This Sergeant had a long career in the NZDF. He served in overseas in Bosnia, Solomon Islands and Afghanistan. This DDPM uniforms is one of the earlier ones with the brown swirl buttons. This shirt was probably his coming home uniform as it doesn’t have much wear though the trousers do have a bit more so could have seen a bit more of Afghan than just Bagram.
Was lucky to get hold of this NZ manufactured 2012 trial Multi Terrain Pattern (MTP) uniform. This pattern did not end up getting accepted and when the NZDF moved from the old DPM they chose to go with the Multi Terrain Camouflage (MCU). NZ’ers SAS did wear MTP in Afghanistan but I believe this was of Australian manufacture.
NZ413759 Cyril Foster JOHNSON.
Born 23/07/1918 in Maryport, England. Enlisted in the RNZAF 06/07/1941. Promoted to Flying Officer 15/08/1943, Flight Lieutenant 15/02/1945. Served overseas 14/08/1941 to 30/10/1943. Trade was as a Wireless Operator Air Gunner. On 10/07/1942 was acting
as a rear gunner in a Hampton (AJ989) air craft which took off from 32 Operational Training Unit Patricia Bay, British Columbia, Canada. The starboard engine caught fire and the aircraft crashed into the sea off Sidney Island. Johnson was instrumental in saving
the lives of two other members of the crew (the observer and wireless operator). For his courage he was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM). Was reported to be the 7th BEM awarded to
a kiwi airman in the War. Arrived back in NZ 30/10/1943. Transferred to Reserve of Officers list 11/11/1947. His commission was terminated 07/02/1957. Was issued the Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45 & NZ War Service Medal. Not entitled to 1939-45 Star but issued
the ribbon while still in service. Died 29/06/1998.
The jacket is Canadian tailored, most of the RCAF buttons have been replaced though one of small buttons on the the lower pocket remains.
The Wireless Operator Air Gunner qualification half wing is a conversion of a RCAF wing. The ribbons are, from left to right, British Empire Medal, 1939-45 Star, Defence Medal and War Medal 1939-45.
The Army Service Corps white distinguishing patch is a Japanese made silk patch. The slip on NZ shoulder titles are the late war screen printed type.
Born Westport, NZ in 1914. Enlisted in the 2nd NZEF 05/10/1939. Occupation at time of enlistment was company secretary. Embarked as a Lieutenant. Promoted to Captain with the 20th Battalion 1941. Was wounded 26/11/1941 at the attack on Bel hamed. Was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer of 20 Battalion on 20/07/1942. Was latter made Commanding Officer of 26th Battalion in September 1942 and Colonel and Commander NZ Advanced Base Italy in October 1944. Was discharged in September 1945. Was a member of the NZ Contingent to the Victory parade in London in 1946. Was made Honorary Colonel Nelson Marlborough and West Coast Regiment 1951 to 1959. Medals awarded were the Distinguished Service order, Military Cross, Mention in Dispatches, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army clasp, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, NZ War Service Medal and Efficiency Decoration and clasp. Citation for the DSO “Lieutenant Colonel Fountaine commanded one of the two battalions which took part in the night attack on an enemy position west of the Roman Wall on 21/22 march 1943. The position was well organised and protected by a minefield, anti-tank ditches and wire obstacles. Only a limited amount of artillery covering fire was available to support the attack, but despite this his battalion penetrated the position to a depth of over 2,000 yards capturing its objective in the face of considerable opposition and taking several hundred prisoners. As a result of this attack a bridgehead was gained over the minefield and our tanks were able to exploit the success gained. Lieutenant Colonel Fountaine showed great skill and powers of leadership during this operation and inspired his officers and men by his own coolness, courage and determination.” His Military Cross citation is pretty good too “This Officer showed outstanding qualities of leadership and command throughout the operations when his company was attacked by seven tanks on the Bardia Road on 22 November 1941, he extricated it with small loss from what appeared to be a desperate position and latter in the same day made a brilliantly successful attack with his company. At Bir Cleta on 23 November 1941 he led his company with equal dash and spirit in attack and again in the night attack on Bel Hamed on 25 November 1941 led his company to the assault with great gallantry. He had just succeeded to command of the Battalion when he was wounded. This officer also did outstanding work in the attack on Meleme in Crete on 22 May 1941.” He died at Westport on 20/11/1993.
Fifth NZ Brigade
Up until February 1945, the 2nd New Zealand Division was made up of three infantry brigades, 4th, 5th & 6th. The 5th Infantry Brigade saw service during the Battle of Greece, the Battle of Crete, the North African Campaign and the Italian Campaign before being disbanded in late 1945. For the most part, each of the three NZ brigades consisted of three infantry battalions. For the Fifth Brigade these battalions were the 21st, 22nd, 23rd & 28th (Maori) Battalions. Each infantry battalion, except the 28th (Maori) Battalion, was recruited from specific provinces in New Zealand. The 21st Battalion was from Auckland (and northern districts) region, 22nd Wellington (east coast and lower North Island) and the 23rd was from the South Island. Maori were not subject to conscription and only volunteers served in the 28th (Maori) Battalion. Each company of this battalion were recruited from specific tribal areas of New Zealand.
Battle Dress Blouse
This particular blouse is dated 1944 and although the stamp is very hard to read, was probably manufactured by the Maria Vale Clothing Company, Auckland. You can see in the first photo the tab and button used to close the blouse at the throat that replaced the earlier hook and eye system of closing in March 1942.
