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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II

349 — General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

20 November 1943

I have to acknowledge your telegram of 18 November concerning the New Zealand Squadron, LRDG. I am not able to give the facts as to the nature or object of the undertaking in the Dodecanese Islands, neither do I know the part played by the New Zealand Squadron. I have therefore cabled the Chief of the General Staff, Middle East, and have asked him to supply the facts to me as soon as possible, when I will cable details to you in New Zealand. This page 313 may take some days. I had, however, previously ascertained from Middle East the casualties incurred, and for the guidance of the Government, as far as could be estimated at 4.30 p.m. on 17 November, they are as follows: Missing from Levita, 1 officer and 22 other ranks; missing from Leros, 4 officers and 21 other ranks; now in the Middle East at Haifa, 5 officers and 57 other ranks, making a total of 48 missing and 62 safe in the Middle East.

These figures may alter as other men may turn up in the next day or two. You will be kept posted and full details of names will be sent through 2nd Echelon to Army Headquarters in the usual way.