Chapter VI
Advance Base Units--LIONS, CUBS, ACORNS

THE REQUIREMENTS of the new base facilities along the East Coast--New Zealand--Australia line exhausted [the] Navy's ready stock of many important base items. For example, as of 7 April, after provision had been made for BLEACHER, ROSES, and STRAW, BuDOcks had reduced to essential zero" its stock of pontoons, distillation units and water purifying units.1 The situation, in brief, was that the reserve base matériel on hand and in process of procurement on 7 December 1942 had fortunately sufficed, but only just sufficed, to fill the minimum needs for reinforcing the life-line to the Southwest Pacific. Even the firm consolidation of these positions had entailed the diversion of matériel from urgent programs, particularly from that for "LIONS and CUBS."

LIONS and CUBS was the name applied to the most important single concept in the history of wartime advance bases. The odd phrase may have had an accidental birth, unrecorded in the official records of CNO, but the development which it denominated began before Pearl Harbor and endured throughout the war. By the autumn of 1941, at the time when procurement for the United Kingdom bases was almost complete, the necessity for the continuing production of mobile base equipment became apparent to the responsible officers. The value of the new matériel and techniques which had been pioneered at Quonset had been amply


demonstrated not only in connection with the United Kingdom bases. Frequently, Quonset had been the source of supply for gear to fill urgent needs elsewhere, needs which promised to recur. The construction of the bases undertaken as a result of the Destroyer deal was not yet finished. The program of Galapagos Units was still active. Moreover, studies were underway to determine the logistic implications of War Plan RAINBOW NO. 5, which provided for the establishment of advanced bases in the Caroline Islands, the Azores, and elsewhere. All these commitments emphasize the value of the depot at Quonset. With the approval of Op-12, Budocks kept the contractors under Contract NOy 4715 at work. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the Navy was employing their whole staff and organization, both at Quonset and in New York, full time.2

Shortly after the major part of the work on BOBCAT had been completed in Washington, Op-12 took the initial step in a program for the procurement of immense quantities of advance base matériel. A letter addressed on 15 January to all the Bureaus and to Op-30, "desired that immediate steps be taken to assemble materials and equipment required for four main advanced bases and twelve secondary advanced bases." Its author directed that detailed lists of the necessary equipment be prepared and that representatives be designated for a conference on 23 January on these matters, which were declared to be


urgent. In enclosed tables of the broad requirements, which were modifications, apparently reflecting the experience gained at Quonset and in the United Kingdom, of the characteristics specified in a letter from CNO to CinCPac in the previous April. This letter discussed the problem of establishing bases in the Caroline Islands in the event of war with Japan. Eloquent evidence of the revolutionary change in attitude toward advance base problems which war induced is contained in one of its sentences. "As a practical matter, the installation (at Truk) of maintenance facilities, such as shops, wharves, and dry docks, is a laborious procedure taking, under the best of circumstances, two to five years." It is easy to understand why, in the absence of any significant experience such as that derived from the British bases, the planning officers in CNO estimated at two or more years the time necessary for the installation of facilities comparable to those at the Boston Navy Yard. Little more difficult is it to guess the duration of the war, had there not been a radical transformation of basic concepts and techniques.3

The letter of 15 January 1942 announced this revolution. It was consolidated in another letter addressed on 12 February to all the Bureaus and to Op-30. CNO now called for the assembly of materials for one major and three secondary bases not later than 1 July. It directed that "the Main Fleet Advanced Bases ... be hereafter referred to as 'LION 1 to 4' and the Fleet Secondary Bases as 'CUB 1 to 12'". This official baptism served the interests both of convenience and security.


