Marines arrive in Wellington

Marines arrive in Wellington

The US 1st Marine Division arrives in Wellington aboard the USS Wakefield on 14 June 1942.

The journey to camp

Marines drinking milk Marines arrive at Paekakariki Marines arrive at Paekakariki Marines arrive at Paekakariki

After leaving the ship, the Marines boarded a train to Paekākāriki, where they disembarked and marched into camp. The 1st Marines did not stay long, departing six weeks later for the bloody Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands.

Community contributions

4 comments have been posted about Marines arrive in Wellington

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Posted: 11 Jul 2017

My grandpa was a Cpl in the 3rd Marine Divison and talked about being in New Zealand before going to Guadalcanal

Ribert Alvarez

Posted: 19 Apr 2017

My father - Joe Alvarez - was a staff sergeant First Marines First Marine Division. He lived to be 95 years old. For his whole life he told me how beautiful NZ was and how wonderful the people were. He truely loved your country. He was on Guadalcanal, New Britain, Pelalieu, Okinawa. He was one hell of a tough guy. He because a watchmaker in Pittsburgh PA and later moved to Long Beach CA. He will waltz with Matilda and the First Marines who he loved forever - good on yah !


Posted: 13 Mar 2013

Hi Oakes, thanks for this. The First Division arrived in Wellington 14 June 1942 then were shipped off to Guadalcanal (where many would die) on 22 July. Others quickly took their place, including the 2nd and 3rd Marine Divisions and members of the 37th, 43rd and 25th Infantry Divisions. Regards, Jamie Mackay.


Posted: 13 Mar 2013

Not only was the 1st Marine Division in Wellington, but the 2nd Marine Division was there as well. My Grandfather was among them. A Corporal in the USMC.