HMAS WESTRALIA, (armed merchant cruiser), landed a garrison and engineers on Efate Island, New Hebrides, to develop a base for operations against the Japanese through the Solomon and Bismarck Groups.
The merchant ship CHARON was requisitioned by the RAN and converted into a provisions ship for service in the Pacific. She was not commissioned and was returned to her owners in early May 1942.
President Roosevelt telegraphed the British Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill:- “There is no use giving a single further thought to Singapore or the Dutch East Indies. They are gone. Australia must be held and we are willing to undertake that. You must hold Egypt, the Canal, Syria, Iran and the route to the Caucasus”.