The projected bases now had simple names enjoying a precise meaning with service and initially none at all outside.4 Assembly of materials for CUB No. 1 and LION No. 1 was directed to be accomplished at the depot in the Twelfth Naval District, of CUB No. 2 in the Sixth and CUB No. 3 in the Eighth. The remaining three LIONS and nine CUBS were to be procured at the rate of one LION and three CUBS each quarter. Points for their assembly would be designated in the early future. Assumed climatic conditions were specified, three CUBS being for cold, one LION, and three CUBS for temperate, and the remainder for tropical areas. The necessary operating personnel were estimated for LION bases at approximately 440 officers and 4450 men and for CUBS at about half those figures with aviation personnel comprising almost ninety percent of the totals. Repair facilities for LIONS were specified as the equivalent of an AR plus the special equipment of an AS and an AD. Finally, in order to expedite the project, authority was given for the withdrawal from Quonset of any materials except those still earmarked for the completion of the United Kingdom bases.5


A useful index to the characteristics of LIONS and CUBS, as they were conceived early in 1942, is contained in a lengthy, descriptive memorandum prepared by Op-12 for Rear Admiral Turner in CominCh.

2. LION bases are of sufficient size to care for the logistic support of the major part of a fleet, with repair facilities equivalent to an AR plus special equipment provided in an AS and an AD. Aviation repair, operation and maintenance facilities for 210 planes are included. Sufficient material is provided to support personnel of 17,500 men.

3. CUB bases are of sufficient size to care for the logistic support of a small Task Group of Light Forces with no facilities ashore. Aviation repair, operation and maintenance facilities for 105 planes are included. Sufficient material is provided to support approximately 4,100 men ...

8(c). It is estimated that 8,000 enlisted men will be required from the U.S. navy for each LION and 3,000 enlisted men for each CUB projected. Personnel for those bases will consist of specially trained repair groups for repair of aircraft, submarines, surface craft, and ordnance equipment.

The memorandum continued with a schedule of the major facilities of both types of base which was taken, with slight modification, from the CNO's letter of 15 January. It then outlined the equipment which was to be procured by each of the Bureaus and concluded with a statement that, in order to reduce the consumption of critical materials and the demands upon shipping, mechanical equipment should be limited to bare essentials, and construction be of a temporary nature, in minimum amount using local materials and labor so far as possible.6

Two additional directives filled in gaps in the administrative structure for the procurement of LIONS and CUBS. The first one dealt with financial and accounting procedures and provided that in general


and aside from specialized items, BuDocks should finance and procure "the original construction and outfitting of advanced bases ... including (construction on the site and) collaterals of other Bureaus, but not including consumable supplies and materials, armament, military equipment ... (or) equipment for operations off-shore ..." These and other materials were to be procured and financed by the cognizant bureau. It was further directed that materials be consigned for assembly to the Advanced Base Sections of the appropriate Naval Supply Depots. This cumbersome procedure was an inevitable consequence of the basic organization of the Navy Department and the manner in which Congress made appropriations. The second directive abolished the Galapagos Units and released their material for inclusion in LION and CUB Units. It is further evidence of the connection between pre-war and wartime advance bases.7

The foregoing four directives laid the foundations for the procurement and assembly of advance base matériel on the incalculable scale required by global war. Much highly important detailed work remains to be done; many significant changes and improvements both in base equipment and in the techniques of its procurement and distribution were later made. These will be discussed in due course. Meanwhile, the arrangements for providing skilled operating personnel for projected LIONS and CUBS require consideration. If the bases were to fulfill their purpose, a well conceived training program was imperative.


In the establishment of advance base training, the experiencce gained with the United Kingdom bases again proved to be of great worth. In compliance with instructions, recommendations were made by a special board, consisting of Commander J.V. Carney (Engineering Officer for Aircraft, Staff, Commander Support Forces; Commander Support Force's representative in Iceland during the construction of the Fleet Air Base), Commander P.R. Coffin (Support Force coordinator at Quonset for material for United Kingdom bases and O-in-C of the school at Quonset for training personnel in utilities operation), Lt. Comdr. M.B. Gurney (Maintenance Officer for Aircraft, Staff, Commander Support Force), Lt. Comdr. W.E. Gentner (O-in-C Advance Aviation Base "A"). Their exhaustive report, submitted in several parts during March, was approved by CNO and, except for one minor detail, its proposals were implemented. In brief, the report consisted of a plan for the organization of a base with detailed schedules of rated and no-rated enlisted personnel and of officers of various classifications, all with assignments to specific billets in the operating and aviation aspects of the bases, and of an outline of training program, including a syllabus, a timetable, and a statement of available equipment and facilities. Two important elements were not considered in detail, the ship repair and the construction departments of the bases. The former was one with which the Navy had had long experience culminating in the repair units for the United Kingdom bases. These latter were now operating at Pearl Harbor, where the merit of the concept was being proven. Few of their


