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Eutahi Tahu Mataa Pitama

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Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Eutahi Tahu Mataa AWMM
  • Surname
    Pitama AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 7605 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    12 May 1918 AWMM TuahiwiCanterbury AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Tuahiwi, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs W.T. Pitama (mother), Tuahiwi, Canterbury, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Single AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Western Desert AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 7605 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      31 December 1942 AWMM
      In the battle of Alamein Sgt. Pitama was Platoon Sergeant in one of the leading companies in the attack on Deir El Munassib on the night 3/4 September 1942. One of the section leaders was wounded and Sgt. Pitama took command of the section in order to make an attack from the right flank to clean up some machine gun posts which were holding up the main attack. In spite of intense fire Sgt. Pitama himself attacked the first of these posts with a grenade and succeeded in killing the gun crew. The section was thus enabled to capture two more machine gun posts and the attack was continued. At this stage his Platoon Commander was wounded and he took over command of the platoon. This N.C.O. showed courage and leadership of a high order and his skill was evidenced in the handling of the whole platoon, which covered successfully the withdrawal of the company at a later hour. (London Gazette 31/12/1942 (I)) The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Pitama, Tom. (Ref. WO 373/22/281). Military Medal. 31 Dec 1942. AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed on Active Service, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Sergeant E. T. M. Pitama, MM; born Tuahiwi, 12 May 1918; farmhand; killed in action 27 Oct 1942. (Source: Cody, J.F. 28 Maori Battalion. p.218.)

    'Several of my men in 18 Platoon were hit rather early in the piece. I well remember two men being hit from Jerry's first burst of machine gun fire. In battle these boys were easy to control. For instance, when these two men were hit Dave McDonald of Blenheim started flat out with bayonet at the ready for this machine gun post. I did not notice him until he was well past. I called him immediately to rejoin the line. Automatically McDonald stopped and waited until the first line came abreast of him. Later I was standing about a yard from McDonald when a heavy machine gun burst blew his left arm off at the elbow. I shall always remember McDonald when he fell. He was so worked up that when he hit the ground he picked up his arm and in his fury threw it at the machine gun post—of course this post was silenced by grenade and bren gun fire.

    Other enemy posts opening fire from the right were dealt with by 17 Platoon (Lieutenant Tutaki). No. 16 Platoon had veered away to the left and eventually joined up with A Company.

    A flare disclosed a low ridge in front of 17 Platoon, which went straight at it with bayonet and grenades, closely followed by 18 Platoon. The ridge was cleared from left to right, with the result that D Company had changed direction and was moving at right angles to its original axis. Tikao-Barrett wheeled his men left and thus back on the proper axis. Another strongpost opened on them, pinning both platoons down until Sergeant Pitama took a section from 17 Platoon and dealt with it. He quietened one machine gun himself by killing the crew, while the section accounted for the other two guns. Pitama was awarded an MM for his leadership in this action. Mounting casualties and the absence of one platoon decided Captain Awatere to try to find Battalion Headquarters. This was done after some searching, whereupon he was ordered to reinforce Captain Porter, presumably on the edge of the depression but actually down in it.' (Source: Cody, J.F. 28 Maori Battalion. pp. 218.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    27 October 1942 AWMM
    Age 24 AWMM
    Western DesertNorth Africa AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt AWMM II. E. 9. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

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Sources

Sources

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