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CONSIDERABLE WORK NEEDED BEFORE AMMUNITION SERVICEABLE
Ammunition unloaded from a recent convoy will need considerable remedial work after some supplies were found to be inadequately labelled and others affected by moisture. According to the RAOC which manages ammunition stocks, many packages were incorrectly marked. As a result a large quantity of 3.7in gun of different types have been mixed together during unloading of the merchant ships SS Clan Forbes and Clan Fraser. Due to the urgency of unloading the ships at maximum possible speed, the problems only came to light once the supplies had reached their storage depots.
The Inspecting Ordnance Officer has concluded that considerable work will be needed not only to sort these into the correct types and batches before they can be issued to troops for the defence of Malta. Many boxes containing cartridges were also found to have become wet in transit. These will also need to be unpacked, examined and cleaned before issue.
The bulk of the ammunition has been stored at Mosta, Targa and St Clements, with small amounts at Gargur and St Michael’s, Valletta. However, some issues have also been made direct to the Royal Artillery. Steps will have to be taken to ensure that ammunition in each location is checked and brought up to usable standard.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 21 DECEMBER TO DAWN 22 DECEMBER 1940
Weather Very cold.
No air raids.
1440 hrs A mine is reported 100 yards from the shore at Ghar Lapsi floating towards Wied Zurriek.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 21 DECEMBER 1940
ROYAL NAVY Norwegian tanker Hoegh Hood and destroyer Havelock arrived, the latter to remain for refit.
AIR HQ Departures 1 Sunderland.
KALAFRANA Sunderland L5803, pilot F/Lt Burnett, left for UK for overhaul.
ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS Completion of storage of ammunition received from SS Clan Forbes and Clan Fraser. There were forty different types received: 48000 rounds each of 40mm and 3.7in gun; 8700 rounds of 6 in Howitzer; 60,000 rounds of 25 pounder; 13000 contact anti-tank mines; 58000 grenades 36M; 5½ million rounds SAA; 18 tons gunpowder.
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