officers were available to compile a report comparable to the one just outlined. The second element, the Construction Department, lay within the cognizance of BuDocks, and was being taken care of by the organization and training of Construction Battalions. The report paid equally little attention to other Staff Corps functions, such as the Medical and Disbursing Department, though provision was made for the inclusion of suitable Medical and Supply Corps personnel.8

The implementation of these proposals was initiated during the last weeks of March by the preparation in Op-12 of appropriate directives for the signature of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Formal approval of the general scheme was made in a letter to BuDocks, with a copy to BuNav, which was signed by the Sub Chief of Naval Operations on 27 March.9 The actual directives, of which there were six, were all promulgated on 30 March. One of them constituted a basic personnel directive for LIONS CUBS, much as CNO's letter of 12 February was the foundation for advance base matériel procurement. It was amplified by the pertinent details for specific situations in the other five.

The basic directive explained that air protection was contemplated for all types of advance bases, from major repair and operating bases down to minor ones having replenishment facilities. only. To man these bases there were to be three types of units: (a) base units, (b) surface and subsurface repair units, (c) aircraft maintenance, repair and ground operational units. Because of restricted facilities for


training and the complexity of duties, the training would be divided between several stations: aviation units at Naval Air Station, Norfolk, surface shup repair units at the Destroyer Base, San Diego, and submarine repair units at San Diego and Pearl Harbor. These training units, it wa explained, would exist for an indeterminite time with the withdrawal of personnel and its replacement, both that under instruciton and that providing the instruction, as would be required to fill the needs of bases in the process of establishment.10

The detailed directives called for the establishment of the several types of units as indicated above. It was provided that the first group ordered under instruction should be the nuclear personnel of the first LION and the first three CUBS and that similar groups be trained each quarter. Detailed personnel allowances were enclosed and instructions given for the use in training of existing facilities at the respective stations, including aircrart and ships in actual operational need of repair. The personnel attached to the units planned for the United Kingdom wer in general to be transferred to these new units and the old ones to be abolished. Together the directives provided for a omprehensive trianing program well designed to produce adequate skilled personnel. They were the foundation upon which was slowly built one part of the structure which enabled the Navy to play its part in victory over Germany and Japan.11


LIONS and CUBS were the backbone of advance bases. They did not, however, constitute a complete structure. Lighter and more flexible elements were wanting, the equivalent of arms and legs, eyes and ears, fingers and toes. By June 1942, plans were being made for the first limited offensive which was initiated in August by the landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi. The experience of the war had already demonstrated the prominent importance of air power both for purely naval and for amphibious operations. The value of PT squadrons had been shown in the defense of the Philippines. No one could doubt the significance of radar. Admirable as were LIONS and CUBS to perform the mission for which they were designed, they were not suitable for all the varied requirements of the war either in the Pacific or the Atlantic. Complementary smaller and more specialized units were a manifest necessity.

The largest and perhaps the most important of the new units were called ACORNS. As in the case of LIONS and CUBS, the initial planning for ACORNS was done by Op-12. The first directive, dated 4 July 1942, explained succinctly the concept and purpose.

1. The increasing importance and land-based air craft in operations in the Pacific area and the necessity for additional aviation operational facilities to provide for new airplanes being delivered at an increasing rate under the 27,000 plane program makes it mandatory that a large scale program of procurement and assembly at airfield materials and plane servicing facilities be undertaken. These assemblies will be designed to facilitate the rapid construction and operation of mutually supporting island air bases, or in conjunction with amphibious operations, the quick repair and operation of captured enemy airfields.

