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HEAVY ACK ACK SUCCESS
Malta’s Heavy Ack Ack guns have destroyed four enemy aircraft and probably destroyed another five according to a report issued today. The confirmed hits were achieved using an average of 1344 rounds per downed aircraft. The report states that as yet no light Ack Ack guns can claim enemy raiders destroyed.
AUGUST RAID STATISTICS
Figures released today summarising air raids for August 1940 also show that the length of air raids by the Italian Regia Aeronautica on Malta has remained consistent since Mussolini’s declaration of war in June:
- Raids 22 (including 3 night raids)
- Days without raids 13
- Total time under alert 10 hours 1 minute
- Average length of raid 27.3 minutes
FRIENDLY FIRE FORCES BRITISH AIR CREW INTO ENEMY TERRITORY
A British aircraft was hit by friendly fire today off Cape Bon while on a reconnaissance mission between Sicily and Tunisia. The Hudson piloted by Flying Officer George Davies took off from Luqa earlier today. Aircraft from the carrier HMS Illustrious wrongly identified the Hudson as an enemy raider and launched an attack. The resulting damage forced F/O Davies to land in Tunisia, where he and his crew were captured interned by the Vichy French authorities
The attackers are thought to be from nine Fulmar aircraft flown off Illustrious this morning to search for possible enemy forces approaching the convoy bringing supplies to Malta as part of the protective ‘Operation Hats’. The Fulmars reported one aircraft forced to land to the east of the fleet and presumed lost. A further four ‘Hats’ aircraft were sent out at 1035 hrs to search to a depth of 60 miles, followed by another four at 1300 hrs, then 1545 and 1745 hrs. No enemy forces were sighted.
At 1300 hrs one SM 79 was seen passing over the fleet.
A flying boat working from Malta reported two battleships, ten cruisers and a large number of destroyers steering towards Taranto. The forces were shadowed until evening, when it was clear that the enemy was returning to base. At 2000 hrs, Dainty and Diamond, with Plumleaf and Volo were reported proceeding at maximum speed ahead of Jervis, Juno and Cornwall. Stuart, Defender, Vampire and Vendetta were detached to proceed to Malta.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 1 SEPTEMBER TO DAWN 2 SEPTEMBER 1940
Weather Fine; much cooler.
1257-1314 hrs Air raid alert for three enemy aircraft which are heard approaching to within five miles Grand Harbour but do not cross the coast or drop any bombs. Malta fighters are scrambled: no interception.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SUNDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 1940
AIR HQ Arrivals 2 Sunderland. Departures 1 Sunderland. 1110-1415 hrs French Latecoere seaplane on reconnaissance of Tripoli reported 21 merchant vessels and two restroyers in harbour, also two moored seaplanes. 1510-1745 hrs Skua on reconnaissance east coast of Sicily sighted three small destroyers and a few merchant vessels at Messina, three small merchant vessels at Catania, two merchant vessels at Augusta of about 2500 tons, about 14 small merchant vessels at Taormina with escort vessels and 12 small flying boats at Syracuse. Three Sunderlands 228 and 230 Squadrons reconnaissance north west of Malta as far as west coast of Greece. One returned to Alexandria. The captain of a Hudson on reconnaissance at Trapani reported aircraft shot up by Skua. 1821 hrs Hudson reported landing at Tunis with petrol tanks holed.
KALAFRANA Two Sunderlands arrived; two others on patrol.
2nd Bn ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS Orders to provide working party during next few days to off-load stores from ships arriving.
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