STOTT Donald John
20681, Major, 5th Field Regiment, New Zealand Artillery, att to Force 133
Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 2 May 1944
During the successful blowing up of the Asopos Viaduct, Lieutenant Stott made a number of reconnaissance trips through the gorge, at the same time helping to carry stores. Each of these trips entailed immersion in freezing cold water for six to ten hours. On one occasion when the remainder of the party were too exhausted to make the trip he went with a volunteer NCO and on this journey they breached the most difficult obstacle, a waterfall that had held them up for a week. The approaching darkness forced them to return before they could go any further but the following day, owing to this obstacle having beem previously overcome, they managed to reach the viaduct for the first time. Lieutenant Stott returned to his headquarters and on 14 June returned to the gorge to prepare the way for a sabotage party. The bridge was guarded by 35 enemy soldiers assisted by searchlights and manned machineguns at vantage points. On the night of June 19, Lieutenant Stott led his men forward and planted their explosives while the enemy guards patrolled only 10 metres above them. The time pencils in the charges were set for a 30 second delay and the party retired along the gorge. The explosion occurred at the correct time and an inspection at dawn showed that the viaduct was lying on its side at the bottom of the gorge.
Lieutenant Stott always undertook any operational task asked of him and his gallantry and courage were of the highest order. His coolness and cheerful attitude under all conditions and his complete disregard of danger were an inspiration to all those who worked with him
(Compiled from an article, from an official account of NZ Clandestine
missions and from the citation for the award of the Distinguished
Conduct Medal to Sgt R McD Morton )
Bar to the Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 1 February 1945
In November 1943 Captain Stott got involved in unofficial local peace negotiations between Greek Resistance and the German Occupation Forces’ representatives in Athens.
…… His life was at the mercy of the Germans throughout, and at no time did he give any information to the enemy about our own very extensive set-up in Greece. Our own knowledge of the Germans and a great deal of useful intelligence was gained by him during these contacts. Our chance of attacking the Athens airfields successfully at a later date were much enhanced by the underground organisation which he set up there, and the information he gained during his tour under German guidance enabled operations to be planned against the road and railway between Athens and Corinth …..
(From an official account of NZ Clandestine Operations in Greece)
Distinguished Service Order and Bar
War Medal 1939-45
New Zealand War Service Medal
Australian War Service Medal
Born 23 October 1914, Auckland, NZ
Died on Active Service (Drowned) 1945, off Borneo coast
No known grave
His name is on the Memorial to the Missing, Garden Island Naval Base, West Australia & at Labuan, Borneo