The Corps and the Kiwis

Tuesday, June 12, AD 2012

Hattip to Don the Kiwi for reminding me of this anniversary.  Seventy years ago on June 12, 1942 the Marines landed in New Zealand.  They were the vanguard of some 20,000 Marines who would train in New Zealand before going on to hellish battlefields throughout the Pacific, including Tarawa featured in the above video.  In the memoirs of the Pacific War that I have read, US troops stationed in New Zealand and Australia viewed their time there as paradise and the Aussies and the Kiwis as some of the friendliest and most hospitable people on the planet.  Some US servicemen settled in both nations after the war, and some 15,000 Aussie and 1500 Kiwi women went to America as war brides.

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5 Responses to The Corps and the Kiwis

  • Thanks for this Don.
    Many Kiwis remember the yanks from that time with much fondness.
    I recall attending a US Marines ball in Wellington back in September 1971; it was an anniversary for them – quite a big one, I think.A great and memorable night – everything laid on. Several of the young marines were on Embassy duty for a period – most of them just back from Vietnam. They had got to know a friend of mine, whom we were staying with for four months while I completed a contract in Wellington, and we had many hilarious times – when they were off duty, of course. 🙂
    I couldn’t help smiling at this comment on your link to the Kiwiblog article.(wat danby is a guy I have frequent arguments with on this blog – he is atheist and strongly anti-christian). But his comment I have heard about Kiwi troops often over the years.
    Can’t beat the Kiwis for resourcefulness though, eh? 😉

    wat dabney (1,505) Says:
    June 12th, 2012 at 6:18 pm
    I remember reading one Kiwi’s account being stationed on a Pacific island near to some US troops.
    The Yanks were very well equipped and generous in sharing it, but the Kiwis had a reputation for “aquiring” additional items to improve their living conditions.
    One of the Americans made the remark that the New Zealanders should share an island with the Japs: the war would be over in a week as the Kiwis would have taken all their stuff

    Thankfully, not all kiwis are like that – stealing from your friends ( although there was quite a lot of competiveness with the Americans – and a degree of jeaousy)

    As you will see often in the comments, God bless America.

  • Actually Don, we in the Army always thought the Marines were the top thieves in the wordl! They were always coming over for “midnight requisitions” of any equipment the Army had that they wanted. Of course Army troops have been doing this for generations to the Navy, which traditionally has had the best chow of any of the services.

  • Well Don,
    I think, in a pitched battle of thievery, the Kiwis would win hands down.
    Only the Marines would have stuff worth stealing. 😆

  • My dentist as a teen (A Dr. Cohen) was an Aussie in WWII. He was in New Zealand working in a munitions depot when it… exploded. He had extensive nerve damage from gas and shrapnel… and the Marines had gone in and hauled him out. Because his wounds were so severe, they trucked him over to the US base not far away, and saved his life.

    Then some brainiac in England claimed to have “some interesting theories on healing nerves.” People were skeptical. At this rate, he’d be a paraplegic, and possibly even need to be strapped into an iron lung for life. Well… that’s not how it turned out. He could not only walk and breathe on his own, but also do very detailed and high quality work with one hand.

    Granted, the other hand wasn’t much use, but he was an artist with a drill. IN fact, when I went to get work done at the dental school, they begged me for permission to X-ray the large molar cavity he’d filled. The supervisor at the dental school wanted it as a demonstration to his students, as to how the very best fillings are done. After all, most modern dentists would have put a crown there. As of the time they were looking at it, it had survived a good 15 years. It is still viable to this day. He was not only an excellent dentist, but also invented the first ceramic filling material and the temporary filling as well. He was the head of department of Dentistry at the University of Michigan. I know this is an article about New Zelanders, but if it had not been for them granting the US permission to go in quickly and send him to the US base, the world would be poorer for it.

  • In WWII, a smalll USN clinic on an out-of-the-way atoll radioed higher HQ.

    “We have a case of beri-beri. What do we do with it?”

    The repsonse: “Give it to the Marines. They’ll drink anything.”

Junk Science Part II

Wednesday, November 25, AD 2009

A follow up to my initial post here on what is becoming known as Climategate.  Now news comes from New Zealand about massaging of data by global warming proponents.

The New Zealand Government’s chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn’t there.

The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain’s CRU climate research centre.

In New Zealand’s case, the figures published on NIWA’s [the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research] website suggest a strong warming trend in New Zealand over the past century.

