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Memorial Day 2021

Remembering the Marines


In loving memory of the 15,000 US Marines who lived in Camps: Mackay (Whareroa Farm), Russell (Queen Elizabeth Park) and Paekākāriki (Paekākāriki village) from 1942-44. They trained on our land and beaches and many made enduring friendships and relationships with families in Paekākāriki and in other parts of New Zealand.



These young men sacrificed life, health and opportunities in their service to their country and to New Zealand in World War II. We mourn the significant loss of their lives and the injuries they sustained in the Pacific War – particularly in the Battles of Tarawa and Guadal Canal.



We pay tribute to the 10 seamen: Ensign H C Winfrey , Seaman H J Britton, Seaman J P Lorbietski,  Seaman W D Roundtree Boatswain’s Mate A L Skoog,  Seaman K G Snow, Seaman A P Thatcher, Seaman C F Vetter , Seaman W J Yanghis, Seaman D G Cox who lost their lives, through drowning in a tragic landing accident on Whareroa Beach on June 16, 1943.



 Okioki ki te rangimarie. Rest in peace.

photos from the Norm Hatch collection, recently acquired by the Kapiti US Marines Trust

Note: The Trust is not holding a Memorial Day service in Kāpiti this year. If you want to attend a service you can attend the one organized by the New Zealand American Association at Old St Paul’s Cathedral (Mulgrave Street) Wellington @ 12noon on Tuesday June 1. Film clips from the “Hatch” collection will be shown.




Tribute to Joan Ellis

2 November 2020

The Kapiti United States Marines Trust has learned that our beloved Life Member Joan Ellis has died, very peacefully aged 96. 


Joan Ellis
Joan Ellis being awarded a 'String of Pearls' by US Marines at US Embassy Wellington in respect to her book of the same name.


Joan moved to Auckland three years ago to be cared for by her daughter Trudy and family. She was the author of several books including 'A String of Pearls' preserving the shared memories of WWII United States Marine veterans and their New Zealand friends and families. As a Life Member of the Kapiti US Marines Trust that she helped found, Joan was always held in high esteem at Memorial Day ceremonies and many events and reunions in NZ and the US. Following her funeral in Auckland her family will inform us of a memorial service to be held in Wellington and details will be posted here.

RIP Joan. Arohanui.



U.S. Patrons Visit


Very welcome guests at the US Marines Memorial before ‘lockdown’ were our Patrons: Ambassador William and Gail McCormick from Oregon U.S.A. It was great to see them fill in our Visitor’s Book in person.


The McCormicks


The McCormicks visited: the Friend In Need exhibition at the Paekakariki Station Museum, the Marines Heritage Walk in Whareroa Farm, the site for our new Camp Paekakariki Remembrance Wall, and the Marines Memorial in Queen Elizabeth Park on February 28 and attended a meeting of the Trust Board on March 1.











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