Statistical Analysis of the RNZAOC in K Force

From 1950 to 1957, about 4700 men would serve with K Force, New Zealand’s contribution to the United Nations as part of the Korean War. Placed into a Commonwealth Division alongside units from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and India, the bulk of New Zealand’s soldiers would serve with the two core units that composed New Zealand contribution to the Commonwealth Division; 16 Field Regiment and 10 Transport Squadron. However, many men would also serve in the many administrative and support units required to maintain the Commonwealth Division.

As part of this administrative tail, from 1950 to 1956, the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) would provide twenty eight men who would be distributed across the Ordnance Units of the Commonwealth Division in South Korea and Japan, including;[1]

  • The NZ Ordnance Section,
  • Base Ordnance Depot,
  • Ordnance Field Park and
  • Forward Ammunition Points.
British Commonwealth Forces Korea, Base Ordnance Depot, Pusan, South Korea on 2 October 1952. The RAOC are in the dark berets, the RCOC in the ski caps, the RAAOC sport their familiar slouch hats and the RNZAOC are in the light-coloured uniforms.

K Force was an emergency force raised by calling for volunteers from New Zealand’s Regular Force and Civil population, with 5982 men volunteering.[2] It was a mixture of Regular Soldiers, World War Two Veterans and Civilians with little military experience. This article provides a statistical analysis of the twenty-eight RNZAOC men who served in K Force from 1950 to 1956.

The RNZAOC contribution consisted of;

  • Fourteen men already serving in the RNZAOC, comprising of;
    • Eleven Other Ranks and
    • Three Officers
  • Fourteen direct civilian entries into K Force.

Strength

The Twenty Eight RNZAOC Men did not all serve in K Force at the same time. The peak of the RNZAOC contribution would be in December 1952 when fifteen RNZAOC men were serving in K Force.

The Average annual strength of the RNZAOC in K Force was;

  • 1950 – Six men
  • 1951 – Six men
  • 1952 – Twelve men
  • 1953 – Thirteen men
  • 1954 – Twelve men
  • 1955 – Five men
  • 1956 – One man

Length of RNZAOC Service in K Force

The Average RNZAOC service in K Force was One Year and Five Months

  • The shortest length of service in K Force by an RNZAOC soldier was ten months
  • Twenty RNZAOC Soldiers served in K Force for two years or less
  • Five RNZAOC Soldiers served in K Force for three years or less
  • Two RNZAOC Soldiers served in K Force for four years or less
  • One RNZAOC Soldier served in K Force for four years and four months

Age

On Deploying to Korea, the RNZAOC K Force soldier’s average age was twenty eight years of age. The youngest RNZAOC Soldiers were twenty-one years of age, and the oldest was thirty-eight years of age.

The break down of ages of RNZAOC Soldiers on deployment to K Force was;

  • 21 – Six Soldiers
  • 22– One Soldier
  • 23– Two Soldiers
  • 24– Four Soldiers
  • 25– One Soldier
  • 26– One Soldier
  • 27– Two Soldiers
  • 28– Four Soldiers
  • 29– Three Soldiers
  • 30– Two Soldiers
  • 31– One Soldier
  • 37– One Soldier

Martial Status

Of the Twenty eight men that served in K Force, only one man was married.

Military Experience

Fourteen had WW2 Service in the following forces

  • Seven in the RNZAF
  • One in the NZASC and RNZAF
  • Two in 28 Bn of the 2nd NZEF
  • One in the British Army
  • One in the British and Indian Armies
  • Two in the Australian Army

Seven had served in the immediate Post War Period with the British Occupation Forces in Japan (BCOF)

  • Six with New Zealands J Force
  • One with the Australian Army

One had completed Compulsory Military Training (CMT)

Three had no military experience.

The fourteen men who were regular RNZAOC Officers and Soldiers had Regular Force service from 1947;

  • One from 1947
  • Nine from 1949
  • Four from 1951

Civilian Occupations

The Civilian Occupations of the Civilian RNZAOC K Force recruits were;

  • One Clerk
  • One Freezing Worker
  • One General Duties Worker, Hydro Dept
  • One Grocery Manager
  • One Labourer
  • One Mill Worker
  • One Painter
  • One Railway Porter
  • One Shop Assistant
  • Three storeman
  • Two  with Occupations Not State

Military Service After K Force

On completion of service with K Force, some men would remain in the military, others would return to their civilian occupations.

Of the Fourteen Regular Force RNZAOC men who served in K Force;

  • The three Officers would remain in the Army as career officers;
    • Patrick William Rennison – Retired as a Major in 1958.
    • Geoffrey John Hayes Atkinson – Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1972.
    • John Barrie Glasson – Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1972.
  • Barry Stewart would remain as a career soldier in the RNZAOC, retiring as a Captain in 1982
  • Thomas Allan (Tom) Hill would remain as a career soldier in the RNZEME, retiring as a Warrant Officer Class One in 1982
  • Desmond Mervyn (Des) Kerslake would remain in the RNZAOC until 1961
  • Six soldiers would take their discharge on completion of their 5-year engagement
    • Leonard Ferner (Len) Holder
    • Owen (Chook) Fowell
    • Neville Wallace Beard
    • James Adams (Snowy) Donaldson
    • Richard John Smart
    • Edward Tanguru
  • Two soldiers would take their discharge on payment before the end of their 5-year engagement.
    • Keith Robert Meynell Gamble
    • Harold Ernest Strange (Harry) Fry

Of the fourteen civilians who joined the RNZAOC for service in K Force;

  • Twelve would not pursue military careers
    • Dennis Arthur Astwood
    • Wiremu Matenga
    • Bruce Jerome Berney
    • Thomas Joseph Fitzsimons
    • Gane Cornelius Hibberd
    • James Russell Don
    • James Ivo Miller
    • Gordon Winstone East
    • Alexander George Dobbins
    • Abraham Barbara
    • John Neil Campbell
    • Philip Hayhurst (Tony) Kirkman
  • Joseph James Enright Cates would join the RNZAOC, retiring as a Sergeant in 1978
  • Ernest Radnell would enter the Australian Army.

This is just an initial snapshot of the RNZAOC men that served in K Force from 1950 to 1956 and provides a start point for further research into this very small yet essential component of K Force.


Notes

[1] Howard E. Chamberlain, The New Zealand Korea Roll : honouring those who served in the New Zealand Armed Forces in Korea 1950-1957 ([Waikanae]: Howard Chamberlain, 2013).

[2] Michael King, New Zealanders at war, Rev. and updated ed ed. (Penguin, 2003), Non-fiction, 277.


Uniforms and Equipment of the NZ Army Contingent in Somalia

The NZ Army contribution to the UNITAF and UNOSOM Missions consisted of;

  • NZ Supply Detachment, November 1992 to July 1993
  • Army personnel attached to 42 Squadron RNZAF, January to May 1993
  • NZ Supply Platoon July 1993 to January 1994
  • NZ Supply Platoon January 1994 to June 1994
  • Staff attached to UN Headquarters 1992 to 1995

Uniforms worn by the NZ troops in Somalia was based around the standard NZ Army Disruptive Pattern material (DPM) temperate uniform that had been introduced in the late 1980’s. Shirts would be worn with the sleeves rolled up and shirts untucked.

Each contingent would have variations of what and how items could be worn, but generally the combinations worn were not to dissimilar between contingents..

Ceremonial or Parade Dress

On rare ceremonial occasions the DPM Uniform would be worn with shirt tucked in with.

  • Blue UN Beret
  • Blue UN cravat
  • Stable Belt of the individuals Corps

Working Dress

Due to the harsh environment, a relaxed and comfortable working dress was adopted, which was worn in several variations including

  • T Shirt/Singlet, Shorts, Boots
  • T Shirt/singlet, DPM Trouser, Boots

The Green T Shirt was the standard issue NZ Army PT Shirt, however on occasion some individuals would wear DPM T-Shirts or green civilian T-Shirts.

Although issue of the Green Single hade ceased in the early 1980’s, some of the longer serving solders wore these older items.

The Black Shorts worn were either the standard NZ Army issue PT Short, “Singapore” Shorts or civilian items such as Canterbury Rugby Shorts.

Issue Green T-Shirt and Singapore Shorts
Old issue Single and DMP trou

Headdress

Headdress won by NZ Troops in Somalia consisted of.

  • NZ Army Beret with Corps Badge
  • UN Blue Beret
  • UN Blue Baseball cap
  • PASGT Kevlar Helmet

NZ Army Beret with Corps Badge

Usually only worn in transit from NZ to arrival Somalia

UN Blue Beret

Issued from UN Stocks in Theatre, apart from Ceremonial occasions, rarely worn

UN Blue Baseball cap

Issued from UN Stocks, worn on a daily basis

PASGT Kevlar Helmet

Worn on a daily basis. Use of covers on Kevlar helmets was not standardised, some were worn with covers others without covers.

NZ Manufactured Blue Covers designed for the PASGT helmets were utilised, these were plain blue with no markings.

Blue Covers designed for the M1 Steel helmet were also utilised as were covers designed for the M1 Helmet in the various types NZ DPM Pattern.