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6 Responses to Junk Science Part II

  • Jim Salinger was fired from NIWA earlier this year, but the reason never came out into the public domain. Now the reason is obvious.
    The revised data seems to show similar data to the graphs I have seen on OISM.org , in refutation of the AGW scenario.
    Locally, we have just had the coldest October since 1945. Winter last year was the coldest since 1973 – this winter just gone was colder – we had more snow on the Southern Alps than before – some say the most in living memory. The Cabbage trees are flowering about a month early – nature’s indication of a warm dry summer.
    Is this a proof of AGW?
    Nope – I recall in my lifetime this happening fairly regularly. I think this summer will be cooler than those in the 60’s when I was a callow youth – those lazy hazy days of summer were warmer then, and again warmer in the 90’s. Recent summers are cooler than previous.
    Maybe our bro’s across the Tasman in Australia would disagree – they are heading for one of the worst bush fire seasons in quite some time; will be interesting to see what the AGW pundits make of it.

  • I think around the world Don science bloggers are going to be checking data that has been amassed by global warming advocates. This whole thing is beginning to stink of group think and outright fraud.

  • Thanks Rick.

    Actually we do get large iceburgs floating past the bottom of the South island fairly regularly, some come part way up the east coast of the South Island not far from Dunedin and Christchurch, and tourist operators offer helicopter flights to them – they land on those that are stable and flat enough.
    But we’ve had a pretty wet winter as well as a cold one – so the Aussies should send out a ship and lassoe this ‘burg because they’ve has a fairly dry winter – they could do with the water.
    Both the NZ and the Oz governments have been focussing on pushing through Emission Trading Schemes over the past few days, in time for the Copenhagen conference – just so they can wave and say “look at me, look at me” for doing something about CC. What I want to know is, all the extra taxes (carbon) that are going to be levied, where does the money go? Our ex PM, Helen Clark, who is now in charge of the UN Development Fund is going to give all our hard earned dollors to “third worls countries” like China and India – that’s where the money goes. Clark “bought” her job with the UN by donating millions to the UNDF while she was PM, thus giving her a shoe in for the job.
    Its all part of a Marxist plot (Helen was a Labour -read marxist/left wing politicion, and radical feminist to boot) – wait and see. Don’t have time right now to expand – will later if I can.

  • > he claims NIWA has a good explanation for adjusting the temperature data upward. Wratt says NIWA is drafting a media response for release later this afternoon which will explain why they altered the raw data.

    In a reliable scientific study, such adjustments would be documented, explained, and justified as part of the methodology. It would be in the original publication.

    To say ‘we have good reasons for this, which we did not disclose before, but don’t worry, we will come up with an explanation’ means one thing: they got caught.

  • Hopefully this will be one more step towards scuttling plans to hamper the private sector with ever-increasing regulation… could we see both cap-and-trade and ObamaCare die in the Senate?

Our Disappearing Heroes

Friday, October 9, AD 2009

HMNZS Achilles

A special guest post for American Catholic by commenter Don the Kiwi.

Last week I attended the funeral of my wife’s uncle, James William Foy. Jim was born on 21st. January 1926, and died on the 24th, September 2009, aged 83.   Jim died of bowel cancer, which was diagnosed too late for it to be operable, several months previously.  Though he was raised  Catholic, like some of his generation his war experiences tended to dilute the importance of our Faith to him, and though he had a crucifix, and pictures of the Sacred Heart  and of Our Lady in his home, he hadn’t practised his faith for many years.

The funeral service was conducted at the Matamata funeral director’s ‘chapel.’ It was a very secular affair, and the only part remotely religious was the recitation of The Lord’s Prayer toward the end of the service. Jim had joined the RNZ Navy as soon as he left school, and after his training, was posted to HMNZS Achilles (a light cruiser, of the 1939  Battle of the River Plate fame) in 1944. Part way through the service, which was attended by a number of aged war veterans – friends of his from the local RSA (Returned Services Assn.) – an old shipmate of Jim’s named James Craig, rose and walked to the rostrum. These are his words, as best as I can recall them.

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Anzac Day

Saturday, April 25, AD 2009

kiwis_cassino

Today is Anzac Day.  It commemorates the landing of the New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli in World War I.  Although the effort to take the Dardanelles was ultimately unsuccessful, the Anzac troops demonstrated great courage and tenacity, and the ordeal the troops underwent in this campaign has a vast meaning to the peoples of New Zealand and Australia.

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9 Responses to Anzac Day

  • Thank you Don, for your wishes. I am rather humbled,flattered and honoured to be singled out.

    Loved your poem – I had not heard it before, but is very appropriate, and very Kiwi/Aussie. There are many other songs I could quote of course, but not printable on this blog – as I’m sure anyone attached with the military, and of that time, can attest. (If anyone is unsure what a “bob” is, it is the slang term for a shilling – nowadays, 10 cents.) Interestingly, wages had not gone up much, for by WW2, my Dad was being paid only ten bob per day. As Rommell said of the Aussie and Kiwi troops, “Pay them another ten shillings per day, and they’ll drink themselves out of the war.”

