This is unedited raw film footage, shot by Academy Award winning US Marine cinematographer Norman T. Hatch for a US newsreel that was never completed, provisionally titled 'Meet New Zealand'. Around 21,000 Marines were stationed in camps around the Wellington region from June 1942 until November 1943. Most of their time was spent training hard preparing for the war in the Southwest Pacific against the Japanese.
A crowd of US Marines of the 2nd Marine Division watch from a sand hill on the Paekākāriki coast at dawn, while LVTAs (aka amphibious tanks) are tested and fitted out.
A davit is mounted on one tank and is operated by six Marines to hoist and unload gasoline drums. LVTAs navigate steep sand hills laden with men and 75mm pack Howitzers mounted on the front of tanks. Another fully laden LVTA goes out to sea to test handling and buoyancy. Marines need to hang on tight when the LVTAs are navigating the dunes.
Marines use a specially engineered davit to hoist a 75mm pack Howitzer from an amphibious tank to the beach.