Blue UN Cover
No Cover
M1 Helmet DPM Cover

Boots

Although the DMP uniform was not designed for the climate, some consideration to climate appropriate footwear was given and Desert Boots were issued. Manufactured by New Zealand boot manufacturer John Bull, the Desert Boots were made of Tan Suede with synthetic rubber sole.

Each soldier was issued with two pairs of Desert boots, however a few individuals also wore the standard Black GP Boot.

Dress embellishments

Rank Insignia

As per the NZ Military conventions of the day, Rank insignia was worn as follows.

  • NCO Rank worn on a Brassard on the right shoulder,
  • Warrant Officer Rank on a wristband on the right wrist,
  • Officer Rank worn on a rank slide on the shoulder epaulets of the DPM Shirt.

Mission Brassard

The Mission Brassard was worn on the Left shoulder and consisted of the UN patch above a NZ Flag. There is evident of examples of the mission Brassard worn with the badges reversed as well. As Officers and Warrant Officers wore their rank on the shoulder and wrist, there are also example of the Mission Brassard worn on the right shoulder.

National Insignia

 In addition to the NZ Flag on the Mission Brassard, the a variation of the standard New Zealand shoulder tab that had been worn on overseas mission since the Second World War was worn affixed to the epaulets of each shoulder.

Trade and Appointment Badges

Some trade and appointment badges such as the Ammunition Technician Badge and Medic Red Cross were worn on the Mission Brassard.

Protective Vests and Body Amour

The New Zealand Army Body Armour of choice at the time was the Light Fragmentation Vest. A piece of kit totally unsuitable of the operating environment, which served more as confidence booster than as a practical protective measure.

From 1994 some of the Staff  posted to the UN HQ were issued with the much more capable Bristol Type 23 Body Amour

Load Carrying Equipment

Each NZ Soldier deployed to Somalia with the standard NZ Harness Webbing, being the early 90’s there was no set configurations with a variety of different pouches utilised with a basic set consisting a minimum of Two Magazine pouches and Two Water Bottles and First Aid Pouch.

Due to the operating environment and the impartibility of wearing harness webbing in vehicle at at the work place, most individuals seldom used there webbing with most sets spending the entire tour sitting under the individual’s cot, only to be dragged out for the occasional stand to.

Early on when the threat was perceived as low, a single spare magazine was carried in the pocket of the Frag Vest. As the treat level increased and the need to have additional ammunition at hand, many contingent member’s utilised a simple belt order consisting of pistol belt, Ammunition pouch and water bottle.

With the Infantry sections attached from July 93, some of the infantry lads utilised chest Rigs.

One set of unofficial soldier purchased vest webbing was worn by a member of the Third Supply Contingent from January 1994. This vest was worn over the Frag Vest and allowed the wearer to carry additional ammunition and items with no loss of movement when in vehicle or carrying out physical tasks. This set of vest webbing become a communal set and was also utilised the Infantry Section Commander if his tasks necessitated it.

Example of Belt Order with Ammo Pouch and Water Battle, Magazine in Frag Vest pocket
Example of Vest Webbing

Weapons Systems

The New Zealand Contingents in Somalia utilised the standard range of New Zealand Small Arms, including

  • Steyr AUG 5.56mm Rifle with 508mm barrel.
  • Steyr AUG 5.56mm Carbine with 250mm barrel.
  • C9 Minimi 5.56 mm Light Machine Gun.
  • Pistol 9 mm Automatic P226, note as this weapon had only been introduced into NZ Army Service in 1992, existing holsters for the retired Browning pistols were utilised.

Gallery

Photo credits;

  • The Somalia Journal 1992-1995
  • Authors Collection


RNZAOC 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955

This period would see the RNZAOC. Continue to support Regular, Territorial and Compulsory Military Training. Ongoing support to Kayforce would continue.[1]

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OB

Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer

  • Major I.S Miller

Southern Military District DADOS

  • Major H McK Reid

Southern Military District IOO

  • Captain J.H Doone

Southern District Ordnance Depot

  • Captain and Quartermaster A.A Barwick

Compulsory Military Training

During this period three CMT intakes marched in;[2]

  • 13th intake of 2200av recruits on 22 April 1954
  • 14th intake of 2200av recruits on 16 September 1954
  • 15th intake of 2200av recruits on 6 January 1955
  • 16th intake of 2966 recruits on 31 March 1955

On completion of CMT recruit training, recruits were posted to Territorial units close to their home location to complete their CMT commitment, with RNZAOC CMT recruits posted to either

  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Hopuhopu
  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Mangaroa.
  • 3rd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Burnham

Emergency Force (Kayforce)

The RNZAOC continued to support Kayforce with the dispatch of regular consignments of Maintenance stores and with all requests for stores by Kayforce met.

Out of Kayforce

  • Lance Corporal Alexander George Dobbins, 28 September 1954
  • Private James Adam (Snowy) Donaldson, 5 November 1954
  • Captain Patrick William Rennison, 10 May 1954
  • Private Richard John Smart, 5 November 1954

Into Kay force

  • Joseph James Enright Cates, 2 June 1954
  • Lieutenant John Barrie Glasson, 20 April 1954

As part of his tour of K Force units, Brigadier Weir, Quartermaster General of the NZ Army met and spoke to the men of the NZ Base Ordnance Section of the British Commonwealth Base Ordnance Depot at Kure, Japan.[3]

Seconded to Fiji Military Forces

Lieutenant and Quartermaster R. D. Wederell ceased to be seconded to the Fiji Military Forces as of 14 June 1954.[4]

Ordnance Conferences

District Vehicle Depot Conference

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Officer Commanding of the District Vehicle Depots and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Trentham Camp over 3 – 4 August 1954.[5]  

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • Vehicle accounting,
  • Tools etc., method of Recei0pt and Issue,
  • Storage,
  • Vehicle Loans – Issue and Receipt from Units,
  • District Problems.

DADOS Conference

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the District DADOS’s and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Trentham Camp over the period 10 – 12 August 1954.[6] 

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • Corps Policy
  • Corps Establishments
  • Estimation of expenditure
  • District Vehicle Depots
    • Functions
    • Staff/Establishments
  • Audit Reports
  • Ammunition

New Cap Badge

1954 would see approval granted to update the RNZOAC Cap Badge by replacing the “Tudor” Crown with the “St Edwards Crown. The NZ Army Liaison Staff in London had provided a sample of the new badges from  J.R Gaunt of London, and on the approval of this sample in May 1954 the liaison Staff was instructed to obtain examples of Collar badges in the new design.

Routine Ordnance Activities

Over this period, the RNZAOC continued with its regular duties of provision, holding and issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army including the additional issue of training equipment to the territorial Force allowing all unit’s sufficient equipment for routine training.

Establishment of MT Stores Group at the Central Districts Ordnance Depot

Based on a series of ongoing discussions between the DOS and CDOD since 1951, in July 1953, the recommendation was made to transfer responsibility for the provision of MT Stores to CMD units (except those located at Trentham Camp) from the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham to the CDOD at Linton Camp. Approval for establishing an MT Group at CDOD was granted in September 1953 with the transfer of stocks to begin once suitable storage in Linton Camp had been prepared to receive stocks.  

To facilitate the initial in-scaling of MT Group, 1500 Square feet of the W type Building 81 was fitted with six wooden shelves to provides storage capacity for up to 18000 lines of Stock-based on VAOS Catalogue LV6 Groups 1 to 10. LV6 Groups 1 to 10 items were small and fast-moving repair parts for Motor Transport’s current range. It was planned that once the MT Group had been established for several months’ responsibility for LV7, Larger repair parts and principle end items would also be transferred from MOD to the CDOD.

A Staff of five soldiers for the CDOD MT Group was already authorised in the CDOD Peacetime Establishment issued in 1952. However, at the time of the MT Groups establishment, The Staff of the Group consisted of one NCO assisted by the Tyre Group Storeman.

By 15 September 1954 the transfer of stock form the MOD has been sufficiently completed to allow CMD units to begin demanding MT Spares from the CDOD.[7]

Army Ammunition Stores Depot

Up to 1954, the RNZAOC maintained the Army Ammunition Stores Depot (AASD) at the Kuku Valley Ammunition Area at Trentham. The role of the AASD was to be the main bulk holding and distribution unit for Non-Explosive and Explosive stores for the regional Ammunition Repair Depots (ARD).

A review of the role and functions of AASD was conducted during a DADOS conference in 1954 with the decision made to disband the AASD and hand over its operations to the MOD and regional Ordnance and Ammunition Depots.

As part of the disbanding instructions, the regional ARDs were instructed to maintain six months working stock of non-explosive items, and sufficient explosive items to complete the current repair programme. All excess items were to be returned to the nearest Ordnance or Ammunition Depot, with all future demand for items to be forwarded to those Depots.[8]

Small Arms Ammunition

The Manufacture of Small-Arms Ammunition by the Colonial Ammunitions Company at their Mount Eden Factory continued with delivered of first-class ammunitions being well maintained. [9]

Ammunition Examiners

During this period the following Ammunition Examiners were authorised to carry out routine inspections of ammunition and allocated Ammunition Examiner Serial Numbers.

Northern Military District,

  • Corporal Radford, Ammunition Examiner Serial No 72, 29 July 1954.
  • Lance Corporal T Sweet, Ammunition Examiner Serial No 83, 13 August 1954.
  • Private Thomasson, Ammunition Examiner Serial No 82, 13 August 1954.

