From: Winnipeg, MB
If the US leadership had been more politically aggressive they could also have made better use of the Anzac forces returning from the Middle East. This coupled with a combined US Army/Navy offensive along the lines indicated by you would have been a formidable force.
As another un-accredited historian who for university did a project on the transfer of the 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions to the Pacific and the role of the Australian Political Leadership in the transfer, I must disagree. I consider the aggressive use of the ANZAC forces impossible in 1942. In reality the bulk of the returning AIF forces were only just getting from India to Australia in September and between the fall of Singapore and the heavy losses in North Africa so far in the War, Curtin and the Australian Government were very unlikely to commit to another so called "fortress." And the Australian Military Force, our Conscripted Militia more or less were unable to serve outside of Australian territories which is a reason why Australian Forces were relegated to garrison and Secondary Operations later in the war.
In other words, Australia had very little to offer any American Defence of the Philippines. Whether it was possible in general though, I am not sure, and you are more educated on the state of American Forces, but Australian assistance to the Philippines would have been impossible other than a handful of cruisers and destroyers.
Edit: Forgot to say, I like the AAR and congratulations on the imminent capture of Tokyo.
To clarify a little. In my scenario the Anzacs do not go via India, or anywhere else, on their way back to Australia. Also,
they did not, and weren't planned to either, to help the Americans in the Philippines, only to help keep the way open for
US aid to The Philippines. To that effect they fortified the island chain from Bali to Timor together with Dutch
Forces withdrawing from Java. This was effected by increased pressure from Washington,
"choose between us and the British. If you do not choose us we shall pull out of the South-West Pacific." Simple as that.
It worked! The first ANZAC forces left the Middle East during the winter/spring of 1942, did they not?
As for the militia and its unavailability to serve outside Australia that was just a matter of policy/law which certainly
could have been changed during the right circumstances. However, I did not make use of them other than what was possible
through the game.
That this at all worked was because everything early available from the outside was used to strengthen the defense of Menado
and Ambon. That broke the enemy progress because they planned on using much the same forces in many places. In that way the
route through the Moluccans was kept open. The main part of this reinforcement was the artillery battalions and other units
on the Pensacola convoy which steamed straight through to Menado. A carrier and cruiser task force also brought air and land
forces there. To secure the Moluccans as a transfer route was Eisenhower's idea but it was impossible to implement because of
the total unwillingness of the US Navy to participate.
No British forces participated untill after Singapore, etc. had fallen and then only some air and naval units.
The philosophy is explained in the first book in my book series - Saving MacArthur: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018F2QMEW
All this assumes the Australians could be cajoled into following the US lead. I think this ignores a large political reality.
After the British badly mishandled use of Australian forces on Gallipoli (erroneous maps, poor intel on Turkish dispositions, frontal charges uphill into MG fire, etc.) the Australians returning from WWI were not keen on sending their sons to do that again.
The government managed to get enough support to send AIF troops to help the "mother country" in early WWII, but after the losses at El Alamein I am sure the political capital for any further adventures would have expired. Combine that with the independent streak that is part of the Australian character, and the country would have told any government planning to deploy militias to go to hell. How else to explain that their dockyard workers went on strike and work-to-rule during the war? They just didn't want to believe the sacrifices were worth it. Going as far as Papua was OK - that was Australian territory. Beyond that, the country would not support. It was bad enough that their Navy lost CA Canberra and CL Perth already. (CL Sydney was lost to a German raider, not the IJN).
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth