The Italian Campaign

Page 7 – Kiwi stories

Discover the stories of some of the New Zealanders who served in the Italian Campaign, 1943–1945. Each biography links through to a page with further information. The first five biographies include audio extracts featuring recollections of the soldiers’ experiences.

Able Seaman Joseph Pedersen, Royal New Zealand Navy

Able Seaman Joseph Pedersen

In 1940, at age 17, Joseph Pedersen joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy, which became the Royal New Zealand Navy the following year. In 1942 he was posted to the destroyer HMS Lookout on which he served in the Mediterranean. Hear him describe the Allied invasion of Sicily in September 1943.

Gunner Gordon Johnston, 5 Field Regiment

Gunner Gordon Johnston

Gordon Johnston was called up in 1940 and trained in the artillery. He served in North Africa before going to Italy with the New Zealand Division in late 1943. In Trieste in 1945, Gordon met his future wife, Luciana, who came to New Zealand after the war. Hear him talk about the Division's first action in Italy on the Sangro River.

Private Joseph Bacos, 20 Armoured Regiment

Private Joseph Bacos

Joseph Bacos enlisted in January 1940 and served with the Divisional Ordnance in North Africa, where he repaired vehicles and instruments like binoculars and compasses. He then trained as a tank gunner, and went to Italy with the 20 Armoured Regiment in December 1943. Hear him describe his first action at Orsogna.

Private Reginald Minter, 24 Battalion

Private Reg Minter

Private Reg Minter joined 24 Battalion as a signalman in the Middle East, and was sent to Italy in late December 1943. His first real time in action was at Cassino in March 1944 where he was wounded. After six weeks in hospital, Reg rejoined his battalion and served with the Division for the rest of the Italian Campaign. Hear him talk about being wounded at Cassino, trying to break the German lines at Faenza, and his experiences in Trieste at the end of the war.

Sergeant Tautini Glover, 28 (Māori) Battalion

Sergeant Tautini Glover

Tautini Glover (Te Aitanga-o-Hauiti) arrived in Taranto in southern Italy at the end of 1943. He spent several weeks in hospital after receiving a large shrapnel wound to his arm outside Orsogna in early 1944. Tini then rejoined the 28th (Māori) Battalion and saw action at Cassino, Tavarnelle and Faenza before ending the war in Trieste. Hear his audio recollections of the Italian Campaign on www.28maoribattalion.org.nz.

Brigadier General Howard Kippenberger, commander of New Zealand Division

Brigadier General Howard Kippenberger

Howard Kippenberger was one of New Zealand’s most popular military leaders, and perhaps its most talented. In 1944 Kippenberger was made temporary commander of the 2nd New Zealand Division, and led the unit in the early stages of the Battle of Cassino. While climbing a mountain to gain a better view of the town on 2 March 1944 he triggered a German anti-personnel landmine and lost both his feet. Read Kippenberger’s biography here.

How to cite this page

'Kiwi stories', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/kiwi-stories-italian-campaign, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 2-Dec-2015