Introduction of New Equipment

As new equipment was introduced, the RNZAOC would play an essential role in the acceptance processes. Upon delivery from the supplier, the equipment, accessories, and spares would be received into an RNZAOC Depot. The equipment would be inspected and kitted out with all its accessories before distribution to units. Several examples may have been retained in RNZAOC Depots as War Reserve/Repair and Maintenance Stock depending on the equipment. Maintenance stocks of accessories and spares were maintained as operating stock in RNZAOC depots. If the new equipment contained a weapon system, ammunition specific to the equipment was managed by RNZAOC Ammunition Depots.

During this period, the following equipment was introduced into service;[10]

  • One L2 BAT (Battalion, Anti-Tank) was a 120 mm calibre recoilless anti-tank rifle, with Eighteen more on order
  • Twenty-Two FN FAL Rifles for troop trials
  • An extra-wide Bailey Bridge
  • Fifty Field Wireless sets

The following items were disposed of through the Government Stores Board.

  • 193 Bren Carriers
  • 25 Motor vehicles of various types

Battledress Cap

During 1954 the Cap Battledress (Cap BD) but commonly referred to as the Ski Cap was introduced into service. This type of hat was extremely unpopular, especially with the troops, especially those serving in the tropics, but would endure until 1964 when it was withdrawn from service.

NZ Army Cap Battledress (Cap BD), introduced 1954, withdrawn from service 1964. Robert Mckie Collection

Vehicle Shelters for Burnham

The Royal New Zealand Engineers commenced the erection at Burnham Military Camp of two steel prefabricated vehicle shelters in May 1954. Three such shelters were erected at the Southern District Vehicle Depot at Burnham, another three in the transport park at Burnham, and two others in two other areas. Each of the shelters was 200 feet long by 50 feet wide, and helped to overcome the serious shortage of shelters for Army vehicles at the camp. With concrete foundations and floors, the framework of the buildings consisted of steel pipes of various lengths bolted together. The exterior and roof of the shelters were of corrugated asbestos-type material.[11]

Cricket Tour to Australia

In the first tour of its kind the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham, representing the RNZAOC undertook a Cricket tour of Australia. Departing Wellington on 1 February 1955 returning on 7 March the MOD played matched in Sydney and Melbourne against teams drawn from the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps.[12]

With the NZ Ordnance team winning the series successfully, the RNZAOC would host a RAAOC team on a reciprocal tour in 1959.[13]

The officials and players who participated in the 1955 tour were;[14]

  • Lieutenant Colonel L.F Reid, 0BE (Manager),
  • Major Derrick Roderick,
  • Warrant Officer Class One A Wesseldine,
  • Warrant Officer Class Two M.A Burt (Treasure and Player),
  • Warrant Officer Class Two Harry Le Comte,
  • Warrant Officer Class Two RS Perks (Assistant Manager and Player),
  • Warrant Officer Class Two Douglas Wilson,
  • Sergeant Douglas Bucknell (Official. Umpire and Player),
  • Sergeant G. McCullough,
  • Sergeant E.J Prout,
  • Corporal G Cormack,
  • Corporal J Morgan, (Official Scorer and Player),
  • Private W Bacon,
  • Private Brian Clarke,
  • Private Keith Danby,
  • Private A.N McAinch,
  • Private L Norton.

Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, Resignations, and Retirements of Officers of the RNZAOC

Regular Force

  • Lieutenant C. L. Sanderson promoted to Temporary Captain. Dated 9 December 1953. [15]
  • Captain E. C. Green granted a further extension of his short-service commission for one year from 1 April 1954.[16]
  • Lieutenant T. B. Glasson promoted to Temporary Captain whilst employed as Officer Commanding, NZ Base Ordnance Depot. Dated 8 August 1954.[17]
  • Captain N. L. Wallburton re-engaged for a period of two years as from 23 August 1954.[18]
  • Lieutenant (temp Captain) J. B. Glasson to be Captain. Dated 8 November 1954.[19]
  • Lieutenant (Temp Captain) C. L. Sanderson to be Captain. Dated 9 December 1953.[20]
  • 31264 Warrant Officer Class One Leslie Smith promoted to Lieutenant and Quartermaster. Dated 15 December 1954.[21]
  • Lieutenant L. C. King transferred from the New Zealand Regiment to the RNZAOC with his present rank and seniority. Dated 14 February 1955.[22]
  • Captain E. C. Green granted a further extension of his short-service commission to 31 March 1956.[23]
  • Lieutenant J. H. Doone to be Captain Dated 25 October 1954.[24]
  • Lieutenant and Quartermaster R. D. Wederell to be Captain and Quartermaster. Dated 31 March 1955.[25]

Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, Resignations, and Retirements of Warrant Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the RNZAOC

Regular Force

  • W920917 Lance Corporal George Thomas Dimmock Promoted to Corporal, 1 April 1954. [26]
  • 31884Temporary Warrant Officer Class Two Alick Claude Doyle granted substantive Rank on 1 April 1954. [27]
  • B31695 Corporal Ian McDonald Russell promoted to Sergeant, 21 April 1954. [28]
  • 31259 Staff Sergeant Maurice Sidney Philips promoted to Warrant Officer Class Two, 12 July 1954. [29]
  • 31167 Staff Sergeant John Bernard Crawford promoted to Warrant Officer Class Two, 15 July 1954. [30]
  • 31261 Sergeant Earnest Maurice Alexander Bull promoted to Staff Sergeant, 22 October 1954.[31]

Notes

[1] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1955).

[2] Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.

[3] “Brigadier in Korea,” Press, Volume XC, Issue 27460, , 21 September 1954.

[4] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 41, 1 July 1954.

[5] Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).

[6] Ibid.

[7] “Establishments – Ordnance Corps “, Archives New Zealand No R22441746  (1944 – 1947).

[8] Ibid.

[9] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “.

[10] Ibid.

[11] “Vehicle Shelters for Burnham,” Press, Volume XC, Issue 27359, , 26 May 1954.

[12] “Trentham Army Cricket Team Australian Tour,” Upper Hutt Leader, Volume XII, Number 8, 10 March 1955.

[13] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 177.

[14] “Trentham Army Cricket Team Australian Tour.”; “Army Cricket,” Broadcaster (Fairfield, NSW : 1935 – 1978), 16 February 1955 1955.

[15] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 35, 3 June 1954.

[16] Ibid.

[17] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 55, 16 September 1954.

[18] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 52, 26 August 1954.

[19] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 13, 25 February 1954.

[20] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 4, 27 January 1955.

[21] Ibid.

[22] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 20, 17 March 1955.

[23] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 6, 3 February 1955.

[24] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 15, 3 March 1955.

[25] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 37, 2 June 1955.

[26] Howard E. Chamberlain, Service Lives Remembered : The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994 ([Wellington, N.Z.]: H. Chamberlain, 1995), 128-29.

[27] Ibid., 134-35.

[28] Ibid., 410-11.

[29] Ibid., 367-68.

[30] Ibid., 109-10.

[31] Ibid., 67.


RNZAOC 1 April 1951 to 31 March 1952

This period would see the RNZAOC continue to support Regular, Territorial and Compulsory Military Training, while also providing ongoing support to Kayforce.[1]

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE

Compulsory Military Training

During this period three CMT intakes marched in;[2]

  • 3rd intake of 3011 recruits on 2 August 1951
  • 4th intake of 2981 recruits on 3 January 1952
  • 5th intake of 2694 recruits on 27 March 1952

Unlike the previous intakes of 18-year-olds, the 4th intake consisted of a large number of 20-year-olds.

On completion of CMT recruit training, recruits were posted to Territorial units close to their home location to complete their CMT commitment, with RNZAOC CMT recruits posted to either

  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Hopuhopu.
  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Mangaroa.
  • 3rd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Burnham.
  • 1 Armoured Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.

Kayforce

During July 1951 the New Zealand Government decided to increase its commitment to Kayforce with an expansion draft. Between July and 2 August 1951, the RNZAOC would outfit and equip the expansion draft with the necessary clothing and personal and equipment along with many additional stores and equipment for Kayforce including,

  • 12 Twenty-Five pounders[3]
  • A Battery truck
  • Tentage and camp equipment
  • Gun Ammunition

The expansion draft of 579 officers and men departed Wellington on 2 August 1951. However, on 15 August 1951, a day after departing Darwin, the Wahine ran aground in the Arafura Sea. All the crew and soldiers safely evacuated, continuing their journey to Korea by air, in what would be the first mass airlift of troops conducted by New Zealand. In an attempted salvage attempt a small number of personal kitbags and thirty cases of rifles were saved, with the 25 Pounder Guns disabled by the removal of their breech blocks, the remainder of stores and equipment remaining in the hold of the Wahine to this day.[4]

The loss of stores shipped on the Wahine threw an unplanned and additional task onto the RNZAOC. Within fourteen days, RNZAOC units would assemble and pack the required replacement stores to ensure that no hardship would be occasioned to the Force in Korea.[5] The replacement stores were dispatched by sea from Auckland on 4 September 1951.[6]

“Wahine” aground on the Masela Island Reef off Cape Palsu in the Arafura Sea

During this period the RNZAIOC provide the following reinforcements to Kayforce;

  • 3rd Reinforcements, SS Wanganellella, 21 January 1952,
    • Lance Corporal Owen Fowell
    • Corporal Leonard Farmer Holder
    • Private Desmond Mervyn Kerslake

New Zealand Army Act, 1950

The New Zealand Army Act 1950, together with the Army regulations 1951 and the Army Rules of Procedure 1951 issued under the authority of the Act, came into force on 1 December 1951, Placing the administration of the New Zealand Army entirely under the legislative control of the New Zealand Government and independent of the United Kingdom

Ordnance Conference 11 -13 April 1951

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 11 -13 April 1951.[7]

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • Corps Policy
  • Kayforce
  • TF Recruit intakes
  • Estimation of expenditure
  • Payment of Accounts
  • Provision
  • Vehicles and MT Spares
  • Personnel
  • Ammunition

Pay and Allowances

During this period, new scales of pay and allowances for the Armed Forces were authorised. The new pay code provided an opportunity for the introduction of an improved system of “star” classification for all Other Ranks. The “Star” Classification system would by utilising trade tests allow pay to be related to trade ability.

