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24 August 1940: Air Battle Heard Across the Island

24 Aug

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SEABORNE RAIDING COMPANY MUST BE RAISED IN MALTA

Proposals by the War Office in London to send a new seaborne raiding company to operate from Malta have been scrapped. A telegram to the Governor and C in C gave the reasons as “urgent demands elsewhere and lack of suitable opportunities for the employment of such a small force from Malta”.

However, the War Office has given garrison commanders such as Lt Gen Dobbie the option to raise their own independent companies from local recruitment. Additional manpower would be allocated to make up the shortfall and instructors could be sent out from UK to assist with training.

Lt Gen Dobbie has already stated in previous correspondence that, to be effective against the enemy in Sicily and Tripoli, any seaborne force would have to be considerable and would have to co-ordinate its operations with the Mediterranean Fleet. He will now consider the new War Office proposals.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 24 AUGUST TO DAWN 25 AUGUST 1940

Weather  Fine; windy.

Fiat CR42

Fiat CR42

1211-1240 hrs Air raid warning for six enemy bombers escorted by sixteen fighters which cross the Island from the east and drop bombs on Hal Far and Kalafrana, causing slight damage to RAF buildings and serious damage to one Swordfish aircraft. Four Hurricanes are scrambled and engage the raiders, as do Ack Ack guns. The air battle can be heard across the Island. One enemy CR42 bomber is reported brought down into the sea; a parachutist is spotted bailing out, is rescued and taken prisoner. Other enemy bombers are believed damage; one is thought to have been brought down near Hal Far, where rifle fire is heard. One Hurricane is hit in the main spar by an explosive bullet. Another crash lands at Luqa due to a punctured tyre but is not seriously damaged.

Enemy casualties  Sergente Maggiore Renzo Bocconi, 75a Squadriglia, fighter pilot of Fiat CR42 baled out from his damaged aircraft, landed in the sea, was rescued and taken prisoner.

OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 24 AUGUST 1940

ROYAL NAVY  Osiris arrived.

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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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