What was life like during the war years in New Zealand? The following News Reels take you back in time when the American Troops arrived in New Zealand.
These films were produced by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in co-operation with the New Zealand National Film Unit about the wartime experiences of American troops stationed in New Zealand.
VIEW reel one - 'Allies in the South Pacific' showcasing NZ and US troops aboard a ship returning to Auckland for rest and recuperation after serving in the Pacific. Soldiers talk of home and expectations of a well earned break from the fighting. There is also footage of New Zealand city life showing people walking down the main streets of Auckland, catching trams, and going to the movies. Watch carefully to see the CIVIC THEATRE in the last shot! Now Showing Blues in the Night 'My Mama Done Tol' Me' Featuring Priscilla Lane and Betty Field VIEW HERE
VIEW reel two - Reel 2 begins with a briefing for US servicemen about local customs and road rules. There is a visit to a local tailor, and a gift shop to buy Maori souvenirs, then a young lad attempts to explain rugby scrums to an American. There are also scenes from a US Armed Services Club, and of wounded men recuperating in hospital. VIEW HERE
VIEW reel three - Reel 3 gives an American impression of New Zealand, an agricultural country producing vast amounts of dairy products for the war effort, and how difficult some Maori place names are to pronounce. New Zealand women are praised for the working roles they have picked up while men are away fighting overseas.VIEW HERE