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20 December 1940: Med Fleet Commander First Visit to Malta

20 Dec

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NAVY CHIEF ARRIVES WITH LATEST CONVOY

HMS Warspite

HMS Warspite

The Royal Navy Commander in Chief Mediterranean arrived in Grand Harbour today aboard his flagship Warspite on his first visit to the Island since the outbreak of war with Italy.   Admiral Cunningham is in Malta to discuss the supply situation with the Governor and Commander in Chief, Lt Gen Dobbie, and Vice-Admiral Malta Sir Wilbraham Ford.

HMS Warspite arrived with a large supply convoy, codenamed MW5, which set out from Egypt on Monday in two operations to make the 1000 mile journey through the Eastern Mediterranean to Malta.  Freighters Lanarkshire and Waiwera with their Royal Navy escort formed the first part of the supply convoy; the second included merchantmen Pontfield, Rodi and Volo plus Naval escort, joined later by freighters Devis and Hoegh Hood with escort.  Meanwhile, Warspite was on patrol with the Mediterranean Fleet providing distant cover for the passage of Convoy MW5 to Malta.

Large crowds turned out on the bastions overlooking Grand Harbour to welcome the arriving ships.  Although there were two air raid alerts during the day, no Italian aircraft approached close enough to the Island to disrupt the approach of the convoy.

With the arrival of MW5, a number of empty supply ships lying at Malta left Grand Harbour for Alexandria.  Merchantmen Breconshire, Clan Ferguson, Clan Macauley and Memnon sailed this afternoon escorted by the anti-aircraft cruiser Calcutta, destroyer Wryneck and three corvettes.  A second convoy also left Malta this afternoon for Gibraltar, including merchantmen Clan Forbes and Clan Fraser, accompanied by battleship Malaya and five destroyers.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 20 DECEMBER TO DAWN 21 DECEMBER 1940

Weather  Very cold and damp. 

1055-1150 hrs  Air raid alert; no air raid develops.

1600-1610 hrs  Air raid alert; no air raid develops. 

OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 20 DECEMBER 1940

ROYAL NAVY  Destroyers Griffin, Greyhound, Gallant, Dainty and Hasty dock for refuelling.  Aircraft carrier Illustrious launched two air attacks on Tripoli with fifteen aircraft each. 

ARMY HQ  1100 hrs Command exercise ended.

 

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Posted by on December 20, 2015 in 1940, December 1940

 

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