NEW ZEALAND (2020)- WWII- 75 Years (Sheet of 15v)

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About WWII - 75 Years

World War Two spanned nearly six years, and during that time New Zealanders lived through immense hardship, suffering and change. Through these challenging years they connected, worked together, rallied as citizens and solved problems both abroad on the battlefields and on home soil. During the war advancements in medicine, trade and manufacturing occurred worldwide - changes that we still benefit from today.

Issue Information

A cataclysmic event, the Second World War was fought out in territories, seas, and skies across the face of the earth and touched most of humanity. Notably, it would prove to be the most lethal conflict ever waged, killing some 60 million.

In 1945, the war ended with a total Allied victory over Germany and Japan marked, respectively, by VE Day and VJ Day. In the decades separating 1945 and 2020, New Zealand has experienced revolutions in politics, customs, and fashions. Consequently, the New Zealand that fought in World War Two can be difficult for modern eyes to recognise. However, towards the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, the war’s legacies remain relevant to understanding New Zealand today.

$1.30 Mobilising the nation
A soldier is met by a group of children in Wellington after his return from the Middle East on a hospital ship.

$1.30 HMS Achilles
In Auckland, crowds turned out to welcome HMS Achilles, returning to New Zealand after the Battle of the River Plate.

$1.30 Fighter pilots
New Zealand fighter pilots beside a Supermarine Spitfire in England, 15 July 1942. A single-seat fighter, the Spitfire established a formidable record during the Battle of Britain. It remains an iconic aircraft.

$1.30 Retreat from Crete
An injured soldier assisted off a ship in Alexandria, Egypt, after the evacuation from Crete.

$1.30 28th (Māori) Battalion
Members of the 28th (Māori) Battalion driving through the Italian town of Sora, 3 June 1944. They are (from left): Kiwi Cribb, David McClutchie, Whiwhi Winiata, Repoma Thompson and Dick Huata.

$1.30 Women’s War Service Auxillary
Women from the Auxiliary Army Corp worked on a wide range of war-critical jobs as part of the defence effort at home.

$1.30 Railway Construction in Africa
Men of the New Zealand Railway Construction Company laying track to be used to supply British forces in the North African desert, c. October 1941.

$1.30 At rest in the Pacific
Members of the 3rd Division at ease at Vella Lavella, located in the Solomon Islands, c. 1944.

$1.30 American Servicemen in Wellington
American servicemen with New Zealand women at Oriental Bay, Wellington, c. 1942.

$1.30 Merchant Marine
Merchant seamen pose on the Union Steam Ship Company’s Kaiwarra in Auckland, December 1940, while loading Royal New Zealand Air Force planes for delivery to Fiji.

$1.30 Bomber Command
Members of 75 (NZ) Squadron at RAF Feltwell, England. They are passing a Wellington (Mk I), a four-crew, medium bomber that served as one of Bomber Command’s principal bombers in the early years of the war.

$1.30 Air raid drill in Auckland
Pupils and teachers at Devonport School entering air raid shelters during a drill, April 1942.

$1.30 Home Guard
Members of the Home Guard training in Waikato. Lacking uniforms, they have been issued with identifying armbands.

$1.30 Monte Cassino
Gordon Reid of the 4th Armoured Brigade in the ruins of Cassino, 18 May 1944. He is operating communication equipment and sits beside a Sherman tank.

$1.30 Peace Celebration in Wellington
A Wellington crowd on VJ Day, 15 August 1945, celebrating the end of the war.


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