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Full Name: Leslie John Cooper
Rank Last Held: Gunner
Forename(s): Leslie John
Surname: Cooper
  • World War II, 1939-1945
  • Jayforce, 1945-1948
  • Korean War, 1950-1953
Serial No.:
  • 654686
  • 203513
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 30 April 1926
Place of Birth: Waihi, New Zealand
First Known Rank:
  • Trooper
  • Gunner
Occupation before Enlistment:
  • Turner and Fitter
  • Labourer
Next of Kin:
  • Mr L.A. Cooper (father), Station Road, Paeroa, New Zealand
  • Mr L.A. Cooper (father), Station Road, Paeroa, New Zealand
Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Single
Enlistment Address:
  • Paeroea, New Zealand
  • Auckland, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation:
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), Jayforce
  • Kayforce
Embarkation Unit:
  • 2 Divisional Cavalry
  • 161 Battery
Embarkation Date:
  • Unknown
  • 10 December 1950
Place of Embarkation:
  • unknown
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • unknown
  • Ormonde
  • Japan
  • Pusan, Korea (1 January 1951)
Nominal Roll Number: WW2 16
Page on Nominal Roll: WW2 27
Military Awards: New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM)
Last Unit Served: Royal New Zealand Artillery, 16 Field Regiment
Place of Death: Korea
Date of Death: 13 October 1951
Age at Death: 25
Year of Death: 1951
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Cemetery Name: United Nations Cemetery, Pusan, Korea
Memorial Name: Auckland War Memorial Museum, Hall of Memories. Korea, Malaya-Borneo.
Biographical Notes:
  • Served with Jayforce 1946-47
  • Served with Kayforce 1950-51
  • "A New Zealand gunner was killed instantly early yesterday morning when a Chinese mortar scored a direct hit on the slit trench in which he was sheltering. He was Gunner Leslie John Cooper, of Paeroa, who before his enlistment in K-Force worked in Auckland.
  • Gunner Cooper was a member of a forward observation party accompanying soldiers of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. He was lying in the slit trench at about 1 o'clock in the morning when a Chinese mortar, which was bombarding the infantry positions, scored a direct hit. It was the regiment's second fatal casualty since the opening of the autumn offensive." (NZ Herald, 16 October 1951, p. 8)
  • "Gunner Leslie Cooper was serving in one of 161 Battery's OP parties with the Shropshires on Hill 227, when the Chinese attacked on 13 October after the heaviest bombardment yet endured by the brigade. Shortly after midnight, he was killed by a mortar bomb which landed in his slit trench." (McGibbon 1996, vol. 2, p. 220)
  • Gunner Cooper's nephew, Mr Ross Nicol of Tauranga, received the New Zealand Operational Service Medal on his behalf from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence at a presentation at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Thursday 27 November 2003
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)
Additional Information: Transport details are for Korea (March 2010)
Further References:
Sources Used:
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 16 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1946 to 30th June, 1948)
  • K-Force nominal roll : embarked for Korea on 'Ormonde' on 10 December 1950
  • 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 Defence Force. Roll of Honour. Personnel who have died on operational service since 3 September 1945. URL:
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