarters. Arrange to furnish those supplies of these classes which can be secured locally in the same manner as in (c) above.
- Forward requisitions for Class II and IV supplies to the Commanding General, San Francisco Port of Embarkation for the balance of these classes of supply with specific instructions as to priority of shipments together with full information as to the basis of the requisition.
- Secure from Army Task Force Commanders information as to any exportable surplus of local produce available at each base. Inform COMSOPAC.
- You will proceed under air-travel orders to Auckland, New Zealand, making such inspections of your command enroute as you see fit. Upon arrival at Auckland, you will establish your headquarters and make all preparations to assume command of the forces to which you have been assigned. When you are ready to assume command, you will report to the Commander, South Pacific Area and by secret radio the War Department.
By direction of the Commander-in-Chief.
G. C. MARSHALL,
Chief of Staff.
THOS T. HANDY,
Assistant Chief of Staff.
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (Appendix E) ** Next Chapter (Appendix G)