657522 Private Vernon Hinemoa Walker, NZ Medical Corp, Jayforce

Vernon Hinemoa Walker was born in Tawa on 1st August 1925 the youngest son of Edith Doris (nee Ambridge) and
Albert Walker[i]. Vernon was raised in Tawa with his older twin brothers, Ngata Betram and Selwyn Desmond Walker.

Vernon was working as an upholsterer for J W Wallace & Co,
Wellington when he volunteered to serve in Jayforce.  Following
Japan’s surrender in August 1945 the New Zealand government
agreed to supply a force as part of the British Occupation Force
(BCOF) which was part of the US Led occupation of Japan. Jayforce
was initially deployed in Yamaguchi prefecture on the southern tip
of the main island of Honshu and the nearby Eta Jima Island[ii].
The initial task was the search for military equipment then the
repatriation of Japanese returning and Koreans being returned to
Korea. The Force was formed from a 2nd NZEF draft from Italy but
in 1946 they were replaced by volunteers of which Vernon was one.

                                                                       Recruitment Poster 1946      

Vernon entered military camp on28th February 1946 as
657522 Private Walker and following training left for Japan his
military records noting he ‘entered Japan’ 19th August 1946[iii].
Private Walker was attached to the 5th NZ Field Hygiene Section
part of the 6th NZ General Hospital and towards the end of his tour
the First Aid Post (FAP) of the Head Quarters of the 2nd NZEF
Jayforce. On 8th August 1947 Private Walker left  Japan for
New Zealand.

On 2nd November 1947 657522 Private Vernon Hinemoa Walker
was discharged from the NZ Army and returned to civilian life.

Vernon married Jean Sylvia Frost in 1950 and the couple had three children. [iv] The couple were still living in Tawa when
Vernon died, in 1995.

Veron’s brothers both served in WW2
NZ1716 Leading Steward Ngata Betram Walker RNZN killed in action serving on HMS Orchis off the Normady Beachhead 1944.
NZ2133 Supply Chief Petty Officer Selwyn served in New Zealand and post war in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN)

NZ Defence Archives: Military files
NZ History Online

Recruitment Poster 1946: National Library

[i]    NZ Defence Forces Archives: 657522 Private Vernon Hinemoa Walker
[ii]   Main body of Jayfoce lands in Japan 1946; NZ History online
[iii]  NZ Defence Forces Archives: 657522 Private Vernon Hinemoa Walker
[iv]  NZ Death Certificate: Vernon Hinemoa Walker
Exeter Road, Plimmerton  c1924