Pacific Ocean Areas (command)

Pacific Ocean Areas (Command)

Pacific Ocean Areas (command)

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Pacific Ocean Areas was a major Allied military command in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. It was one of four major Allied commands during the Pacific War, and one of two United States commands in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz of the U.S. Navy headed the command throughout its existence.

The vast majority of Allied forces in the theatre were from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. However units and/or personnel from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Fiji and other countries also saw active service.

Formation and composition

On 24 March 1942, the newly-formed British and US Combined Chiefs of Staff issued a directive designating the Pacific theater an area of American strategic responsibility. Six days later the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) divided the Pacific theater into three areas: the Pacific Ocean Areas (POA), the South West Pacific Area (SWPA), and the Southeast Pacific Area. The Pacific Ocean Area command formally became operational on 8 May.

The JCS designated Admiral Chester W. Nimitz as Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas (CINCPOA), with operational control over all units (air, land, and sea) in that area. Mainland Asia was excluded from the POA, as were the Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies, the Territory of New Guinea (including the Bismarck Archipelago) and the western part of the Solomon Islands. US strategic bomber forces in the theatre were under the direct control...
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