James Otterson AWMM
Also known as
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
Unknown AWMM Fort Dorset, Seatoun, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
Mrs M. Burnett (mother), 79 Messines Road, Karori, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
James Burnett was the son of James and Kathleen Burnett of Karori.
Evacuated from Tobruk on the Chakdina which sank after being hit by torpedo. Eighty New Zealanders were drowned, most of them survivors of the fighting at Sidi Rezegh and Belhamed.
Hospitals in the Tobruk area were overcrowded as a consequence of the unexpectedly long and bitter fighting and it became a matter of urgency to move the wounded to less congested hospitals for treatment. During the first few days of December this became a priority and as there was no indication of when the land route eastwards would be opened the few hospital ships available were packed to capacity. The s.s. Chakdina sailed on its return voyage to Alexandria on the afternoon of 5 December 1941 with 600 men, 120 of them New Zealanders. Shortly after 9 pm an aerial torpedo struck and exploded in an after hold and in three and a half minutes the ship sank in a strong swell. Eighty New Zealanders were drowned, most of them survivors of the fighting at Sidi Rezegh and Belhamed. AWMM
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James Otterson Burnett
Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
WW2 3: WW2 65 AWMM
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