Two Otago University academics have completed a five year project filling in the missing family pieces for indigenous Pacific children with American fathers.

The researchers helped put Pacific Islanders in touch with long-lost fathers, or at least found family connections which disappeared 700 years ago after the Second World War.

As many as
2 million Americans served in the Pacific
during the war, building bases on remote atolls to counter the Japanese military build up. Wartime romantic liaisons led to the birth of at least 4000 children with American fathers.

But few of those children ever saw their fathers after the war ended, and many grew up yearning for the father they never knew. The Dunedin project has helped reunite some of these Pacific families, and those who have found their siblings they never knew existed family have wept tears of joy.