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Full Name: Robert Edward Marchioni
Rank Last Held: Able Seaman
Forename(s): Robert Edward
Surname: Marchioni
  • Regular Military Service
  • Korean War, 1950-1953
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 1 April 1932
Place of Birth: Taihape, Manawatu, New Zealand
First Known Rank: Ordinary Seaman
Next of Kin: Mrs Ena Marchioni (mother), Wanganui, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation: Kayforce
Embarkation Unit: Royal New Zealand Navy
Military Awards:
  • New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM)
  • Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) Posthumous
Last Unit Served: Royal New Zealand Navy, HMNZS Rotoiti
Place of Death: Sogon-ni, south of Ch'o-do, Korea
Date of Death: 26 August 1951
Age at Death: 19
Year of Death: 1951
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Memorial Name: Auckland War Memorial Museum, Hall of Memories. Korea, Malaya-Borneo.
Obituary: Obituary: New Zealand Herald, 28 August 1951, p. 6
Biographical Notes:
  • Next of kin Mrs Ena Marchioni, formerly of Utiku, living in Wanganui in 1951.
  • Served in Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) 1949-51.
  • Served in HMNZS Rotoiti 1950-51.
  • "Able-Seaman Marchioni is the first naval casualty in Korea. He joined the service in 1949 and, after training at H.M.N.Z.S. Tamaki, he joined the Rotoiti as an ordinary-seaman in July, 1950. In April of this year he was rated Able-Seaman, and several months ago he passed his examination for Leading-Seaman. He was regarded as an outstanding rating." (NZ Herald, 28 August 1951, p. 6)
  • Able Seaman Marchioni was killed in a raid on Sogon-ni, 26 August 1951.
  • "Marchioni, who [Lieutenant-Commander B.E.] Turner recalled as 'one of the greatest seaman boys I ever had', was the RNZN's only fatal battle casualty of the war. Turner wanted to mount a landing in daylight to recover his body, but was refused permission. During the morning, a funeral service was conducted on Rotoiti by Ceylon's chaplain. Marchioni was posthumously mentioned in despatches for his part in the action." (McGibbon 1996, vol. 2, p. 176).
  • Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defence Minister Mark Burton presented the New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM) to next of kin of New Zealanders who were killed or died in military operations since 1945 at a ceremony at Parliament 3 September 2003.
  • The New Zealand Operational Service Medal was received on his behalf by his brother Mr Tony Marchioni of Hamilton.
Description of Image:
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum, Hall of Memories. Korea, Malaya-Borneo (taken in April 1999).
  • Hall of Memories WW2, Auckland War Memorial Museum, looking East (taken in April 1999)
Further References:
Sources Used:
  • McGibbon, I.C. (1992-1996). New Zealand and the Korean War (Vols. 1-2). Auckland, N.Z.; Wellington, N.Z.: Oxford University Press in association with the Historical Branch, Dept. of Internal Affairs.
  • New Zealand Herald
  • Hopkins, G. (2002). Tales from Korea : the Royal New Zealand Navy. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed.
  • New Zealand Defence Force. Roll of Honour. Personnel who have died on operational service since 3 September 1945. URL:
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