home opened their homes to the Americans. The Yank's generosity, his ability to hold better what liquor be drank, his reluctance to curse and blaspheme, and his courtesy to women stood him in good stead. But work at the Field went on feverishly. A Camp was built at the Rochleigh School House and was later used to house evacuees coming from Java. Dutch pilots and officers were seen in Lennon's Hotel in Brisbane. The 22nd helped set up the A.P.O. in Brisbane, it released experienced personnel to G.H.Q. in Melbourne, and helped form the Base Section of Brisbane at the Somerville House. But the most important work of all was the splendid job the ground crews did in assembling aircraft new to them-the P-40's and P-39's that were just arriving in crates. Aussies and Yanks worked side by side on the assembly lines inside the hangars, and the Yanks, irritated by the Aussies' taking time out for "tea" and "smoke-o's" during what they considered working hours and while a war was going on, really outdid themselves.
On 22nd March 1942, the first flight of the 22nd air echelon arrived at Amberley Field -the first Air Force Group, completely armed, to fly the Pacific en masse.
Commands had shifted by this time within the Group. Lt.-Col. Millard L. Haskin was now in command. The Squadron leaders were: 1st Lt. Hugh B. Manson, H.Q. Squadron; 1st Lt. George R. Anderson, 2nd Squadron; 1st Lt. Elliott H. Reed, 19th Squadron; 1st Lt. William A. Garnett, 33rd Squadron; and Lt.-Col. Dwight Divine, 11, 18th Squadron. On 24th April 19°12, the 18th Reconnaissance Squadron was redesignated the 408th Bombardment Squadron of the 22nd Bombardment Group, and was now under the command of Captain Brian O'Neill, one of the most colorful Squadron Commanders this Group has had.
As soon as the Group was assembled, plans were made to move it to a more forward area. The Group C.O. and the Squadron commanders flew ahead to Garbutt Field, Townsville, in North Queensland, to select camp sites and to establish maintenance facilities. No depot repairs were as yet available. By the first few days of April, the Group moved into sites -outside of Townsville. Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron as well as the 19th Squadron remained at Garbutt Field while the 33rd moved out to Antill Plains about 20 miles south of Townsville. The 2nd and 408th Squadrons continued on to Reid River, another 20 miles beyond Antill Plains. From Garbutt Field, on 5th April 1942, the 22nd Bombardment Group took off to strike at Rabaul -the first B-26's in combat, and the first medium bombers to strike Rabaul, New Britain, the key .lap air and shipping base in the South-West Pacific.
On this first blow at Jap shipping, Lt. R. W. Robinson, Lt. M: O. Johnson, Lt. Bumgarner, Lt. Moye, Lt. Reed, Lt. Craft, Lt. Herron, Lt. Hatch, and Lt. Ray, with their crews, participated- and successfully sank a transport. Lt. Moye's ship, hit by ack-ack, crash landed at sea later, killing S/Sgt. Bourne, the crew chief, and painfully smashing up Lt. Dreasher, the bombardier. The crew managed to return to the Group.
On April 18th, Lt. G. Lewis, Lt. Powell, Lt. Frank Coleman, Lt. George Kahle, Lt. Almeida, Lt. R. W. Robinson, Lt. Glenn, and Lt. William A. Garnett, and their crews, on another strike at Lakunai Drome and shipping at Rabaul, successfully bombed and strafed