Pacific war commemorations next year

Last updated 05:00 10/11/2012

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Pacific war veterans are invited to serve their country again.

This time they are sought for 70th anniversary commemorations in New Caledonia on April 25 and 26 next year.

they are invited to register expressions of interest in attending events in Noumea.

The commemoration will recognise all those who served during the Pacific war mainly in Singapore, in the seas around Japan, and in the Solomon Islands. The war began when the Japanese attacked on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941, and ended when they surrendered on September 2, 1945.

Thousands of New Zealanders fought in the Pacific.

Royal New Zealand Navy Ships, including HMNZS Leander, Achilles and Monowai, contributed to the Allied effort, as did the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the New Zealand 3 Division. New Zealanders also served in other Allied forces.

Applicants for the commemorations must have sworn into the New Zealand Armed Forces between December 8, 1941, and December 2, 1945, and been awarded or been eligible for the Pacific Star.

Veterans will need to meet medical and fitness criteria to ensure they are well enough to travel.

The commemorations will give our participants the opportunity to have their service recognised, Veterans' Affairs New Zealand general manager Rick Ottaway says.

Costs associated with travel, accommodation, transport and medical expenses will be met by Veterans' Affairs New Zealand.

Contact Veterans' Affairs NZ on 0800 483 8372 or email veterans@xtra.co.nz before November 30.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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