New Zealand Campaign Medals - The New Zealand Service Medal 1946 - 1949
About the New Zealand Service Medal 1946-1949
The New Zealand Service Medal 1946-1949 was instituted in 1995 to recognise New Zealand military personnel who served in the occupation forces in Japan between March 1946 and March 1949. In 2002 the Royal Warrant was amended to also recognise service between September 1945 and March 1946, including service by the crews of HMNZ Ships Gambia and Achilles in Japanese waters.
Since 1995 this medal has been issued to over 4,700 veterans or their families. About 13,000 New Zealanders, including several hundred women, are eligible for this medal. To receive this medal eligible persons, or their families, should apply to New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Archives and Medals.
Fifteen New Zealand military personnel were killed in accidents or died of sickness in Japan during the occupation.
For informative discussions of service by New Zealanders in Japan between September 1945 and March 1949 see:
- Laurie Brocklebank, Jayforce: New Zealand and the Military Occupation of Japan 1945-48, Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1997.
- Ian McGibbon (editor), The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History, Auckland: Oxford University Press, 2000, pp.256-258.
Note: Most veterans of J-Force will also qualify for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (which was instituted in 2011).
The New Zealand Service Medal 1946-1949 was issued unengraved until 30 June 2009. From 1 July 2009 this medal has been issued engraved on the bottom rim. For military personnel, the recipient's service number, rank, initials, surname, and corps / Service are engraved. These details are as at the date of the service which qualified him or her for the medal.
Note: Recipients of an unengraved New Zealand Service Medal 1946-1949 should contact New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Archives and Medals if they wish their medal to be engraved. The best opportunity to have your medal engraved is when you need to add another medal (such as the New Zealand Defence Service Medal) to your mounted medal group.
The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Service Medal 1946 - 1949 can be viewed here.
Instructions for the administration of the medal are included in the Royal Warrant.
Clasps and Bars
There are no clasps or bars for this medal.
Order of Wear
The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.
Media Statement concerning the New Zealand Service Medal 1946-1949
- 11 June 2001 - Medallic grievances addressed