Service Number: NZ1515
RNZAF Trade: Education Officer
Date of Enlistment: 1942
Rank Achieved: Flying Officer
Flying Hours: Nil
Operational Sorties: Nil
Date of Birth: 18th of May 1925
Personal Details: Donald MacKenzie was a school teacher, and he was gazetted as being placed on the New Zealand Teachers Register in 1940. He arrived in Cambridge from Ellerslie in 1941, and he took a job teaching at Cambridge District High School as Science and Agricultural Master. He was allowed leave in 1942 to serve in the RNZAF as an instructor. After leaving the RNZAF in 1944 he returned to Cambridge CHS and his old job.
It was Donald that inaugarated the school's Cadet Corps, and he served as their Officer Commanding. He was also a specialist in visual education. He was also the advisory president of the Young Farmers Club.
Donald was a keen athlete, and had served at one time as the president of the Cambridge Amateur Athletic and Cycling Club.
In March 1949 he left the schools employment, and on the 1st of April 1949 he took up his new position as an itinerant senior agricultural instructor at the South Auckland Education Board, which he was still doing at the time of his sudden death in 1961. His job took him on visits to 99 different schools around the country. He was also the Chairman of the committee of management for Cambridge District High School at the time of his death.
He had a wife Dorothy, and two daughters, Fione and Barbara. The family had lived at 64 Clare Street, Cambridge, where Donald died.
Service Details: Donald received his Commission as a Flying Officer in the Education Branch of the RNZAF on the 9th of May 1942.
He was placed onto the Reserve on the 17th of May 1944, and he relinquished his Commission on the 8th of December 1944, by which time he was working in Cambridge.
Date of Death: 21st of March 1961, aged
Buried: Hautapu Cemetery, Cambridge
Connection with Cambridge: Donald lived and worked in Cambridge during the latter years of World War Two. It's possible he may have had an earlier connection with the town prior to his RNZAF service too.
Thanks To: Errol Martyn and the Cambridge Museum for information on this airman.