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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Post-War Forces Employed Overseas

Since the end of the war New Zealand has supplied forces for overseas services in Japan, Korea, and Malaya. A New Zealand contingent (Jayforce) formed part of the British Commonwealth Force in Japan from 1946 to 1948. The original members of the Force, numbering nearly 4,300 men and drawn from Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force, were repatriated to New Zealand in July 1946, their places being taken by volunteers who enlisted for 12 months' service. In 1947 a further relief of personnel took place, and for various reasons the Force was reduced to 2,400. New Zealand's part in the occupation ended in 1948 with the return of all personnel.

As a signatory of the Charter of the United Nations, New Zealand has a general obligation to cooperate with other members in the prevention of aggression and the maintenance of peace. Thus, as the result of an appeal from the Secretary-General of the United Nations for assistance in operations in Korea against the Chinese, New Zealand supplied a special combat force for service with other United Nations ground forces. The force, a volunteer one of 1,044 men, consisting of a regiment of artillery and auxiliary units, sailed for Korea in December 1950. Early in 1951 British Commonwealth troops serving in Korea were integrated into a Commonwealth Division, and the New Zealand Government agreed to contribute other personnel for the Division, mainly in the form of Army Service Corps, and Kayforce served in the field until 1954. The last elements returned to New Zealand in 1957.

In June 1955 a Special Air Service Squadron was raised for service in the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve in South-East Asia. The Squadron, consisting of 133 men selected from civilian volunteers for a high degree of physical and mental fitness, was stationed in Malaya as part of the British 22nd Special Air Service Regiment. The Commanding Officer and other officers were selected from the Regular Force and, after preliminary training in New Zealand, the Squadron received its basic parachute training in Singapore. In November-December 1957 the Squadron returned to New Zealand and was disbanded. In the same year an infantry battalion (1 Battalion, New Zealand Regiment) was recruited and dispatched to Malaya in November, and commenced operations against the terrorists in March 1958. The original force was replaced at the end of 1959 by another battalion of 725 men, which in turn was replaced by the original battalion at the end of 1961.

In mid–1962 a small detachment of one Special Air Service Squadron served in Thailand for three months.

by Richard Ainslie Barber, N.Z.L.A.CERT., Librarian, Army Department, Wellington.

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