THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
MacDONALD George James
temp Sub Lieutenant, Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, WW2

CITATION
Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 24 April 1945
As senior officer of the 25th 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 MTB’s met a convoy of six ships and, though day had broken, in face of intense fire, sank two by torpedoes and damaged two others by gunfire
(Extracted from NEW ZEALANDERS IN THE ROYAL NAVY)

Distinguished Service Cross
Gazetted 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.

bar to the Distinguished Service Cross
Gazetted

Second bar to the Distinguished Service Cross
Gazetted July 1944

Mention in Despatches
Gazetted
For actions in the Nore area during which an enemy minesweeper and merchant ship were sunk 14/9/44 and 8/10/44.

Mention in Despatches
Gazetted 13 October 1944, p4745
For an action in the Nore Command area 20/7/44.

AWARDS
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service cross and two bars
1939-45 Star
Atlantic Star
War Medal 1939-45
      Mention in Despatches (2)
New Zealand War Service Medal

NOTES
Born 30 September 1921, Wellington, New Zealand
Died 22 January 1982 Wellington, New Zealand

BIOGRAPHICAL
A/LT CDR MacDonald, born in 1921, joined the Wellington Division of the Naval Reserve in 1938. When he went to the United Kingdom in 1940 he was an Able Seaman who had already served as a Gunner in TRIENZA, a phosphate carrier trading to Nauru Island.  In England he trained in HMS KING ALFRED, and as a Sub-Lieutenant became Second-in-Command of MTB31.  When that ship was attacked by three German E-boats and set on fire,   MacdDonald not only fought the fires, but also dived overboard to save the life of the Chief Motor Mechanic.  He helped in the salvage of the ship.  For these actions he was awarded his first Distinguished Service Cross (DSC).
Later, in Command of MTB241, he fought nine actions in four months and was awarded a Bar to his DSC.  In September 1943 he was promoted Lieutenant, and at the age of 22 became the youngest officer to command a flotilla of MTBs.
MacDonald was awarded a second Bar to his DSC in July 1944 for his performance in two actions, and in seven successful mine-laying operations.  As Flotilla Leader, when his own ship was sunk he transferred to another and continued the action.
In July 1944, he attempted to sink a heavily armed German transport with three MTBs until it made safety of harbour. Whilst returning to his base, he discovered a second convoy and pressed home a successful attack.  Remarkably, he sank two ships, despite the risk of enemy air attack during an action fought in broad daylight.  He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for this action.
He was twice mentioned in despatches and as one of the most highly decorated New Zealanders, Macdonald was regarded as an 'Ace' of coastal forces.
A/LT CDR MacDonald was employed by Wellington City Council, where he became City Engineer.