Routine Ordnance Activities

Over this period the RNZAOC in addition to its regular duties of provision, holding and the issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army and the issue and dispatch of equipment and personnel for Kayforce had undertaken several other significant tasks;

The relocation of stores from Waiouru and Seaview to Mangaroa

The transfer of stores from Waiouru to Mangaroa was completed during this period. The transfer of stores from Seaview to Mangaroa and Trentham continued, with a further 10000 square feet (930 square meters) of storage at Seaview made available to other Government departments.

Inspection of Ammunition

The Inspection Ordnance Officers Group (IOO Gp), which remained considerably understaffed, was fully extended in the inspection of ammunition required for ongoing training requirements.

Small Arms Ammunition

Production of small-arms ammunition commenced in December 1951 at the Colonial Ammunition Company factory at Mount Eden in Auckland. The Proof Officer reported that ammunition so far received was of high quality.

Introduction of New Equipment

As new equipment was introduced, the RNZAOC would play an essential role in the acceptance processes. Upon delivery from the supplier the equipment, its accessories and spares would be received into an RNZAOC Depot. The equipment would be inspected and kitted out with all its accessories prior to distribution to units. Depending on the equipment, several examples may have been retained in RNZAOC Depots as War Reserve/Repair and Maintenance Stock. Maintenance stocks of accessories and spares were maintained as operating stock in RNZAOC depots. If the new equipment was or contained a weapon system, ammunition specific to the equipment was managed by RNZAOC Ammunition Depots.

During this period, the following equipment was introduced into service;

  • Four 5.5-inch Mark III Medium Guns.[8]

Support to the French War in Vietnam

In a move to calculated to enhance New Zealand’s national security by been seen abetting our allies in their efforts to contain Communism in South-East Asia, The New Zealand government in 1952 provided tangible support to the French in Vietnam by authorising the transfer of surplus and obsolete lend-Lease weapons and ammunition to the French Forces. Transferred from stocks held in RNZAOC depots, the following items would be dispatched to Vietnam;[9]

  • 13000 rifles
  • 700 Machine Guns, and
  • 670000 rounds of small arms ammunition.

The rifles, machine guns (and ammunition) were lend-lease weapons that had urgently been provided to New Zealand in 1942 when the threat of Japanese invasion was very real. Chambered in the American 30-06 calibre the weapons served with the Home Guard and New Zealand units in the pacific, notably with RNZAF units co-located with American Forces.

Fiji Military Forces

Captain E.R. Hancock IOO SMD under took a tour of duty in Fiji.

Enlistments into the RNZAOC

  • George Thomas Dimmock – 2 August 1951

Discharged 31 March 1952

  • Corporal R.C Fisher (Ammunition Examiner IOO Branch)

Notes

[1] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1951 to 31 March 1952 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1952).

[2] Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.

[3] Howard Weddell, Trentham Camp and Upper Hutt’s Untold Military History (Howard Weddell, 2018), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 184-5.

[4] I. C. McGibbon, New Zealand and the Korean War (Oxford University Press in association with the Historical Branch, Dept. of Internal Affairs, 1992), Non-fiction, Government documents, 199.

[5] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1951 to 31 March 1952 “.

[6] McGibbon, New Zealand and the Korean War, 200.

[7] Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).

[8] A total of 16 guns, delivered in groups of Four on a mixture of MkI and MkII carriages would be supplied to the NZ Army between 1951 and . Damien Fenton, A False Sense of Security : The Force Structure of the New Zealand Army 1946-1978, Occasional Paper / Center for Strategic Studies: New Zealand: No. 1 (Center for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, 1998), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 21.

[9] Roberto Giorgio Rabel, New Zealand and the Vietnam War : Politics and Diplomacy (Auckland University Press, 2005), Bibliographies, Non-fiction.


RNZAOC 1 April 1950 to 31 March 1951

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE

Compulsory Military Training

The first intake of CMT consisted of 1846 recruits marched into the three district training camps on 3 May, followed by the second intake of 4053 recruits on 4 January 1951.[2]

For the First CMT intake Captain S.M King from the Main ordnance depot at Trentham was seconded to Burnham Camp to act as an instructor.[3]

Emergency Force (Kayforce)

Following the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the New Zealand Government announced on 26 July 1950 the commitment to raise a force for Service in Korea. With a brief recruiting period closing on 5 August 1950, 5982 men volunteered their service, with those selected marching into the District Training Camps on 29 August 1950. On completing the four-week basic training, the majority of the Force concentrated at Waiour to continue training, with the specialist of Signals, EME and Ordnance competing their trader specific training at Trentham.[4]

The Ordnance Section of the Force would be small and consist of one Officer and five Other Ranks. Commanded by Captain Geoffrey John Hayes Atkinson, an officer with recent operational Ordnance experience gained in J-Force during the post-war occupation of Japan, the five OR’s would all be serving RNZAOC Soldiers;

  • Lance Corporal Neville Wallace Beard,
  • Lance Corporal Bruce Jerome Berney,
  • Private Keith Robert Meynell Gamble,
  • Lance Corporal James Ivo Miller,
  • Private Thomas Allan (Tom) Hill.
  • Private Desmond Mervyn Kerslake

The Ordnance effort on equipping the forces was considerable two sets of equipment for Kayforce had to be concentrate and issued from existing stocks or withdrawn from regular units;[5]

  • One set of approximately 1000 tons for loading on the freighter SS Ganges, including;
  • 35 Twenty Five Pounder guns,
  • 345 Vehicles
  • 62 Gun trailers
  • 10 Tones of tentage
  • 170 Tones of Ammunition
  • Various other stores to support initial operations

A second set of equipment in equal proportions was also prepared and issued to the contingent to facilitate its training.

Lance Corporal Berney represented the RNZAOC as part of Advance Party No 2 of 1 officer and 14 OR’s that accompanied the stores on the SS Ganges, which departed Wellington on 25 November 1950.

Captian Atkinson and Lance Corporal Miller departed for Korea by RNZAF Dakota as part of Advance Party No 1 on 7 December 1950

The main body, Including Lance Corporal Beard and Privates Gamble and Hill, departed from Wellington on 10 December 1950 on the SS Ormonde.

The main body arrived at Pusan, Korea, on 31 December 1950. The Ganges had arrived some days earlier and already discharged much of Kay Forces equipment onto the Pusan docks. HQ K Force and the advance party had wasted little time and acquired accommodation for the Headquarters in downtown Pusan and had shelter for the main body prepared at an abandoned school on the city’s outskirts.

New Zealand Army Act, 1950

The New Zealand Army Act received Royal assent on 1 November 1950. This Act replaced the outdated Defence Act 1909, the Army Board Act 1937, the Army Act (Imperial) and the King’s Regulations. The NZ Army Act established the New Zealand Army as a Military Force independent of United Kindom legislation and under the legislative control of the New Zealand Government in both peace and war, serving within and beyond New Zealand.[6]

Ordnance Conference 24 -26 May 1950

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot(MOD) at Army Headquarters over 24-26 May 1950.[7]

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • Ordnance staff establishments
  • CMT intakes 1,2 and 3 anticipated Ordnance problems in supporting and improvements
  • Payment of Accounts
  • Combined Indent and Voucher forms
  • Clothing;
    • Provision Supply
    • Sizing for CMT
  • Vehicles A & B
  • MT Provision
  • Army estimates in relation to Ordnance
  • Progress returns
  • Ammunition
  • Equipment for TF Units
  • Distribution of Artillery Stores

Ordnance Conference 26 -28 September 1950

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot(MOD) at Army Headquarters over 26-28 September 1950.[8]

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • General Ordnance Policy
  • K Force
  • Personnel
  • A Vehicles and spares
  • B Vehicles and spares
  • Clothing
  • Camp Equipment
  • Technical Stores
  • Ammunition
  • Provision
  • Estimates
  • Authorisation of expenditure

Industrial Disputes

Early in March, the Army,  Navy and the Air Force were called upon to assist in maintaining essential services as a consequence of the waterside industrial dispute. Ordnance Soldiers played their part and assisted in the continual operation of the wharves.[9]

Routine Ordnance Activities

Over this period, the RNZAOC, in addition to its regular duties of provision, holding, and the issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army and Kayforce, had undertaken several other significant tasks;

The relocation of stores from Waiouru and Seaview to Mangaroa.