It is requested that immediate steps be taken to procure the following:

  1. Material:
    Seven group of airfield materials, each group to include one portable carrier deck


    (HE-1) and three airfield assemblies each consisting of two runway strips of metal mesh or perforated plate landing mat; airfield construction equipment, rearming, refueling, and light servicing equipment, and containers for aviation gasoline and lubricants.

  1. Personnel:
    For each of the above material groups:
    A commanding officer,
    Two construction battalions,
    Four communications groups of such size and composition as to be able to man communications facilities being supplied,
    A small Base Service Unit,
    Two groups of aviation ground personnel, each group to be of such size and composition as to enable it to service one carrier group and 12 VPB or transport airplanes.

3. Each airfield assembly will include the minimum amount of material and equipment consistent with rapid construction of airfields and efficient servicing of the operating planes under combat conditions. Due consideration should be given to the possibility that it may be desirable to transport an advance echelon of the subject assemblies by air.

4. Facilities of each airfield will be designed to service one carrier group.

5. Where procurement of this material conflicts with the requirement for LIONS and CUBS the first three groups (nine air fields and three portable carrier docks) will be assigned priority ahead of LION 2 and CUBS 4, 5, and 6, and the remaining four groups ahead of LION 3, and CUBS 7, 8, and 9.

6. The name OAK No. 1, 2 ... 7 will be used in correspondence to designate a group of four air field units and the name ACORN No. 1, 2, 3, ... 21 will be used to designate the component parts of each group. ... In each OAK the lowest numbered ACORN will be the carrier deck (HE-1) unit.

7. The first three OAKS will be assembled at the West Coast Advanced Base depots in Hueneme and Oakland, California. ...12

Implementation of this directive began immediately, most of


the detailed work being done by the Bureaus, under the coordination of Op-30. Problems were frequently discussed in the Friday morning conferences during July and August.

Meanwhile, the course of the war in the South Pacific rendered the program even more urgent. ComSoPacFor and CinCPac desired that the first two OAKS be given priority over CUBS 2 and 3, for which shipment orders had already been issued. Sufficient planning had also been completed to permit the issue of more detailed specifications. The new situation was reviewed in a second basic directive on "Plans for ACORN Air Bases" issued by Op-30 on 18 August 1942.

This plan ordered the shipment if the first eight ACORNS as soon as possible and set a schedule of dates of readiness for shipment running from 25 August to 30 September. It distinguished between the two types of ACORN units by designating landing strip ACORNS as RED and carrier deck ones as BLUE. SInce the latter would be delayed, the first eight were all RED. Their schedule required the earmarking of nearly the total landing field mat which could be secured. Diversion of both material and personnel from CUBS 2 and 3, but not from LION 1, was authorized. The Director, Naval Transportation Service, was requested to make the necessary shipping available, and the Bureaus were instructed to furnish the requisite data with regard to tonnage, cubage, and heavy lifts to the Loading Officer of the Twelfth Naval District. Finally, provision was made for the creation of pools of equipment in each area for the future augmentation of the facilities, should that step appear to be desirable. The directive had two appendices,


one giving considerable detail with regard to material and personnel, the other outlining a suggested division of the material into four "waves" which would grade a fighter field, surface it, surface a bomber field, and then another bomber field. The personnel totalled 38 officers and 1180n enlisted men in the base unit, most of them associated with the Construction Battalion. The tonnages of the first two waves approximated 2,000 and those of the third and fourth, 3,000 and 4,000 respectively. The directive also explained that, in order to secure mobility, ACORNS, rather than OAKS, were to be basic unit. Thus, while the ACORN concept was destined to a lusty life, that of the OAK13

