The 542nd Engineer Amphibian Regiment, 2nd Engineer Amphibian Brigade, relocated from Camp Edwards, in Massachusetts to Fort Ord in California by train on 8 November 1942. the 542nd did not train at Camp Gordon Johnston, but joined the rest of the second brigade which had trained here. On 28 January 1943, the 542nd sailed from San Francisco headed for Brisbane in southern Queensland, Australia. They arrived in Brisbane on 18 February 1943.
The 542nd Engineer Amphibian Regiment accompanied the 287th Signal Company and the 3498th Medium Maintenance Company on a train journey to Rockhampton in central Queensland leaving Brisbane on 22 February 1943.
The 542nd Engineer Amphibian Regiment camp area was inspected by General Douglas MacArthur and Lt. General Eichelberger in late February 1943.
On 4 July 1943, the 542nd was redesignated as the 542nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. On 31 July 1942, the 542nd accompanied by the 262nd Medical Battalion caught a ship headed for Oro Bay in New Guinea.