Michael James McGrath was a war veteran in World War II – the last major world conflict to have occurred. He and his many servicemen fought on the side of Australian and New Zealand forces. His enlistment was early on in the global conflict and his Battalion was eventually assigned to the war in the Pacific. It is here. Michael James McGrath, a war hero, was killed in action.
He fought honourably in World War II in the 30th (Mixed) Battalion B Force. This is the 8th Brigade of the New Zealand 3rd Division. This was an ‘Expeditionary Force’ of the Third Echelon. It is believed that Michael James McGrath enlisted for service in 1940 when the war in Europe was in its early stages.
The 30th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the New Zealand 3rd Division, raised for Second World War service. The unit was known for its bravery and sacrifice and served with distinction in the conflict. Today, the Battalion is one of the most well-known New Zealand military units.
It was originally formed in September 1940 and drew personnel from New Zealand areas. In particular these were the districts of Otago and Canterbury. Michael James McGrath joined the battalion as one of the first person.
McGrath and his battalion were at first allocated to the 8th Brigade before joining up with the 14th Brigade at a later date. This is where Michael James McGrath served and experienced action in the Pacific. There they took on garrison duties in Fiji to guard the island against possible Japanese attacks. When the war ended, they were handed over to the US Army.
The NZEF was closely linked to the AIF for much of the war. The New Zealand contingent was too small to form a separate division, so the New Zealand and Australian Divisions were combined to form the famous Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Both divisions were commanded by General Godley.
The USS Arizona, which was the target ship of TF 38, was able to land its troops…
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