    Anyhow, we really kicked his arse at the battle of El Alemein in the Western Desert – he should have put up the extra ten bob. 🙂
    No small part of that was the Long Range Desert Group (LRGD) a bunch of mainly Kiwis, with a few Aussies and Poms thrown in, who harassed the German and Italian forces, hundreds of miles behind the enmy lines. A high death toll though; my father knew a couple of the guys involved.

    Back to Gallipoli, my maternal Grandfather, and mum’s uncle both served on Gallipoli.Grt.Uncle Eustace Nicholson was a Sergent Major – a big man, and a real feisty old bugger, who was a boxing champion on the Western Front after surviving Gallipoli. Pop Piper (Mum’s father) was a Cornishman – came to NZ about 1910, and was told that because he was from Cornwall, he could be a Tunneller. He used to keep us spellbound when we were kids, about how he could hear “the Turk” above him – that’s when they’d stack up explosives and get out quick before the ka-boom. Pop Piper was wounded, but went to England to assist with training etc. – joined the army as a private, came out a Second Lieutenant.
    Dad’s oldest brother also saw service in the trenches in France and Belgium. He got gassed, and when he recovered back in NZ, played Rugby for a Rotorua club for the next ten years. He was a real character – always had a twinkle in his eye, especially for the ladies. After his gassing, he was returned to NZ to a convalescent home. Only there for three days, and seduced the matron 😆 not bad for still recovering,and with only one lung.

    Dad served in Italy in WW2 – just missed Casino where the Kiwis suffered a bit of a clean up – but saw action in Faenza and Rimini in ’44. Came home on a hospital ship with a bad back injury – was used a a guinnea pig for spinal operations and took 18 months to recover. Managed the pain till his death in 2005 at age 93. Had many relations as well in WW2 – a mad Irish stock uncle – Joe Murphy by name – navigator in Lancasters – got shot down and captured, escaped, rejoined his squadron, got shot down again and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp.

    Anyway, enough from me. Thanks foe the ANZAC post Don, and God Bless.

  • Oh, BTW.
    I read the links you have included.
    The third one – “The best kind of Travel experience” if you check out the left hand link about the Bay of Plenty, that’s my home town – Tauranga.

  • Glad you enjoyed it Don! I hadn’t heard of the Rommel comment before, but it sounds like the type of dry observation that Rommel would often make. Courage is a virtue too underrated today; the Anzacs had that virtue in plenty and that deserves to be remembered, and not just in New Zealand and Australia. For the benefit of our readers I am linking below to a site with a few basic facts about Tauranga.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tauranga

  • Gallipoli.

    If only Mr. Churchill planned it out better the outcome would have been different.

    We would have been able to march to Constantinople, free the city of Muslim rule and allow the Greeks to worship without fear.

    Now they’re almost wiped out.

    What could have been.

    *sigh*

  • Tito,

    that’s the religion of peace you’re talking about there.

  • Tito.
    It was mainly the blinding incompetence of the British command that was the main problem: procrastinated decisions,watering down objectives and failing to sieze initiatives.
    But lets not discount the fierce Turkish resistance either.
    The Aussies had the sense to take their troops out of British control after Gallipoli. In the campaign in Europe when the Aussies refused an order from General Haig, Haig threatened to execute them all for mutiny- The Aussie commanders told Haig that he could not put a volunteer army before the firing squad. Haig had to back down.
    The NZ troops were still under British command. Five NZ soldiers were infamously executed for desertion, but the poor devils were so shell shocked they didn’t know what they were doing. So much for the British stiff upper lip and absentee commanders.
    All a long time ago now.

    Have we learnt anything?

  • hi does anyone no how to get the lyrics to the poem the last post!!!

  • kate, here is a link, assuming this is the poem you had in mind.

    http://beck.library.emory.edu/greatwar/poetry/view.php?id=fiery_061

  • I remember reading that “we are the Anzac army’ was a marching song, sung to the tune of Aurelia (which to those unfamiliar with that name, is same tune as the famous anglican hymn “The Church’s One Foundation”)

    It’s easy to blame Gallipoli on WC, and it all but ruined his political career for a generation, but the whole British administration backed the plan … Kichener, Fisher, Asquith … that is, until they didn’t or got cold feet.

    Too many Anzacs …and Britsh … soldiers and sailors paid with their lives for inept combined tactics. W.C., however, was not responsible for Kichner’s unwillingness to combine landings with the naval assault on the Narrows, nor for the Navy’s unwillingness to press the battleship attack against the Narrows batteries when victory was at hand, nor the abysmal British generalship when the landings finally did take place – particularly at Sulva Bay.

    Sic transit mundi.

    Had it worked, the Ottoman Empire would have been out of the war … and likely no Bolshevik revolution, no Arabian revolt, and, perhaps, no World War 2. Who knows. The sacrifice of those who died on that terrible peninsula, who were maimed or wounded, though, is honored by all who admire duty, loyalty and courage. May the rest in peace and honor.