As Waiouru was to be used more extensively for training, the large quantities of stores held in troop accommodation were rationalised and relocated to the newly established depot at Mangaroa. This depot also received large amounts of stores from the wartime warehouses at Seaview, resulting in 48000 Square feet (4460 Square meters) of space at Seaview released to other Government Departments.

Inspection of Ammunition

The inspection and repair of Small Arms and Gun ammunition conducted by the Inspection Ordnance Officers Group (IOO Gp) had continued as staffing levels permitted. However, due to staff restrictions, much repair work on Gun Ammunitions and the disposal of unserviceable rounds led to the deferral of this work.

Break-in in at Belmont

On 18 May, the police were called in following the discovery that two magazines at the Belmont Ammunition Depot had been broken into and two more interfered with. It was believed that the break-in had occurred between the end of March and 18 May. Five live 40mm Anti-Aircraft shells were thought to be missing from a steel box of 24, which had been in a magazine that was entered by removing a padlock. In another magazine entered through a ventilator, a box of grenades was opened, but none of these was removed. An officer and 20 men permanently staffed the depot, and regular tours were made with close inspections of the buildings conducted less at less frequent intervals. Following the discovery of interference to one store on 18 May, all others were subjected to scrutiny.[10]

Enlistments into the RNZAOC

  • Robert J Sontgen – 15 July 1950

Promotions

  • Sergeant Alick Dick Doyle to Staff Sergeant – 1 April 1950
  • Sergeant Maurice Sidney Phillips to Staff Sergeant – 23 May 1950
  • Sergeant Murry Alexander Burt to Staff Sergeant – 8 January 1951

Notes

[1] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1955).

[2] Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.

[3] “Instructors Fr Trainees,” Press, Volume LXXXVI, Issue 26086, , 13 April v.

[4] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).

[8] Ibid.

[9] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 176.

[10] “Warning of Danger in Shells Missing from Army Depot,” Gisborne Herald, Volume LXXVII, Issue 23257, 19 May 1950.


The Pātaka of Ngāti Tumatauenga: NZ Ordnance Corps Locations 1840 to 1996

The New Zealand Army evolved out of the British troops deployed during the 19th century New Zealand Wars into a unique iwi known as Ngāti Tumatauenga – ‘Tribe of the God of War’. While Ngāti Tumatauenga has an extensive and well-known Whakapapa,[1] less well known is the whakapapa of the New Zealand Army’s supply and warehousing services.

Leading up to 1996, the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) was the New Zealand Army organisation with the responsibility in peace and war for the provision, storage and distribution of Arms, Ammunition, Rations and Military stores. As the army’s warehousing organisation, the RNZAOC adopted the Pātaka (The New Zealand Māori name for a storehouse) as an integral piece of its traditions and symbology. On 9 December 1996, the warehousing functions of the RNZAOC were assumed by the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR).

Unpacked on this page and on the attached Web Application “the Pātaka of Ngati Tumatauenga” the evolution of New Zealand’s Army’s Ordnance services is examined. From a single storekeeper in1840, the organisation would grow through the New Zealand Wars, the World Wars and Cold War into an organisation with global reach providing support to New Zealand Forces in New Zealand and across the globe.

Scan the QR code to view the Web App:

Pataka (1)

Description of Ordnance Units

In general terms, Ordnance units can be described as:

  • Main/Base Depots– A battalion-sized group, commanded by a lieutenant colonel. Usually a significant stock holding unit, responsible for the distribution of stock to other ordnance installations.
  • Central Ordnance Depots/Supply Company– Company-sized units, commanded by a major. Depending on the role of the unit, the following subunits could be included in the organisation:
    • Provision, Control & Accounts
    • Stores sub-depot/platoon
      • Traffic Centre
      • Camp Equipment
      • Technical Stores
      • Expendables
      • Clothing
      • Returned Stores & Disposals
        • Textile Repair
        • Tailors
        • Boot Repair
      • Ammunition Sub-Depot/Platoon
      • Vehicles Sub-Depot/Platoon
      • Services Sub-Depot/Platoon
        • Bath and Shower
        • Laundry
      • Rations Sub-Depot/Platoon (after 1979)
      • Fresh Rations
      • Combat Rations
      • Butchers
      • Petroleum Platoon (after 1979)
      • Vehicle Depots
    • Workshops Stores Sections – In 1962, RNZAOC Stores Sections carrying specialised spares, assemblies and workshops materials to suit the particular requirement of its parent RNZEME workshops were approved and RNZEME Technical Stores personnel employed in these were transferred to the RNZAOC.[2] [3]
    • Workshops. Before 1947, Equipment repair workshops were part of the Ordnance organisation, types of Workshop included:
      • Main Workshop
      • Field/Mobile Workshop
      • Light Aid Detachments

Unit naming conventions

The naming of Ordnance units within New Zealand was generally based upon the unit locations or function or unit.

Supply Depots were initially named based on the district they belonged to:

  • Upper North Island – Northern District Ordnance Depot
  • Lower North Island – Central Districts Ordnance Depot
  • South Island – Southern Districts Ordnance Depot

In 1968 a regionally based numbering system was adopted

  • 1 for Ngaruawahia
  • 2 for Linton
  • 3 for Burnham
  • 4 for Waiouru

Some exceptions were:

  • 1 Base Depot and 1st Base Supply Battalion, single battalion-sized unit, the name were based on role, not location.
  • 1 Composite Ordnance Company, a unique company-sized group, the name was based on function, not location

When the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps (RNZASC) became the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport (RNZCT) in 1979, the supply functions were transferred to the RNZAOC with the 1st number signifying the location with the 2nd number been 4 for all Supply Platoons:

  • 14 Supply Platoon, Papakura
  • 24 Supply Platoon, Linton
  • 34 Supply Platoon, Burnham
  • 44 Supply Platoon, Waiouru
  • 54 Supply Platoon, Trentham

Exceptions were:

  • 21 Supply Company – Retained its name as a historical link to the unit’s long history in the RNZASC.
  • 47 Petroleum Platoon, originally 7 Petroleum Platoon RNZASC, when Transferred to the RNZAOC, as it was based in Waiouru it added the Waiouru unit designation ‘4’ and became 47 Petroleum Platoon RNZAOC

Unit locations New Zealand, 1907–1996

Alexandra

9 Magazines Operational from 1943, closed1962.

Ardmore

20 Magazines operational from 1943

Auckland

There has been an Ordnance presence in Auckland since the 1840s with the Colonial Storekeeper and Imperial forces. The Northern Districts Ordnance Depot was situated in Mount Eden in the early 1900s. In the 1940s the centre for Ordnance Support for the Northern Districts moved to Ngaruawahia, with a Sub depot remaining at Narrow Neck to provided immediate support.

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Auckland have been:

Stores Depot

  • Northern District Ordnance Depot, Goal Reserve, Mount Eden 1907 to 1929.[4]
  • Northern District Ordnance Depot, Narrow Neck, 1929 to? [5]
  • 1 Supply Company, from 1989, Papakura
  • 12 Supply Company
  • 12 Field Supply Company
  • 15 Combat Supplies Platoon, 1 Logistic Regiment
  • 52 Supply Platoon, 5 Force Support Company

Vehicle Depot

  • Northern Districts Vehicle Depot, Sylvia Park, 1948-1961
  • Northern Districts Ordnance Depot, Vehicle Sub Depot, Sylvia Park, 1961 – 1968
  • 1 Central Ordnance Depot (1 COD), Vehicle Sub Depot, Sylvia Park, 1968 to 1979
  • 1 Supply Company, Vehicle Sub Depot, Sylvia Park, 1979 to 1989

Ammunition Depot

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Ardmore

Other Units

  • Bulk Stores Mangere, the 1940s (Part of MOD Trentham)
  • DSS Fort Cautley.

Workshops

Located at the Torpedo Yard, North Head

  • Ordnance Workshop Devonport, 1925-1941
  • No 12 Ordnance Workshop, Devonport, 1941–1946

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Infantry Workshop, Stores Section, Papakura 1962–1986
  • 1 Field Workshop Store Section, Papakura
  • 1 Transport Company Workshop, Stores Section, Fort Cautley

Belmont

Operational from 1943

  • MOD Trentham, Ammunition Group, Ammunition Section

Burnham

Stores Depot

1921 saw the establishment of a single Command Ordnance Depot to service all military units in the newly organised Southern Military Command. Before this, Ordnance stores had operated from Christchurch and Dunedin. The new Depot (later renamed the Third Central Ordnance Depot) was established in the buildings of the former Industrial School at Burnham. Re-structuring in 1979 brought a change of name to 3 Supply Company.[6] [7] [8]

  • Stores Depot titles 1921–1996
    • Area Ordnance Department Burnham, 1920 to 1939,
    • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot, 1939 to 1942,
    • No 3 Sub Depot, 1942 to 1948,
    • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot, 1948 to 1968,
    • 3 Central Ordnance Depot (3 COD), 1968 to 1979, [9]
    • 3 Supply Company, 1979 to 1993,
    • Burnham Supply Center,1993 to 1994,
    • 3 Field Supply Company, 1994 to 1996.