At this point in their development, ACORNS became enmeshed in two other important programs, that for LIONS and CUBS, and that for amphibious warfare, which hid under the code name of GOLDRUSH. It has already been noted that the first eight ACORNS were given priority over LION 2 and all CUBS except nos. 1 and 13, which were then in transit. The addition of the ACORN concept also invited a reconsideration of LIONS and CUBS, since aviation facilities were a major part of their composition. Thus, there was issued on 25 August a revised plan for LION and CUB bases. It restated the general concepts, summarized development since January, and clarified relations with ACORNS. Appendices included a revised schedule for LIONS, CUBS, and ACORNS, a summary of personnel allowances for LIONS and CUBS, and an outline by Bureaus of their major material equipment. It is the most comprehensive single directive dealing with LIONS and CUBS. In general terms, it


made clear the considerable augmentation of assigned material and personnel which had been dictated by experience since the basic directive of 12 February. LION totals, exclusive of flying and defense personnel, were now 321 officers and 9,734 men, including 110 and 2,908 respectively, in five Construction Battalions. CUB figures were 138 officers and 3,200 men, including the 22 and 1,071 in one Construction Battalion. A comparison of material specifications is not possible, since the earlier directive contained none of the detail in the present one.14

These two plan for ACORNS and for LIONS and CUBS established, in effect, three different types of advance base. The three differed in size and in assigned facilities. All three plans might be and were modified when they were translated into men and material for specific situations. The units were supplemented by 9other specialize types, such as PT boat bases, which will be discussed shortly. Since much of the matériel and many of the categories of personnel were common to more than one type, the logistics problem which they represented was complicated. Its satisfactory solution was to be found in the Catalogue of Advanced Base Functional Components which will be discussed in a later chapter.

The second program, that entitled GOLDRUSH, was a successful effort to devise the special techniques and matériel best adapted to amphibious landings in the face of the enemy. Although an amphibious command had existed for some months in the South Pacific, it was hardly


[an] accident that the GOLDRUSH program gained impetus just after the landings in the Solomons. The first GOLDRUSH directive was issued on 17 September, the product of work in Op-30. It explained that the special project was intended "to initiate and coordinate special ... measures for development of ACORNS for surprise use ... The ultimate goal of all such developments should be highly mobile ACORNS that can be established by surprise tactics between sunset and sunrise on enemy territory that is strategically important, but devoid of harbors and other resources taken for granted to be essential to advanced bases. If this goal should be reached or even approached, ACORNS would become offensive instruments possessing tactical surprise to a highly portentous degree." There followed an assignment of various aspects of the project to the different Bureaus and the Marine Corps. To Op-30 was allotted: coordinating the whole task, checking the development of the entire project and issuing supplementary directives, developing doctrine for the surprise use of ACORNS and the logistic support of ACORNS advanced into enemy waters, eliminating unessentials, preparing for the use of one ACORN as a test unit, maintaining liaison with the Marine COrps ad the Army. A closing paragraph emphasized the highly secret nature of the project.15

Work on GOLDRUSH was carried on by the various interested agencies during the autumn. A special committee representing all the Bureaus met frequently under the guidance, for Op-30, of Commander W.J. Slattery, USN. Scale models of all equipment were made and tested.


Studies indicated that the specially trained ACORNS, designated ACORNS GOLD or SILVER, instead of RED or BLUE, should be designed to land in the shortest possible time the men and matériel to construct and operate a single runway field for use by a carrier group of 36 TF, 37 VSB, and 18 VTB aircraft together with fuel and ammunition for 30 CF missions and 20 other missions with supplies to sustain all personnel for 90 days. It was indicated that six LST's and six LCI's would be required. The initial landing was planned to be made in three waves. Between 1 and 8 December, an actual test was made near Norfolk with highly satisfactory results, which were described in a report issued on 17 December. On the same day, CominCh assigned to the Commander, Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet, responsibility for supervising the training of GOLD ACORNS. Three days later, Op-30 directed that personnel and equipment for all ACORNS subsequent to No. 6 conform to that developed in GOLDRUSH. On 1 January, ComPhibForPac submitted to CNO a general plan for the establishment of the training activity at Port Hueneme. Here were already located a BuDocks Advance Base Depot and an associated training method for Construction Battalions. Much useful advance base equipment and personnel was thus already established there. Training was expected to begin on 5 January. The recommendation was made and later approved that Commander M.B. Gurney, USN, be detailed as C.O., ACORN Training Detachment. Commander Gurney, it should be noted, had served on the Support Force in 1941, been a member of the board which drew the plans for the training of personnel for LIONS and CUBS and was not O-in-C, West Coast


