US Marines in Gisborne

Peggy Kaua teaches Staff Sergeant Norman T Hatch how to dance, Gisborne 1942. 

Peggy Kaua (nee Pitt) was born in 1915 in Egypt after her mother had followed Peggy's father to the First World War. Her companion was the wife of renown anthropologist, politician and Doctor Te Ranghīroa Peter Buck. Peggy's full name was Margaret Alexandria Huinga Kaua and her birth place is commemorated in her second name Alexandria.

Peggy was married to Henry Falwasser who served with D Company and died in 1960. Long after Henry died Peggy married Pita Kaua who served with C Company.  He died in 1989. Peggy was awarded the Queens Service Order Medal in 2005 for her life long commitment and dedication to her community.  She passed away in 2006 aged 91.

Staff Sergeant Norman T Hatch spent 11 months stationed in New Zealand with the 2nd Marine Division before going to Tarawa, Japan. He was in charge of the U.S Marine Corp film Unit.  During their time here U.S Marines captured footage of New Zealand's land and cityscapes, U.S Marines training and working on farms, visiting Guide Rangi at Whakarewarewa, Eleanor Roosevelt's visit in 1943 and Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu's Investiture Ceremony at Ruatoria on 6 October 1943.   

Staff Sergeant Hatch studied 'Time Life' and 'March of Time' styles in New York, 1941.  As a primary combat cinematographer Staff Sergeant Hatch captured footage of the Battle of Tarawa, in Japan 1943.  Much of the footage was used in the short documentary "With the Marines at Tarawa" that won the 1944 Academy Award for Most Outstanding Documentary Short Subject.  Norm's extraordinary efforts were acknowledged with him being awarded the Navy Commendation Medal.  Norm received further honours including the Bronze Star for the documentary "To the Shores of Iwo Jima" in 1945.  In 1946 he received the National Headliners Award for Combat Photography in World War II and in 1979 was awarded the (U.S) Secretary of Defense Meritorious Award.

Norm retired from the Marines as a Major, he is 90 and lives in the United States.



Held at the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration. © U.S. Marine Corps.
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