Headquarters: a brief outline of the activities of headquarters of the third division and the 8th and 14th Brigades during their service in the Pacific
American Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) — Lieutenant-Colonel D. M. Burns
American Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer)
Lieutenant-Colonel D. M. Burns
Lieutenant-Colonel Burns was born in New Zealand in 1910 and educated at Wellington College, Wellington Technical College, and Victoria University, graduating as a Bachelor of Science. In civilian occupation he was assistant telegraph engineer to the Post and Telegraph Department. He was first commissioned with the New Zealand Corps of Signals in 1938 and entered Trentham Camp with 'Special Force' in September 1939. Embarking with the advanced party of the first echelon, Colonel Burns saw varied service in the Middle East, including the Greece and Crete Campaigns, until he returned to New Zealand in November 1941 with the rank of major to take command of the page 268signal squadron, 1st NZ Army Tank Brigade. He visited Fiji as a representative of the signals branch, Army HQ, in March 1942 to investigate and report upon the island's communications system. On the reforming of the Third NZ Division in August 1942 he was appointed commanding officer, Third NZ Divisional Signals, which position he filled throughout the Solomons campaign until the unit's disbandment. In December of 1944 he was appointed Senior Staff Officer, Signals, Army HQ, Wellington. Colonel Burns was mentioned in despatches for his services in the Solomons.