Vehicle Depot

  • Southern Districts Vehicle Depot, 1948-1961.

Ammunition Depot

  • Southern Districts Vehicle Ammunition 1954-1961.

Other Ordnance Units

  • Combat Supplies Platoon. 1979 to 19??,
  • Ready Reaction Force Ordnance Support Group (RRF OSG), 19?? To 1992, moved to Linton,
  • 32 Field Supply Company (Territorial Force Unit).

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 3 Infantry Brigade Group OFP Platoon, 21 October 1948 – 28 June 1955.
  • 1 (NZ) Division OFP, Tech Stores Platoon, 28 June 1955 -,

Workshops

  • No 14 Ordnance Workshop, until 1946.

Workshop Stores Section

  • Southern Districts Workshop, Stores Section,
  • 3 Field Workshop, Store Section.

Christchurch

Stores Depot

  • Canterbury and Nelson Military District Stores Depot, King Edwards Barracks, Christchurch, 1907 to 1921.

Workshop Stores Section

  • Southern Districts Workshop, Stores Section, Addington,
  • 3 Infantry Brigade Workshop, Stores Section, Addington,
  • 3 Transport Company Workshop, Stores Section, Addington.

Dunedin

Stores Depot

  • Otago and Southland Military Districts Stores Depot, 1907 to 1921

Fairlie

Nine magazines Operational 1943.

Featherston

Featherston Camp was New Zealand’s largest training camp during the First World War, where around 60,000 young men trained for overseas service between 1916 – 1918. An Ordnance Detachment was maintained in Featherston until 1927 when it functions were transferred to Northern Districts Ordnance Depot, Ngaruawahia.[10]

Glen Tunnel

16 magazines Operational from 1943

Hamilton

Proof Office, Small Arms Ammunition Factory, 1943-1946

Kelms Road

55 Magazines Operational from 1943 to 1976

Linton Camp

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Linton have been;

Stores Depot

  • No 2 Ordnance Depot, 1 October 1946  to 1948,
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot,  1948 to 1968,
  • 2 Central Ordnance Depot (2 COD), 1968 to 16 Oct 1978,[11]
  • 2 Supply Company,  16 October 1978 to 1985,
    • Static Depot
      • Tech Stores Section
    • Field Force
      • 22 Ordnance Field Park
        • General Stores
        • Bath Section
  • 5 Composite Supply Company, 1985 to 1990.
  • 21 Field Supply Company 1990 to 1996

Vehicle Depot

  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot, 1957-1961

Ammunition Depot

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon 1948-48
  • 22 Ordnance Field Park

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 General Troops Workshop, Stores Section
  • Linton Area Workshop, Stores Section
  • 5 Engineer Workshop, Store Section

Other Ordnance Units

  • 24 Supply Platoon
  • 23 Combat Supplies Platoon
  • 47 Petroleum Platoon 1984 to 1996
  • Ready Reaction Force Ordnance Support Group (RRF OSG), from Burnham in 1992 absorbed into 21 Field Supply Company. [12]

Lower Hutt

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 1 (NZ) Division OFP, Tech Stores Platoon, 28 June 1955 –

Mangaroa

First used as a tented camp during the First World War and in the Second World War Mangaroa was the site of an RNZAF Stores Depot from 1943. The depot with a storage capacity of 25,000 sq ft in 8 ‘Adams type’ Buildings was Handed over to the NZ Army by 1949.[13] The units that have been accommodated at Mangaroa have been:

Supply Depot

  • Main Ordnance Depot,1949–1968,
  • 1 Base Ordnance Depot, 1968–1979,
  • 1st Base Supply Battalion,
    • ACE(Artillery and Camp Equipment) Group
    • 5 Composite Supply Company, 1978 – Dec 1979

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, 1950–1963,
  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group, OFP, 1963–1968,
  • 1st Composite Ordnance Company (1 Comp Ord Coy), 1964–1977,
    1 Comp Ord Coy was the Ordnance Bulk Holding unit for the field force units supporting the Combat Brigade Group and the Logistic Support Group and held 60–90 days war reserve stock. 1 Comp Ord Coy was made up of the following subunits: [14]

    • Coy HQ
    • 1 Platoon, General Stores
    • 2 Platoon, Technical Stores
    • 3 Platoon, Vehicles
    • 4 Platoon, Ammo (located at Makomako)
    • 5 Platoon, Laundry
    • 6 Platoon, Bath

Mako Mako

39 magazines operational from 1943

  • MOD Trentham, Ammunition Group, Ammunition Section
  • 2 COD Ammunition Section

Mount Somers

10 Magazines operational from 1943, closed 1969

Ngaruawahia

Ngaruawahia also was known as Hopu Hopu was established in 1927, [15] and allowed the closure of Featherston Ordnance Depot and the Auckland Ordnance Depot and was intended to service the northern regions. During construction, Ngaruawahia was described by the Auckland Star as “Probably the greatest Ordnance Depot”[16] Ngaruawahia closed down in 1989, and its Ordnance functions moved to Papakura and Mount Wellington.
RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Ngaruawahia have been:

Stores Depot

  • Area Ngaruawahia Ordnance Department 1927 to 1940,
  • Northern District Ordnance Depot, 1940 to 1942,
  • No 1 Ordnance Sub Depot, 1942 to 1948, In addition to the main stores at Ngaruawahia Camp, No 1 Ordnance Sub Depot also maintained Sub-Depots at the following locations:
    • Bulk Store at Federal Street, Auckland
    • Clothing and Boot Store at Mills Lane, Auckland
    • Clothing Store at Glyde Rink, Kyber Pass/Park Rd, Auckland
    • The Ray Boot Store, Frankton
    • Area 4 Ordnance store, Hamilton.
    • Pukekohe Show Grounds Buildings
  • Northern District Ordnance Depot, 1948 to 1968,
  • 1 Central Ordnance Depot (1 COD), 1968 to 1979,
  • 1 Supply Company, 1979 to 1989,
  • 1 Field Supply Company, 1984, from 1989, Papakura.  [17]

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, 1948 to 1955
  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group, Ordnance Field Park(OFP), 1968 to 1979, support to Combat Brigade Group

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group LAD, Stores Section

Other Ordnance Units

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Kelms Road

 Palmerston North

  • Palmerston North Detachment, NZAOC, Awapuni Racecourse, 1914 to 1921.[18] [19] [20]
  • Depot Closed and stocks moved to Trentham.
  • Ordnance Store, 327 Main Street Circa 1917-1921.[21]
  • No 2 Ordnance Sub Depot, Palmerston North showgrounds, 1942 to 1946 when depot moved to Linton.

Trentham

Stores Depot

  • Main Ordnance Depot (MOD), 1920 to 1968
  • Base Ordnance Depot (BOD), 1968 to 1979
  • 1st Base Supply Battalion (1BSB), 1979 to 1993
  • 5 Logistic Regiment (5LR), 1993 to 8 December 1996 when Transferred to the RNZALR.

Ordnance School

  • RNZAOC School, 1958 to 1994
  • Supply/Quartermaster Wing and Ammunition Wing, Trade Training School 1994 to 1996. [21]

Workshops

  • Main Ordnance Workshop, 1917 to 1946.[22]

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Base Workshop, Stores Section

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 4(NZ) Division Ordnance Field Park(OFP), 1950–1963

Vehicle Depot

  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot, 1948 – 1957

Ammunition Units

  • HQ Ammunition Group, sections at Belmont, Makomako, Kuku Valley, Waiouru
  • Ammunition Proof and Experimental Centre, Kuku Valley
  • Central Military District Ammunition Repair Depot, Kuku Valley

Waiouru

Ordnance Sub Depots were established at Waiouru in 1940, which eventually grew into a stand-alone Supply Company.[23]

RNZAOC units that have supported Waiouru have been;

Stores Depot

  • Main Ordnance Depot, Waiouru Sub-Depot, 1940–1946, Initially managed as a Sub-Depot of the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham, Ordnance units in Waiouru consisted of:
    • Artillery Sub Depot
    • Bulk Stores Depot
    • Ammunition Section
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot, Waiouru Sub Depot (1946–1976).[24] In 1946 Waiouru became a Sub-Depot of the Central Districts Ordnance Depot in Linton, consisting of:
    • Ammo Group
    • Vehicle Group
    • Camp Equipment Group.
  • 4 Central Ordnance Deport, (1976–1979) On 1 April 1976 became a stand-alone Depot in its own right. [25]
  • 4 Supply Company, (1979–1989)
    when the RNZASC was disbanded in 1979 and its supply functions transferred to the RNZAOC, 4 Supply gained the following RNZASC units:[26]

    • HQ 21 Supply Company,(TF element)(1979–1984)
      21 Supply Company was retained as a Territorial unit for training and exercise purposes and was capable of providing a Supply Company Headquarter capable of commanding up to five subunits.
    • 47 Petroleum Platoon (1979–1984)
    • 44 Supply Platoon
  • Central Q, (1989–1993)
  • 4 Field Supply Company, (1993–1994)
  • Distribution Company, 4 Logistic Regiment, (1994–1996)

Workshop Stores Section

  • Waiouru Workshop, Stores Section
  • 4 ATG Workshop, Stores Section
  • 1 Armoured Workshop, Store Section
  • QAMR Workshop, Store Section

Wellington

The Board of Ordnance originally had a warehouse in Manners Street, but after the 1850 earthquake severely damaged this building, 13 acres of Mount Cook was granted to the Board of Ordnance, starting a long Ordnance association with the Wellington area.

