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NZ and the Korean WarReturn to Books

"New Zealand's military effort in Korea was characterised by enthusiasm. Whether they were gunners, drivers, sappers, or signallers, the New Zealanders took pride in the efficiency with which they fulfilled their duties. George Burns, one of the three newspaper editors who visited Kayforce in late 1952, caught the mood: `The Kiwis go about their jobs quietly, almost in a matter of fact way, but they always do them well.' While not talking much about their `pride of race', they showed it, he thought, in many ways. He found them `proud of their units, their clothing, and of being volunteers' and enjoying the `man's life' of soldiering. They prized the marks of their New Zealand identity - whether it be the silver fern or kiwis which adorned their vehicles, the growing Maori dimension at ceremonies or the kiwi which overlooked their post-armistice camp. Envious of the Australians with their characteristic slouch hat and keen to identify with the NZEFs, they were disappointed by the army authorities' refusal to sanction the use of the distinctive lemon squeezer hat - on the grounds that it was too difficult to fit into kit - instead of the nondescript berets with which they were issued. In the tradition of New Zealand involvement in previous wars, the Kayforce volunteers prided themselves on their ability to master the intricacies of the military profession. Especially among the gunners, team spirit was the driving force. Troops vied with troops, batteries with batteries, and regiments with regiments. Bettering their counterparts' efforts provided a focus and a goal. They earned the respect, and more often than not the admiration, of the men, both Commonwealth and American, who served alongside them in Korea."

Page: 364. New Zealand and the Korean War, by Ian McGibbon
Oxford University Press NZ

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