Participated in the defense of the Philippines in December 1941. Late in December the remaining bombers and some men were evacuated to Australia, and in January 1942 they were moved to Java to help delay the Japanese advance in the Netherlands Indies.
The command ceased to function in March 1942 (the AAF bombardment organizations in the Southwest Pacific being under the control of American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDA) and later Allied Air Forces). Headquarters was remanned in September 1942 and shortly afterward it assumed control of AAF bombardment groups in Australia and New Guinea.
The command served in combat with Fifth Air Force until the end of the war. Brigadier General Kenneth N. Walker, who was killed during a mission over Rabaul on 5 January 1943, was awarded the Medal of Honor; he had repeatedly taken part in combat missions and had developed an effective technique for bombing when opposed by enemy interceptors and antiaircraft fire. After the war the command became part of the occupation force for Japan. Inactivated on 31 May 1946. Disbanded on 8 October 1948.
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