Documentary tells stories of children that US servicemen left behind

A University of Otago documentary following the stories of children left behind in the Pacific by United States servicemen is airing as part of Maori Television's Anzac Day coverage.

The documentary, Born of Conflict: Children of the Pacific War, follows the stories of three children of US servicemen posted to the Pacific during World War 2.

Now in their early 70s, the children were identified through an Otago University research programme.

US servicemen were estimated to have left behind 2000 ''illegitimate'' children when they left the Pacific.

Prof Judith Bennett, who led the research, said these were important stories, which had been ''left out of histories of the war in the Pacific''.

''We think these personal histories are of interest and significance to all in the region and beyond.''

Arthur Beren, one of the three people followed in the documentary, travelled from Kerikeri for the premiere at Otago University last November.

Speaking after the premiere, Mr Beren, who finally met his American siblings in 2011, with the help of Otago University researchers, said it was emotional seeing his story on film.

''It's so well made, and I couldn't help but shed a tear with the way the sensitivity came out,'' he said last year.

The documentary airs at 9am tomorrow on Maori Television.

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