condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white

Donald George MacNab

Cover of the New Zealand Tatler illustrated by Don MacNab probably in the 1930s

Cover of the New Zealand Tatler

Image may be subject to copyright restrictions. [email protected]


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Donald George AWMM
  • Surname
    MacNab AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • McNab AWMM
    • McNabb AWMM
  • Service number
    2124 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

Contribute ›
  • Birth
    15 July 1912 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • Unknown AWMM 27 Vivian Street, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • Jayforce Unknown AWMM 27 Vivian Street, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mrs M. MacNab (wife), Care of Cargil Hotel, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand AWMM
    • Jayforce Mrs M. MacNab (wife), Care of Cargil Hotel, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 5 January 1940 AWMM Married AWMM
    • Pre 1944 AWMM Married AWMM
      Maureen Olga MacNab (nee Warring) AWMM


Wars and conflicts

Contribute ›

Military decorations

Contribute ›
  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Cross (MC) AWMM
      23 November 1944 AWMM
      The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for McNab, Donald George. (Ref. WO 373/46/235). Military Cross. "Lt. MacNab was attached to Houndforce to carry out a diversion on the flank using special apparatus to simulate the noise and flashes of an attack. He led a small band of volunteers to within 400 yards of the enemy before commencing his diversion, and so successful was it that it drew upon themselves a large proportion of the enemy's counter-battery fire Lt. MacNab was thrown to the ground in a nullah, seriously damaging his wrist and suffering from shock. However, when the concentration ceased he led his men back over extremely difficulty country for a distance of more than three miles until he joined up with 40 Commando. This was on the morning following the attack, and the Commando was experiencing considerable difficulty with mines and wire, particularly as Brigade SORE and his Royal Engineers sergeant had been killed and wounded respectively while directing the clearing of the mines. Lt. MacNab at once volunteered to take this job on and on his own initiative then proceeded to inspect the principal houses and dumps which had been captured and found that they were a mass of mines and booby-traps. He reported this so that adequate precautionary orders could be issued and then with five volunteers proceeded to remove this valuable work that he detected evidence of a delayed action fuse which was likely to set of a major explosion in the center of the town the following day. At 1630 hours on the afternoon of the capture of the town approximately 3 1/2 tons of explosive blew up, destroying the majority of the houses in the main shopping street. A second explosion the following day similarly occurred, warning of which was also given by Lt. MacNab. In the course of his work one of his assistants disturbed a booby-trap hidden in a mattress and both he and Lt. MacNab, who was in the room at the time, were injured. Lt. MacNab sustained three broken toes, a perforated eardrum and sever bruises. After a few hours rest however, this officer insisted on continuing his work until ordered by the Brigade Commander to be evacuated to hospital. The energy, resource and determination of this officer in clearing mines and booby-traps and in discovering and giving warning of explosions undoubtedly saved the lives of a large number of the force to which he was attached, and his conduct is the more praiseworthy when it is appreciated that it was entirely in excess of his duties and was undertaken voluntarily and in his own initiative. He showed complete disregard for fatigue or personal safety and his behaviour was worthy of the highest traditions of the New Zealand Engineers." Gallant Acts and Noble Deeds, p. 200-1. AWMM
    • Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) AWMM
      London Gazette 24/03/1942 "S/Sgt. MacNab was the leader of an organised escape party which left Greece for Turkey in October. Every detail of the escape was carried out by S/Sgt. MacNab himself. He managed to hire a boat, the money for which he obtained by collection from various Greek helpers. He collected together a party of escapers and sailed for Turkey. The skipper of the boat endeavoured to betray them and MacNab took charge. He navigated the boat and reached Turkey successfully. The party unfortunately landed in a closely-guarded Military Zone. By skilful manoeuvring and forced-marching he managed to get his party right through the military area before being captured by the Turks. Whilst in Greece, S/Sgt. MacNab ran an intelligence Bureau in Athens for the collection of military information. On leaving Greece he collated all this an concealed it inside the lining of his clothing. It was discovered by the Turks during a thorough search and confiscated. MacNab later managed to get the papers back and eventually passed them to the Military Attache. Through the enterprise and initiative of this N.C.O a great deal of information reached the GSI Middle East." Gallant Acts and Noble Deeds, p. 201 AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
    • Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) AWMM

Training and Enlistment

Contribute ›


Contribute ›

Prisoner of war

Contribute ›
  • Capture details
    6 May 1941 AWMM
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 11 November 1941 AWMM Escaped AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

Contribute ›
  • Medical notes
    Wounds Diseases Etc., WWII AWMM
    Wounded Albania 6 October 1944 AWMM

Last known rank

Contribute ›
  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

Contribute ›
  • Son of Flora McNab and Janet George McNab.

    Commissioned 28 February 1942

    BDM deaths name is MacNab; BDM births is McNab

    Capt D. G. MacNab, MC, DCM; Wellington; born NZ 15 Jul 1916; commercial artist; wounded and p.w. 23 May 1941; escaped Jul 1941; with Special Service unit in Italy and in Balkans; wounded, Albania, 6 Oct 1944; now Recruiting Officer, RNZAF. (Source: Cody, J.F. New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. p.135.) AWMM


About death

Contribute ›
  • Death
    27 May 1996 AWMM
    Age 83 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Taradale Cemetery Napier City New Zealand AWMM Services Sec V, Plot 17 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



Contribute ›
  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

Remember Donald George MacNab by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Donald George MacNab

Leave a note

Contribute ›



Contribute ›
  • External links
  • References
    • Polaschek, A. (1983). The Complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal. Christchurch, N.Z.: Medals Research. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 1: WW2 117 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1950). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 16 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1946 to 30th June, 1948). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 16: WW2 85 AWMM
    • Cody, J.F. (1961). New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.135, 138, 142, 145. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
06 November 2022Lorraine MonaGisborneResearcher
15 December 2019DarianAustraliaResearcher

The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

Creative Commons LicenseOnline Cenotaph Data by Auckland War Memorial Museum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.