Stores Depot

  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot, Alexandra Military Depot, Mount Cook, 1907 to 1920.[27]
  • New Zealand Ordnance Section, Fort Ballance, Wellington, 1915 to 1917.[28]

 Workshops

  • Armament Workshop, Alexandra Military Depot.[29]

Unit locations overseas, 1914–1920

Few records trace with any accuracy New Zealand Ordnance units that served overseas in the First World War. Although the NZAOC was not officially created until 1917.[30] The New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps was constituted as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) in 1914 for overseas service only and in 1919 its members demobilised, returned to their parent units or mustered into the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (Officers) or New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (other Ranks) on their return to New Zealand.

Egypt

  • Ordnance Depot, Zeitoun Camp, 1914-16
  • Ordnance Depot Alexandra, 1915-16
    • 12 Rue de la, Porte Rosette, Alexandria. [31]
    • New Zealand Ordnance Store, Shed 43, Alexandria Docks.[32]
  • NZ Ordnance Section, NZEF Headquarters in Egypt
    • Qasr El Nil Barracks, Cairo.[33]

Fiji

  • NZAOC Detachment, Fiji Expeditionary Force, Suva – February- April 1920

Germany

  • Ordnance Depot, Mulheim, Cologne

 Greece

  • Ordnance Depot, Sapri Camp, Lemnos Island, October – December 1915

Samoa

  • 1 Base Depot

 Turkey

  • Ordnance Depot, ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, April – Dec 1915

 United Kingdom

  • New Zealand Ordnance Base Depot Farringdon Street, London
  • Ordnance Depot, Cosford Camp

Unit locations overseas, 1939–1946

Egypt

Headquarters

  • Office of the DDOS 2NZEF, 22 Aig 1941 to Sept 1942
  • Office of the ADOS 2NZEF, Sept 1942 to 1 Sept 1945

Base Units

Supply

  • New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, Maadi, 1940 to 19 Feb 1944
  • No 1 New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot,  16 Feb 1944 to 1946

Workshops (until Sept 1942 when transferred to NZEME)

  • NZ Base Ordnance Workshop

Laundry

  • NZ Base Laundry, 30 Sept 1942 – 30 Sept 1943

Training

  • Engineer and Ordnance Training Depot, Maadi Camp

Field Units

Supply

  • 2 NZ Divisional Ordnance Field Park, 28 Jul 1941 – 29 Dec 1945
  • NZ Divisional Mobile Bath Unit, 6 Sept 1941  –  30 Sept 1942
  • NZ Divisional Mobile Laundry & Decontamination Unit, 22 Sept 1941 – 27 Mar 1942
  • NZ Divisional Mobile Laundry, 27 Mar 1942 – 30 Sept 1942
  • NZ Salvage Unit, 16 Aug 1941 – 20 Oct 1942

Workshops (until Sept 1942 when transferred to NZEME)

  • 2 NZ Divisional Ordnance Workshops
  • 1 NZ Field Workshop
  • 2 NZ Field Workshop
  • 3 NZ Field Workshop
  • 14 NZ Anti-Aircraft Workshop Section
  • 9 NZ Light Aid Detachment (attached 4 Fd Regt)
  • 10 NZ LAD (attached 5 Fd Pk Coy)
  • 11 NZ LAD (attached HQ 4 NZ Inf Bde)
  • 12 NZ LAD (attached 27 NZ (MG) Bn) Disbanded 15 Oct 1942
  • 13 NZ LAD (attached 2 NZ Div Cav)
  • 14 NZ LAD (attached 2 NZ Div Sigs)
  • 15 NZ LAD (attached 7 NZ A Tk Regt)
  • 16 NZ LAD (attached HQ 5 Fd Regt)
  • 17 NZ LAD (attached HQ 5 NZ Inf Bde)
  • 18 NZ LAD (attached 6 NZ Fd Regt)
  • 19 NZ LAD (attached HQ 6 NZ Inf Bde)

Greece

  • 2 Independent (NZ) Brigade Group Workshop.[34]
  • 5 Independent (NZ) Brigade Group Workshop. [35]
  • Light Aid Detachments x 11
  • 1 Ordnance Field Park (British OFP attached to NZ Division).[36]

Italy

Headquarters

  • Office of the ADOS 2NZEF, 6 Jun 1945 to 1 Sept 1945

Base units

  • No 2 New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, Bari, 16 Feb 1944 – 2 Feb 1946.[37]
    •  Advanced Section of Base Depot, Senegallia, Sept 44 – Feb 46.
  • NZ Advanced Ordnance Depot,   1943- 14 Feb 1944 (Absorbed into OFP)

Field units

  • NZ Division Ordnance Field Park OFP, – 29 Dec 1945
  • NZ Advanced Ordnance Depot, 27 Oct 1945- 1 Feb 1946
  • NZ Mobile Laundry Unit, 1 Oct 1943 – 16 Feb 1944
  • NZ Mobile Bath Unit, 18 Oct 1943 – 16 Feb 1944
  • MZ Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit, 16 Feb 1944 – 8 Dec 1945
  • NZ Vehicle and Stores Reception Depot, 27 Oct 1944 – 1 Feb 1946
    • Vehicle Depot, Assisi, 27 Oct 1945 – Jan 1946.[38]
    • Stores Depot, Perugia, 27 Oct 1945 – Feb 1946.[39]

Fiji

  • Divisional Ordnance Headquarters
  • Base Ordnance Depot
  • Division Ordnance Workshop
  • ‘A’ Workshop Section
  • ‘B Workshop Section
  • 20th Light Aid Detachment
  • 36th Light Aid Detachment
  • 37th Light Aid Detachment

New Caledonia

  • Base Ordnance Depot
  • Division Ordnance Workshop
  • 20th Light Aid Detachment
  • 36th Light Aid Detachment
  • 37th Light Aid Detachment
  • 42 Light Aid Detachment
  • 64 Light Aid Detachment
  • 65 Light Aid Detachment
  • 67 Light Aid Detachment

Solomon Islands

  • Advanced Ordnance Depot, Guadalcanal. Officer Commanding and Chief Ordnance Officer, Captain Noel McCarthy.

Tonga

  • 16 Brigade Group Ordnance Field Park
  • 16 Brigade Group Workshop

Unit locations overseas, 1945–1996

Japan

  • Base Ordnance Depot, Kure (RAOC unit, NZAOC personnel attached)
  • 4 New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, November 1945.
  • 4 New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot, November 1946.
  • 4 New Zealand Ordnance Field Park – August 1947 to July 1948 when closed.

ADO Gate

Korea

No Standalone units but individual RNZAOC personnel served in 4 Ordnance Composite Depot (4 OCD) RAOC.

Malaya

No standalone RNZAOC units, but individual RNZAOC personnel may have served in the following British and Commonwealth Ordnance units:

  • 3 Base Ordnance Depot, RAOC, Singapore
  • 28 Commonwealth Brigade Ordnance Field Park, Terendak, Malaysia.

Singapore

Stores Depot

  • 5 Advanced Ordnance Depot, 1970–1971
    5 Advanced Ordnance Depot (5 AOD) was a short-lived Bi-National Ordnance Depot operated by the RAAOC and RNZAOC in Singapore, 1970 to 1971.
  • ANZUK Ordnance Depot, 1971–1974
    ANZUK Ordnance Depot was the Tri-National Ordnance Depot supporting the short-lived ANZUK Force. Staffed by service personnel from the RAOC, RAAOC and RNZAOC with locally Employed Civilians (LEC) performing the basic clerical, warehousing and driving tasks. It was part of the ANZUK Support Group supporting ANZUK Force in Singapore between 1971 to 1974. ANZUK Ordnance Depot was formed from the Australian/NZ 5 AOD and UK 3BOD and consisted of:

    • Stores Sub Depot
    • Vehicle Sub Depot
    • Ammunition Sub Depot
    • Barrack Services Unit
    • Forward Ordnance Depot(FOD)
  • New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot, 1974–1989
    From 1974 to 1989 the RNZAOC maintained the New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot(NZAOD) in Singapore as part of New Zealand Force South East Asia (NZFORSEA).

