TracesOfWar needs your help! Every euro, pound or dollar you contribute greatly supports the continuation of this website. Go to and donate!

MacNab, Donald George "Kiwi"

Date of birth:
July 15th, 1912 (Napier/Hawke's Bay, New Zealand)
Date of death:
May 27th, 1996 (New Zealand)
Service number:
New Zealander (1907-1947, Dominion UK)


Captain Donald MacNab was a M19 special agent who was responsible for special operations in Greece and the Balcans. He was taken prisoner in May 1941, but managed to escape in July 1941. He subsequently joined the Special Services Unit, which fought in Italy and the Balcan. He was wounded on 6 October 1944. MacNab served in the JayForce after the war.

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Second World War (1939-1945)
Middle East Branch, Military Intelligence Section 9 (M19), Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), Imperial General Staff, War Office, British Government
Awarded on:
March 26th, 1942
"Sergeant McNab was the leader of an organised party which left Greece for Turkey in October 1941.
Every detail of the escape was carried out by Sergeant McNab himself. He managed to hire a boat - the money for which he obtained by collection from various Geek helpers. He collected together a party of escapers and sailed for Turkey. The skipper of the boast endeavoured to betray them (by trying to land them on the island of Samos which was occupied by Germans) and McNab took charge. He navigated the boat and reached Turkey successfully.
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 Sergeant McNab ran an intelligence bureau in Athens for the collection of military information. On leaving Greece he collated all this and concealed it inside the lining of his clothing. It was discovered by the Turks during a search and confiscated. Sergeant McNab later managed to get the papers back and eventually passed them on to the British authorities."
Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)
In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.
For creating a diversion to draw enemy fire in a commando raid in Albania.
"He led a small band of volunteers to within 400 yards of the enemy drawing a large portion of the enemy fire just before the main attack commenced. In this enemy counter battery fire Lieutenant McNab was thrown to the ground damaging his wrist, arm and shoulder.
However, he continued to lead his men over three miles of difficult territory eventually joining 40 Commandos. The staff officer had been killed and the sergeant wounded so Lieutenant McNab volunteered to take the job. He discovered as mass of mines and booby traps in houses and dumps. He warned of 3 tons of explosives which unless removed would destroy the centre of the town.
He warned of a second possible explosion and, in the course of his work, one of his assistants disturbed a booby trap hidden in a mattress and both he and McNab were injured."