Base Service Unit. With the establishment of the ACORN Training Detachment at Hueneme, GOLDRUSH was complete, although considerable refinement of detail still remained to be accomplished. The general supervision of Op-30 and of Commander Slattery, in particular, had been of great importance.16

Simultaneously with the initial planning for ACORNS, Op-30 formulated a program for PT Boat bases in the Pacific. The basic directive was promulgated on 3 July 1942. It implemented a CominCh decision that facilities for PT squadrons be established, one each in the Fijis, Noumea, Samoa, Tongatabu, Dutch Harbor, and Kodiak, for four squadrons in Australia and for three in Panama. CominCh had provided that, except for the boats destined for Alaska, all were to proceed to Panama under their own power, and there to be loaded on ships for further transfer. The present plan directed that the bases be of mobile character so far as possible, that all squadrons be shore based and equipped to operate with or without tender support. Two types of base were distinguished, ones equipped to provide operating support, major hull and minor engine overhaul, and ones equipped to perform major engine overhaul in addition to the services just summarized. The locations and types of base were then scheduled. The cognizant Bureaus were requested to assemble the necessary personnel and matériel, having the due regard for facilities already established, and to furnish to the Naval Transportation Service, BuSandA and the


Commandants of the Fifth, Eighth, and Twelfth Naval Districts data with regard to tonnage, cubage, dimensions, heavy lifts, and housing equipment necessary for the movement. These appendices outlined the facilities necessary for a Major Engine Overhaul and Operating Base, the required personnel (11 officers and approximately 180 men), and the anticipated time table of the movement. Minor modifications of the plan, chiefly with regard to dates and the location of squadrons, were made in July, August, and October.17

y the end of 1942, Op-30 came to have overall responsibility for still another type of Unit associated with Advance Bases. These were Air Base Radar Units, called "ARGUS Units." Like so much else connected with the advance bade program, the first directive dealing with ARGUS Units was the work of Op-12. In this case, however, still earlier material procurement plans had been made by the Ship Maintenance Division of CNO and by BuShips. Likewise, BuAer, rather than Op-30, was at first assigned responsibility for determining proper matériel and personnel specifications. Only in November did Op-30 promulgate a directive which affirmed the earlier plans subject to certain minor modifications. It then laid down a procurement program for the calendar years 1943 and 1944 which totalled 200 units, forty-nine for LIONS, CUBS, and ACORNS, with two for each LION and one for each CUB and ACORN, and the remainder for special projects and reserves. The directive continued with an outline o training


program to be implemented by BuPers and directions for the assembly of men and matériel, mostly at Davisville, R.I., and Port Hueneme, California.18

This chapter has outlined the nature and development of the major types of Advance Base Units in 1942. It has paid attention to the roles played by Op-30 and Op-12 in this story. Much the same pattern existed in each case. In the first six months of 1942, Op-30 was engaged largely, but not exclusively, in the implementation of broad plans drawn up and initially promulgated by Op-12. In the latter half of the year, after the virtual demise of Op-12, Op-39 took over many of Op-12's functions. As will be shown in later chapters, this turned out to be a temporary arrangement. Nonetheless, Op-30 made a substantial contribution, particularly with the GOLDRUSH project to advance base planning on a high level. In addition to the units here discussed, there were a number of other comparable units, some of which, such as Fleet Post Office units, were of minor importance, while other such as GroPacs (Group of Pacific Units) were merely common assemblies of the smaller units included in the Catalogue of Advanced Base Functional Component. Other examples are CASUS and PATSUS, which were chiefly units of personnel devised for aviation operations in the Pacific Because of their different nature, and because of the significantly different system adopted early in 1943, for the establishment of Advance Bases, they do not appear


to be appropriate parts of the present discussion. Their planning was essentially a function of the staffs of area commanders rather than of CNO. While their importance in the whole history of Advance Bases may not be minimized, they were, as units, of relatively little concern to Op-30 and CNO. In large measure, this situation was a consequence of the logistic machinery which is discussed in later chapters and in other sections of this history.

