Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Edward Button joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Boy Seaman in 1947. As was customary at the time he did his basic training at HMNZS TAMAKI, the shore training establishment on Motuihe Island. Further training followed onboard the cruiser HMNZS BELLONA and at the Royal Australian Naval Base HMAS WATSON in Sydney, Australia where he qualified as a plot specialist.
In 1951 Button was onboard the frigate HMNZ ROTOITI during the ship’s deployment to Korea during that country’s civil war. He was a member of the assault section of the landing party which took part in a raid ashore at Sogon-ni Point in North Korea. Button, together with Able Seaman Norman Scoles, captured two North Korean soldiers, for which he received the Distinguished Service Medal.
Upon his return to New Zealand Button initially served on motor launches/liberty boats based out of the Naval Base HMNZS PHILOMEL. In early 1952 he was posted to HMNZS TAMAKI after which he did a physical training instructor course at HMAS CERBERUS in Australia. Once qualified Button served onboard various RNZN ships and shore establishments and also represented the RNZN in a number of sporting codes until he retired in April 1968 having achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor.