23 Apr 2013

Pacific veterans heading to Noumea

3:11 pm on 23 April 2013

A group of New Zealand servicemen who served in the Pacific during World War II are heading to New Caledonia on Tuesday to attend commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the war against Japan.

Eighty-four veterans aged 86 to 96 will attend an Anzac Day service in Noumea and a service at the Bourail Commonwealth war graves cemetery north of the capital on Friday.

The Pacific War began with the attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941 and New Zealand declared war on Japan the following day.

About 25,000 New Zealanders served in the Pacific war until the Japanese surrendered in September 1945.

The Bourail cemetery is the resting place of 235 New Zealand servicemen and memorial to 254 for whom there is no known grave.