In January 1943, the rejuvenated Op-12, the Logistics Plans Division of CNO demonstrated its authority in the new framework of logistics planning by issuing a directive to the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations which prescribed the principles of advance base establishment. The value of the accomplishment of 1942 was recognized, and then the need was stressed for greater flexibility then LIONS, CUBS, and ACORNS possessed, n order that the immobilization of personnel and material be avoided. The directive continued by stating that the use of code names, which had proved to be confusing, would be avoided.

would continue, however, to be used. Th then sketched ideas shortly to be incorporated in the Catalogue of Functional Components. It confirmed the present procurement program and directed that:

To maintain a satisfactory state of readiness, components comprising not less that two fully ready LIONS, including material and personnel, will be required, one on each coast, and appropriate procurement and training measures will be instituted to insure the maintenance of such state of readiness. An additional reserve pool of material, the equivalent of a LION, should be maintained on or ready for withdrawal to, either coast.


Similarly, components comprising not less than three CUBS and four ACORNS will be maintained, one CUB on the Atlantic Coast and two CUBS [and] four ACORNS on, or available for withdrawal to the Pacific Coast.

The elimination of unessentials and the use of uniform types of gear, so far as possible, were directed in order, to conserve material, labor and shipping, and to simplify logistics problems. Finally, it was ordered that provision be made for transportation in self-contained echelons, for expeditious unloading and construction against enemy opposition, for the determination of permanent, as distinguished from temporary material and personnel, and for the orderly withdrawal of the latter.19

This directive established the broad pattern, shortly implemented by the Catalogue of Functional Components and the Advance Base Schedule, within which the advance base logistics program worked for the rest of the war. Perhaps the most important single feature of this pattern was a division of responsibility which had already existed for six months but was never explicitly stated.

During the first half of 1942, various agencies in Washington, some in CominCh, some in CNO, and some in the Bureaus, made arrangements for advance base movements. They determined the location and the content of new bases. They drew the formal plans for particular operations. This story was outlined in the previous chapter, and the roles of the several agencies were indicated. It was a retail process.


The present chapter has described the concepts and methods by which simultaneous preparations were made for wholesale business. in essence, the directive of January 1943 established a stock level of advance base matériel which was to be maintained within the United States. In a sense, this reserve was a deposit upon which area commanders were expected to make such drafts as the course of hostilities dictated. It was they who possessed the readiest and most accurate information for the determination of requirements. Theirs was properly the responsibility for planning advance base movements. this general allocation of authority was first exemplified in July 1942 in the "Basic Supporting Plan for Advanced Air Bases at SANTA CRUZ and TULAGI-GUADALCANAL." In character, the plan was similar to those for Borabora and the other South Pacific bases. Of the highest significance, however, is the fact that it was prepared, not by officers in Washington, but by the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet. It was promulgated from his flagship over the signature of Admiral Nimitz. Like earlier basic plans, it laid down an overall framework and provided that detailed supporting plans be compiled by sub ordinate agencies, by the Commander, Service Force Subordinate Command, by the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District. But this was a new set of planners, and the supporting plans, like the basic plan were not made in Washington.

Thus, the function of CNO was altered. Although Op-30 continued, on occasion, to arrange important advance base


movements, as for instance, the establishment of a Pontoon Assembly Depot at WHITE POPPY (Noumea), it cased to share primary responsibility for operations overseas and assumed its chief wartime mission, the creation of the logistic foundation for those operations. It is significant that the scheme for the Pontoon Depot at WHITE POPPY was approved in advance by ComSoPacFor.20

Fortunately, with the LION, CUB, and ACORN program well under way, CNO was prepared for its role as a wholesaler, one of constantly increasing complexity. At the risk of over-simplifying a complicated matter, it may be stated that the seaboard was the line which divided the responsibilities of CNO and the area commanders. CNO had the duty of delivering, at seaboard, trained personnel and prepared matériel. The area commanders called them forward. Much careful liaison was, of course, necessary and a constant interchange of ideas and information. It was no easy task to ensure that there should be at all times be available whatever within reason the area planning staffs might desire. These problems and the methods of their solution will be the burden of subsequent chapters.


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