Mokotahi Beach, Mahia, Hawke's Bay 1943

In late 1943 the US 2nd Marine Division carried out practice beach landings at Mahia. These practice landings are significant as the Marine forces trained in New Zealand in preparation for their island hopping campaign northwards across the Pacific that led to the eventual defeat of the Japanese forces in World War Two.

New Zealand military forces took part in the Pacific Campaign particularly in the Solomon Islands, on land, sea and air.

The United States Forces in New Zealand included three Marine Divisions and an Army Division plus elements of the US Navy and Air Force.  While most US forces were based in camps in the Auckland and Wellington areas the landing at Mahia was their final preparation for the assault on Tarawa Atoll.

Photos taken in 1943 (top), landing craft, along beach looking towards Mokotaki; (middle) beach head landing areas looking along the beach and across to Waikokopu and (bottom) looking out to sea with landing craft bringing troops to shore.

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