An American man is looking for his father's Kiwi love and her child, who may have been conceived during a romantic liaison in World War II.

Paul Thibodeau, 62, was just 18 when rifling through photos of his father's years serving for the US Army in the South Pacific he stumbled across a photo of a woman he'd never seen before.

The image showed her smiling at the camera; dressed in a coat; hat on head and bag tucked under her arm - on the back a short note; "Love from Vicky. Auckland, New Zealand. 1944."

This note is the only clue Paul Thibodeau has about the mysterious Vicky. Photo / Supplied, Thibodeau family
This note is the only clue Paul Thibodeau has about the mysterious Vicky. Photo / Supplied, Thibodeau family

There was once another photo too - this one of a baby that his father, Leopold Thibodeau, swore was a spitting image of himself.

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But Paul Thibodeau believed his father may have thrown the baby's photo away so his mother wouldn't find it.

"I think he said it was a boy."

Today, 44 years on from when Thibodeau first learned his Canadian father had another love, he's none the wiser as to who the mystery woman and child is.

"To think there might be a half-sibling of mine somewhere, when my father's been gone for so many years? It might be interesting to meet this person.

"I should have picked his brain more; I should have talked to him more about it, especially when he was passing, but I didn't want to open a can of worms."

His father passed away from emphysema in 1988. His mother, Teresa Thibodeau (born Moore), died four years ago, aged 94.

Thibodeau did ask his father, who'd fought during the battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, about the woman in the picture when he first came across it.

"I'm sure I said: Dad, who is this?'

A photo of the mysterious Vicky who was in Auckland in 1944. Photo / Supplied, Thibodeau family
A photo of the mysterious Vicky who was in Auckland in 1944. Photo / Supplied, Thibodeau family
Leopold Thibodeau served in the South Pacific during World War II. Photo / Supplied, Paul Thibodeau
Leopold Thibodeau served in the South Pacific during World War II. Photo / Supplied, Paul Thibodeau

His father told him it was a woman he'd dated while on a scheduled break, in Auckland, New Zealand.

"She was a very pretty woman, as pretty as my mother was. I can see her and my father together."

It when he asked about the woman's photo that Thibodeau's father, who was of French-Canadian descent, told him about the photo of the baby who might be his sibling.

He was told, "Don't tell your mother."

So he didn't, and nor did he push his father for more information in the years that followed.

"My mother knew Vicky existed, but she didn't know my father had an affair with her," Thibodeau said. "My mother would not have approved of that."

Despite the Kiwi romance during the war, Thibodeau said his parents were in love.

"They had dated, but they weren't married. My mother, she waited for my father."

At the end of the war his parents got together and married before going on to have seven children - five girls and two boys, Thibodeau is the sixth.

"They were together until he died."

Thibodeau said his father, who had eleven siblings, was intent on just living a normal life when he returned from the war.

"My father was a quiet guy. He was reserved; he didn't brag; he just wasn't one of those kinds of guys.

"He was a handsome man; he felt he was a tough guy even though he wasn't that big a guy."

Thibodeau said his father tended not to talk about the hardships of wartime.

"They'd served their country; they were all heroes when they came home and just wanted to go about their lives."

But Thibodeau said now that both his parents have passed away and, as he himself gets older, it was time to dig into the past a little.

He hoped sharing the story will help shed some light on the mystery of who Vicky was and help him find out if he has a Kiwi sibling.

"It might just be a full circle for both that person and me, and whoever else in my family might be interested."