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Nathan Jaffe

Portrait of Ordinary Seaman Nathan Jaffe 2412. Image kindly provided by Sam Jaffe (June 2017). Image may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Ordinary Seaman Nathan Jaffe 2412. Image kindly provided by Sam Jaffe (June 2017). Image …


  • Title
    Mr Public - Samuel - Direct descendant - 14 June 2017 - Family oral history
  • Forenames
    Nathan AWMM
  • Surname
    Jaffe AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Napthali AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWII 2412 AWMM
    • WWII NZ2412 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion
    Jewish AWMM

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    22 September 1918 Family source Family source
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 5 Bella Vista Road, Herne Bay, Auckland AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Reuben and Edith Jaffe, 5 Bella Vista Road, Herne Bay, Auckland AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Pacific (Naval) AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Navy AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWII 2412 AWMM
    • WWII NZ2412 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
    Signalman Navy Demobilisation R21465792
  • Enlistment
    WW2 13 March 1941 Family source Student/Civilian Family source
    Family source
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    Java Sea, Indonesia Family source
    1 March 1942 AWMM
    Captured during the defence of mainland Indonesia, specifically Java AWMM
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 09 Sep 1945 {Days 1286} Family source Interned at Macassar and Maros Camps, Sulawesi AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Eye colour, WWII AWMM
      Brown AWMM
    • Hair colour, WWII AWMM
      Dark Brown AWMM
    • Height, WWII AWMM
      5 ft 7/8 in AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Nathan was born to Reuben and Edith Jaffe in December 1918 and grew up in Auckland. He went to Auckland Grammar School and the University of Auckland before joining up. Napthali (Hebrew name).

    I've been told that Nathan enlisted as part of some kind of officer training program, but I know very little about the circumstances surrounding this. His older brother Jack Jaffe also served in the armed forces (in North Africa and the Middle East), his details have already been recorded on the Cenotaph database.

    I have a lot of photos taken during Nathan's time in Colombo, Sri Lanka before leaving for the Java Sea with the H.M.S. Exeter. I also have a number of photos of the rescue of the POWs at Macassar and their transportation back to NZ via Australia on the HMS Invernell.

    I also have a number of newspaper clippings of his being reported missing in March 1942 and then being reported safe in late 1945. Most of the information I have about his experiences in the camp come from family histories, reports made by his commanding officer at the time (available online) and oral testimonies given by men who were in the camps with him. Family source AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    3 March 2014 Family source
    Age 95 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Plot 54, Row 10, Hebrew Berm B, Waikumete Cemetery AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: New Zealand Herald, 5 March 2014 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
    RNZN Communicators Association
    Further Reference
  • Documents
    • Personnel - Demobilisation - RNZN [Royal New Zealand Navy], Archives New Zealand, Wellington, AAYT 8490 N1/426 (R21465792) AWMM
    • New Zealand, World War II Ballot Lists, 1940–1945. [Extracted from the New Zealand Gazette.] CD-ROM. Ravensbourne, Dunedin, New Zealand: Colonial CD Books, n.d. AWMM
      October 1940 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM


Command item
Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
14 June 2017SamuelAucklandDirect descendant

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