US troops in New Zealand, World War II
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