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George James Macdonald

Portrait of Sub Lieutenant George James MacDonald, Auckland Weekly News, 13 May 1942. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19420513-22-18. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Sub Lieutenant George James MacDonald, Auckland Weekly News, 13 May 1942. Sir George Gre …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    George James AWMM
  • Surname
    Macdonald AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Jim AWMM
    • Mac AWMM
  • Service number
    W/3683 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
      DSO: New Zealand Gazette, 24 April 1945. "As senior officer of the 21st MTB Flotilla, temporary Sub-Lieutenant G.J. MacDonald handled Motor Torpedo Boats 225, 234 and 244 with great courage and skill on the night of 4-5 July 1944 in three gallant attempts to attack a heavily escorted enemy transport until it took refuge in port. On turning homeward the MTBs met a convoy of six ships and, though day had broken, in face of intense sank two by torpedoes and damaged two thers by gunfire." (Haigh & Polaschek, p385 - extracted from New Zealanders in the Royal Navy) AWMM
    • Distinguished Service Cross and 2 bars (DSC*) AWMM
      DSC: Awarded March 1942. "MTB 31 had made a solo attack on a German convoy, sinking one ship, but the boat was then surrounded by enemy craft and set on fire. Macdonald supervised the placing of the wounded, including his CO, in a Carley float as they abandoned the vessel ... After a time the fire in the MTB abated and Macdonald swam back to board the MTB and fight the fire, enabling the boat to be saved." (Navy Today, No 109, p7) AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Atlantic Star AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 with oak leaf AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    • Officers course, HMS King Alfred, United Kingdom AWMM
    • Coastal Forces Training, HMS St Christopher, United Kingdom AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    1938 AWMM
    Age 17 AWMM WellingtonNew Zealand AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

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

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Served aboard Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships (DEMS) Trienze and Fordsdale as a gunner, September 1939 - February 1941.

      Promoted to Midshipman, May 1941. Promoted to Sub-Lieutenant, 1942. Commanded Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) 241. Promoted to Lieutenant, 1 October 1942. Senior Officer of 21 MTB Flotilla, September 1943 - 1945.

      Married Third Officer Evelyn Mathieson, Womens Royal Naval Service, on 23 June 1945. They had one son and five daughters.

      Attended Wellington College. Source: Wright, North Sea Warrior.

      Returned to New Zealand in 1946. Appointed City Engineer, Wellington, 1978.

      Won 1979 UDC Finance Inventor's Award, along with his co-inventor, for a stone-crushing machine.

      One of the three conference rooms at HQ Joint Forces New Zealand is named for Macdonald. AWMM
    • Correction needed: They had one son and four daughters.
      But it would be better to phrase it :
      'They had four daughters and one son.' as that is the birth order of the children in the family. Public - charlotte - Child - 9 April 2020 - I am the source - the 4th daughter in the family of 5 (not 6).
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About death

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  • Death
    22 January 1982 AWMM
    Age 60 AWMM
    WellingtonNew Zealand AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Cremation AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • References
    • Personnel - Demobilisation - RNZN [Royal New Zealand Navy], Archives New Zealand, Wellington, N1/427 (R21465798) AWMM
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
      p.384 AWMM
    • Country life AWMM
      Scott, Peter. The Battle for the Narrow Seas. c1946. AWMM
    • RNZN Navy Today AWMM
      Motor Torpedo Boat Ace', RNZN Navy Today, No 109, April 2006 AWMM
    • Wright, G. (2010). North Sea Warrior: the story of Lieutenant Commander G. J. Macdonald, DSO DSC & two bars RNZNVR. [Auckland, N.Z.].; Gerry Wright. AWMM
    • Drake, W.C. (2010). A War By Stealth: the story of Lieutenant Walter C. Drake DCS RNZNVR, 1939-45. Auckland, N.Z.: G. Wright; Walter Charles Drake; 2010 AWMM
    • Record Book of Naval Personnel - c.1920-1945 - Lists Navy number, alphabetical list of names of ratings trained in England, numerical lists of officers. Archives New Zealand, R21346617, AAYT 8495 N12 AWMM


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09 April 2020charlottewellingtonChild

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