Workshops Stores Section

  • New Zealand Workshops, RNZAOC Stores Section
  • 1RNZIR, Light Aid Detachment Stores Section

Somalia

The RNZAOC (with RNZCT, RNZEME, RNZSig, RNZMC specialist attachments) contributed to the New Zealand Governments commitment to the International and United Nations Operation in Somalia(UNOSOM) efforts in Somalia with:

  • Supply Detachment, Dec 1992 to June 1993
  • Supply Platoon x 2 rotations, July 1993 to July 1994 (reinforced with RNZIR Infantry Section)
  • RNZAOC officers to UNOSOM headquarters, 1992 to 1995.[40]

South Vietnam

During New Zealand’s commitment to the war in South Vietnam (29 June 1964 – 21 December 1972). The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps did not contribute a standalone unit but provided individuals to serve in New Zealand Headquarters units, Composite Logistic units or as part of Australian Ordnance Units including:

  • Headquarters Vietnam Force (HQ V Force)
  • 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF)
  • 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1 ALSG)
  • 161 Battery Attachments (161 Bty Attached)
  • New Zealand Rifle Companies
  • 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes

[1] Whakapapa is a taxonomic framework that links all animate and inanimate, known and unknown phenomena in the terrestrial and spiritual worlds. Whakapapa, therefore, binds all things. It maps relationships so that mythology, legend, history, knowledge, Tikanga (custom), philosophies and spiritualities are organised, preserved and transmitted from one generation to the next. “Rāwiri Taonui, ‘Whakapapa – Genealogy – What Is Whakapapa?’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Http://Www.Teara.Govt.Nz/En/Whakapapa-Genealogy/Page-1 (Accessed 3 June 2019).”

[2] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992).

[3] A.J. Polaschek and Medals Research Christchurch, The Complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal: Being an Account of the New Zealand Recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal from the Earliest Times of the South African War to the Present Time, Together with Brief Biographical Notes and Details of Their Entitlement to Other Medals, Orders and Decorations (Medals Research Christchurch, 1983).

[4] “Dismantling of Buildings at Mt Eden and Reassembling at Narrow Neck,” New Zealand Herald, vol. LXVI, p. 5, 2 February 1929.

[5] “The Narrow Neck Camp,” New Zealand Herald, vol. LVIII, no. 17815, p. 6, 23 June 1921.

[6] John J. Storey and J. Halket Millar, March Past: A Review of the First Fifty Years of Burnham Camp (Christchurch, N.Z.: Pegasus Press, 1973, 1974 printing, 1973), Non-fiction.

[7] “Camp at Burnham,” Star, no. 16298, p. 8, 13 December 1920.

[8] “RNZAOC Triennial Conference,” in Handbook – RNZAOC Triennial Conference, Wellington,”  (1981).

[9][9] “NZ P106 Dos Procedure Instructions, Part 1 Static Support Force. Annex F to Chapter 1, Rnzaoc Director of Ordnance Services,”  (1978).

[10] ” Featherston Military Training Camp and the First World War, 1915–27,”  https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/featherston-camp.

[11] “NZ P106 Dos Procedure Instructions, Part 1 Static Support Force. Annex F to Chapter 1, Rnzaoc Director of Ordnance Services.”

[12] “Stockholding for Operationally Deployable Stockholding Units,” NZ Army General Staff, Wellington  (1993.).

[13] L Clifton, Aerodrome Services, ed. Aerodrome Services Branch of the Public Works Department War History (Wellington1947).

[14] “1 Comp Ord Coy,” Pataka Magazine, February 1979.

[15] “D-01 Public Works Statement by the Hon. J. G. Coates, Minister of Public Works,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1 January,”  (1925).

[16] “Great Military Camp,” The Auckland Star, vol. LVI, no. 83, p. 5, 8 April 1925.

[17] “1st Field Supply Company Standing Operating Procedures, 1st Supply Company Training Wing, Dec “,  (1984).

[18] W.H. Cunningham and C.A.L. Treadwell, Wellington Regiment: N. Z. E. F 1914-1918 (Naval & Military Press, 2003).

[19] “Defence Re-Organisation,” Manawatu Times, vol. XLII, no. 1808, p. 5, 5 May  1921.

[20] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 25th June 1914 to 26th June, 1915.,” “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1915).

[21] “NZ Army Ordnance Stores, ,”  https://manawatuheritage.pncc.govt.nz/item/c7681d2d-c440-4d58-81ad-227fc31efebf.

[22] “Pataka Magazine. RNZAOC, P. 52,,”  (1994).

[23] “Waiouru Camp  “, Ellesmere Guardian, vol. LXI, no. 90, p. 2, 12 November 1940

[24] Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] “Ordnance Stores,” Evening Post, vol. c, no. 95, p. 8, 19 October 1920.

[28] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 25th June 1914 to 26th June 1915.”

“, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1915).

[29] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces, from 1st June 1916 to 31st May 1917,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1917).

[30] “Colonel Rhodes,” Dominion, vol. 9, no. 2718, p. 9, 13 March 1916. .

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Glyn Harper, Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Soldier in the First World War 1914-1918, First World War Centenary History (Titirangi, Auckland, New Zealand: Exisle Publishing, 2015

[Limited Leather Bound Edition], 2015), Bibliographies, Non-fiction.

[34] A.H. Fernyhough, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945 (Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 1958).

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] New Zealand War Histories – Italy Volume Ii : From Cassino to Trieste,  (Victoria University of Wellington, 1967).

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

[40] “Somalia: 1992 – 1995,” NZ Army,” http://www.army.mil.nz/about-us/what-we-do/deployments/previous-deployments/somalia/default.htm.


New Zealand Supply Contingent Somalia

1992 was an exciting time to be an Ordnance Soldier, after close to 20 years with few operational tours; the RNZAOC was deploying a supply unit with supporting elements from the RNZCT, RNZEME, RNZSig, RNZMC and later RNZIR to support the international and United Nations famine relief efforts in Somalia.

New Zealand Supply Detachment

The New Zealand Army first deployed to Somalia in 1992 with a Supply Detachment which was part of the original United Nations Operation in Somalia, (UNOSOM). To facilitate the purchase of goods in neighbouring Kenya, personnel were also deployed there on a regular basis. The original commitment was 28-strong, with most members arriving in Somalia in early 1993.

Taniwha Hill2

New Zealand Supply Platoon

The Supply Detachment was replaced in July 1993 with a more substantial 43-strong Supply Platoon. Due to the deteriorating security situation, it included an infantry section from 1 RNZIR, which marked the first deployment of Kiwi combat troops since the Vietnam War. This Platoon witnessed the Battle of Mogadishu unfold including the events of the infamous Black Hawk Down incident.

A second Supply Platoon rotated in January 1994. This platoon was present for the draw-down and withdrawal of all of the western forces which were completed by 30 March 1994, which then left the New Zealand platoon, Australian MOVCON, Air Traffic Controllers and ASASR troop and the Irish Transport Company as the few western contingents remaining in Somalia.

Taniwha Hill

Role of the Supply Units

The purpose of the New Zealand Supply units was the provision of supplies to the UN Force. To facilitate this, a section was situated at the Port of Mogadishu working with the Catering, and food supply contractor to the UN, Morris Catering, and a section was located at the Airport where a warehouse was maintained holding general stores.

Conditions in Somalia

The New Zealand troops were poorly equipped and only issued with primary small arms and fragmentation vests, which given the threat level was wholly inadequate for the task. Vehicle movement was by light-skinned commercial vehicles and due to the risk of ambush and IEDs, with vehicle movement often limited, and often the situation deteriorated to a state where vehicle movement was stopped altogether, and helicopters had to be used to fly to United Nations locations around Mogadishu. Gunfire was constant, with Somali bandits climbing into the surrounding buildings and sporadically firing into the airfield and seaport, with random mortar fire also been a continuous threat and annoyance. An increasing casualty list of UN personnel and relief workers served as a continuing reminder of the hostility and dangers of working in Somalia.

Brigadier Charles Lott, who served in Somalia, recalls that the drive between the UNOSOM HQ in the university compound in Mogadishu itself and the airport was hair-raising:

“Speed was the main weapon against Somalis who were often under the influence of the hallucinatory herbal drug known as khat and were taking pot shots. It was common practice for the crew of New Zealand vehicles travelling between Mogadishu and the airport to have their Steyr on “instant”, wedged between the front seats ‒ the driver with a Sig Sauer also on “instant”, jammed into the door handle.” “Weapon discipline was very important as was a constant wariness of burning tyres, a Somali signal that there is “bad stuff” about to go down, come and join the fun.”

The New Zealanders, he said, worked long hours, often ten hours a day, seven days a week. In one month alone more than 1000 tonnes of rations were distributed, including live goats.

Somalia Body Armour


Taniwha Hill

The New Zealanders home in Mogadishu was a camp in the sand-hills between the Indian ocean and Mogadishu Airport which had been christened “Taniwha Hill”. Taniwha Hill was a self-contained location with heavily sandbagged tents providing the most austere accommodation, and a large mess tent/kitchen/recreation area as the central point of the camp. Ablution facilities were rudimentary with buckets for showers and dissected 44-gallon drums for toilets, which required the daily disposal by stirring and burning. Modern ablution blocks with hot and cold running water and flush toilets were provided in the last weeks of the deployment.

Withdrawal

The Supply Platoons ended their mission in June 1994.

Reunion

A very successful reunion was held in 2013, with past members returning from as far away as the UK to attend, A very successful take away from this reunion was a Somalia Journal which no doubt takes pride of place on many bookshelves. The next reunion is planned for 2018.

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Facebook Page

The Kiwi Somalia veterans have an active Facebook Group,  Taniwha Hill – Kiwi Somalia Veterans where members keep in touch, share photos and organise events.

(Copyright © Robert McKie 2017)