pacific war

Events In History


War in the Pacific

  • War in the Pacific

    Thousands of New Zealanders fought in the Pacific War, which was sparked by the Japanese bombing of the American naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. It was a conflict fought on a vast scale over huge distances. For the New Zealanders, this was a war fought close to home.

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  • Page 2 – The war against Japan

    United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it as 'a date which will live in infamy'  -  7 December 1941, the day the Japanese bombed the American naval

  • Page 3 – Changing fortunes

    In 1942 the Battle of the Coral Sea (7-8 May) and Battle of Midway (3-6 June) between the Japanese and United States navies left the United States with superior numbers of

  • Page 4 – The final stages

    Once the tide had turned in favour of the United States and its allies, American troops began 'island hopping' through the central Pacific, taking one island after another.

  • Page 5 – Soldier's stories

    New Zealanders who served in the Pacific War had diverse experiences. They were involved in fighting in the jungle, some spent time in Japanese prisoner of war camps, others

  • Page 6 – Pacific War Timeline

    Key dates for New Zealand military involvement in the Pacific during the Second World War

War oral history programme

  • War oral history programme

    Information about the now completed From Memory oral history project, including advice on how to interview war veterans

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  • Page 9 - Notes and questions, PacificQuestions and background information for interviewing war veterans of the Pacific Theatre in the Second World

HMNZS Leander

  • HMNZS Leander

    When the Royal New Zealand Navy came into being on 1 October 1941, its main combat units were two Leander-class cruisers: Achilles and Leander. Although its early war was quieter than the Achilles, the Leander was to see dramtic action in the Pacific War.

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  • Page 5 - Recovery and repairLeander was hit just abaft the ‘A’ boiler room. Almost 500 kg of high explosive killed everyone in the boiler room. The blast, venting up through the boiler room duct, blew


  • Herrick, Michael James

    Michael James Herrick was one of five brothers to serve during the Second World War. He flew with distinction during the Battle of Britain and in the Pacific before being killed on air operations over Denmark.