Go to the site map page Go to the search page Go to the contact us page To to the Government Portal www.govt.nz Go to the top of the Page

US troops in New Zealand, World War II

United States troops and brass band march down Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand
United States troops and brass band march down Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand 1942, Photograph by National News, courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand (PAColl-8163-33).

United States troops arrived in New Zealand 3 years in to World War II. They had been sent to protect the country and wider Pacific from the Japanese.

History of the American presence

When Japan entered World War II, the Pacific became a battleground. Many New Zealanders felt that the 2nd New Zealand Division, fighting in North Africa, should be brought home to defend the country.

But, for strategic and practical reasons, the division remained where it was and US forces were sent to New Zealand instead. From here, they could counterattack the Japanese in the Pacific.

In June 1942, shrouded in secrecy, thousands of American soldiers and marines arrived at camps near Auckland and Wellington. Nurses and other units followed later.

Watch 1943 National Film Unit Weekly Review No 76 of US troops in New Zealand


 



© Copyright Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.