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Finding Your World War II Marine or Sailor


The Trust frequently receives on-line and phone requests for help with genealogical research, while we can often help with your inquiries, there’s also a lot you can do to enrich your family story independently,

Take a look at the following questions and see what you can do to find the answers.

Once you have some of this information, we’re always happy to help – particularly with any queries relating to World War II US Marines history in and around Camps: Mackay, Russell and Paekakariki.  


Starter Questions:


  • Full name (an correct spelling) of you relative or family member

  • Date of birth?

  • Date of death?

  • Relationship to you?

  • Which US state did they come from?

  • Where did they train? 

  • Which port did they board ship in?

  • Name of ship they boarded?

  • Which NZ port did they arrive at?

  • Which camp were they in?

  • What division were they in?

  • Where they went when they left New Zealand?

  • Significant battles they fought in?

  • What did they specialise in e.g. engineering, map-making etc

  • Any New Zealand family or friends you know of?

  • Any memorabilia or papers of the person: discharge papers, “dog tags” dairies, photos, badges, caps etc

  • Your last contact?


Where you can find out more


  • The Leatherneck Magazine & Marine Corps Gazette

  • Paul Webber, (Deputy Historian) US Marine Corps HQ, Quantico Virginia.  He has access to the database listing all US Marines killed in wartime since 1775.

  • The Trust has a copy of the Coroner’s Logbook from World War II - it lists all Marines killed in New Zealand during WWII and the names of those who died while training in the Pacific, whose bodies were brought back to New Zealand. 

  • The Paekakariki Station Museum: (Open 11am – 3pm weekends. Phone 04 905 8275. Hosts the Friend In Need exhibition and also holds a very good small collection of archival material and memorabilia relating to US Marines in Kapiti from 1942-44.

  • NZ History on-line:

  • NZ Archives:

  • Nga Taonga Sound & Vision:





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