This Battle Dress Blouse was worn by a kiwi who served in the 22nd Battalion and took part in the early 2nd NZEF campaigns in Greece, Crete and North Africa. He was captured (July 1942) during the 1st battle of El Alamein. On his return to NZ, after the War, he remained in the NZ military until 1959.
6557, 201035 Thomas Gerald Norman CARTER
Born 25/06/1916 in Warkworth. Enlisted 2nd NZEF 12/01/1940 (had served in the Territorials from 17/10/1934 to 11/01/1940). Served overseas from 01/05/1940 to 24/10/1945. Sailed from UK for Egypt 04/01/1941. Was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 01/05/1940 and a year latter to Lieutenant. With the 22nd Battalion, served as part of Luster force in the Greece campaign, reported safe back in Egypt 04/05/1941. While acting as Adjutant 5th Infantry Brigade is appointed as Temporary Captain 31/01/1942. Promoted to substantive Captain 19/05/1942. Posted missing 22 Battalion 22/07/1942 latter changed to missing believed POW. Would have been captured at Ruweisat Ridge on the 14-15/07/1942. In a night attack on the 14/07/1942 the 4th and 5th Brigades capture Ruweisat Ridge but are un-supported by tanks or artillery, on the dawn of the 15/07/1942 German tanks counter-attacked and overran 22nd Battalion’s position, approximately 278 of the battalion are captured. Thomas CARTER was held in POW camps PG 75, PG 78, PG 47, Oflag 5A, POW number 2331. Safe in UK 13/05/1945 and embarked for NZ 23/09/1945 arriving 24/10/1945. Served with the 1 Battalion Wellington Regiment (City of Wellington Own) 29/12/1945 to 30/04/1949, 17/04/1950 to 30/03/1951 and 27/02/1953 to 05/07/1959 (was promoted to Major 01/04/1954) finally posted to the Retired list 28/08/1961. He had served for a total of 26 years and 315 days. Medals awarded 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, NZ War Service Medal and Efficiency Decoration with clasp. Is also eligible for the NZ Defence Service Medal. On enlistment his occupation was listed as lawyer and In June 1947 was admitted to the Bar. Was a partner in the Lower Hutt firm of Hogg Gillespie Carter and Oakley and was involved in most of Lower Hutt City Council’s legal work. In 1990 the law firm was split with Carter Mayne operating out of Lower Hutt and Oakley Moran worked out of Wellington. He remained in partnership with David Mayne until his retirement in the late 1990’s. Was also a president of the Lower Hutt Rotary club in 1976/77 and remained a Rotarian for 50 years. He was also active in the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce and was elected its president in 1967. Died 2011.
27th Machine Gun Battalion.
The 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force of World War Two was small compared to other Allied armies, but it became an integral part of the British Commonwealth Forces that came together to defeat the Axis Powers. On completion the 2nd NZ Division was 18,000 strong with three Infantry Brigades plus artillery and other support and service elements. Until February 1945 the three brigades were supported by an attached company from 27th Machine Gun Battalion (27th (MG) Btn) . The 27th (MG) Btn served in the Greek Campaign, Western Desert Campaign, Tunisian Campaign, Italian Campaign and after the war took part in the Occupation of Japan. It was one of two New Zealand formations that served overseas longer than any other unit in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. The battalion was also one of the New Zealand units that supplied men for the Long Range Desert Group.
Battle Dress Uniform
The Battle Dress uniform was developed in England during the 1930’s as a result of the experiences gained in WW1. By 1937, the final patterns had been trialed and in October 1938 new battle dress uniforms were being issued to British Army units. In October 1939 the first samples of Battle Dress uniforms arrived in New Zealand. In late 1939 large scale manufacture of Battle Dress uniforms was started in New Zealand by firms such as Cathie & Sons Ltd of Christchurch and A. Levy Ltd of Wellington and were latter joined by other companies spread throughout New Zealand. While there were some significant changes to the battle dress uniform in the United Kingdom during WW2 (introduction of the austerity pattern in 1940), in New Zealand the style battle dress uniform remained the 37 pattern. There were however a number of minor changes made to the uniform, such as in March 1942 a tab and button was introduced to replace the hook and eye used to close the throat of the BD blouse.
This particular Battle Dress Blouse was worn by a kiwi who served in the Pacific, Italy (where he was wounded) and at the end of World War Two, with the occupation troops in Japan.
411999 George Thomas GRAY.
Born 04/06/1921. Enlisted 15/12/1941. Served overseas in the Pacific 27/12/1942 to 17/07/1944 and Italy and Japan 05/01/1945 to 08/09/1946. Served in Guadalcanal as part of 29th Battalion. Embarked for Italy 27/02/1945 and posted to 27th Battalion 13/03/1945. Wounded 16/04/1945. On the 15-16 April 1945 the 27th took part in the attack across the Sillaro. The Battalions casualties for the day were one killed and six wounded but it had captured three German tanks and destroyed a fourth. Promoted to temporary Lance Sergeant. Transferred to J Force 02/01/1946. Promoted Temporary Sergeant 28/10/1945 and Sergeant 01/02/1946. Entered Japan 20/03/1946. Served in the 27th Battalion, 9th Brigade as part of the British, Commonwealth Occupation Force. Returned to NZ 08/09/1946 and discharged 22/10/1946. Issued 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, NZ War Service Medal and NZ Service Medal 1946-49. Eligible for NZ Operational Service Medal and NZ Defence Service Medal with Regular clasp. Died 30/04/2003.
Sources of information: Men at Arms 486 “The NZ Expeditionary Force in World War II” by W STACK & B O’SULLIVAN.
“NZ Army – Uniforms and clothing 1910-1945” by B & M O’SULLIVAN