A 92-year-old veteran of World War Two took to a Reddit AMA, with the encouragement of his grandson, to share his experiences.
The serviceman, answering questions under the handle Psych_Tim, served in the 3rd division of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Pacific during World War Two. This division aided the Allied forces in operations against the Japanese in Green, Solomon, and the Treasury Islands.
New Zealand also planned to take part in Operation Downfall, the Allied invasion plan of Japan.
Psych_Tim has decline to provide his name since he does not want to become the center of attention.
We have highlighted some of his most interesting answers below.
Asked about the most remote country he ever traveled to, Psych_Tim responded:
The Treasuries — they had never seen anything like us before, they were all standing around with their bollocks out.
Psych_Tim still has a positive attitude on joining the army:
I joined the Territorials when i was 18 years old. I used to do training at nights once a month. Then I Joined the Canterbury, and Nelson-Marlborough and West Coast Regiment long before the war. I would definitely recommend young people to join the Army -it teaches a sense of discipline.
When asked about his view on the Japanese, Psych_Tim was torn:
How do you answer that pauses… The Japanese were doing the job they were told to do. But I didn’t like their cruelty. I felt sorry for the Japanese POWS in a way. They just sat cross-legged in the cages.
He remembers how, unfortunately, girls were always more interested in American soldiers:
True, a lot of the girls thought that was the umpty dumpty. They got all the things we couldn’t: Stockings; Combs. You couldn’t get a comb in New Zealand.
Unlike America at the time, New Zealand was very progressive on racial tolerance:
We met very few Australians. They were mostly Americans — Mostly Seabees — Mostly Dark/Black people that we got along famously with. They seemed to like us because we got along with our Māoris. They [The Seabees] were always coming around for dinner.
Still, despite Psych_Tim’s positive view of the war, it left unforgettable marks on him:
Probably watching the bodies being dragged out of a plane that had been hit in the tail. This one joker in the tail had been hit by some guns and blown to bits..paused I’ll never forget that…never ever — Even I puked.
Psych_Tim had fond memories of what he did in his time off:
We used to take one of the big flying boats and go fishing with a 3-second delay, other than that we played cards (usually 500) till 3:00AM most nights. When we first landed on the island, we were given two bottles of beer to wash and clean with [evidently they were afraid the water may have been poisoned].
In the end, Psych_Tim had a simple response to the question about his favourite moment from the war:
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