3 January 1941: Severe Gales Over Malta Damage Seaplanes

03 Jan

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Sunderland flying boat

Sunderland flying boat


Gale force winds and heavy seas damaged four Sunderland aircraft moored in Marsaxlokk Harbour this evening. Force 8 gales whipped up waves to 15 feet within the harbour, subjecting the seaplanes to heavy pounding. 

One Sunderland broke its main pennant and anchor chain simultaneously and was in danger of being destroyed. Its Wireless Operator sprang into action, and single-handedly managed to start the outboard engines. He skilfully manoeuvred the plane out of danger and held it steady until help arrived from another boat which managed to take a line and make fast to another mooring. 

Three other Sunderlands broke their main pennants but crews kept their engines kept running to ease the strain on the anchor chains. All four boats are now unserviceable, although damage is not apparently serious.  A full inspection began this morning and repairs are proceeding at speed.


Weather  Cold and stormy.

No air raids.

1515 hrs  A mine reported by 3rd Bn Kings Own Malta Regiment exploded on the beach at Torri Hamria.

Military casualties  Fusilier Patrick McCann, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


AIR HQ  No air operations undertaken due to bad weather.  

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Madalena Fougasse fired by 24 Fortress Company. Bomb Disposal UXB  reported 0; dealt with 1 (Ack Ack shell case).

8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT  A lifebelt from the destroyer Hyperion was found near a coastal defence post.


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Posted by on January 3, 2016 in 1941, January 1941


Tags: , ,

2 responses to “3 January 1941: Severe Gales Over Malta Damage Seaplanes

  1. Jayne Cockcroft

    January 3, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    My father, Edward Victor Stamp, was here and at Kalafrana as LAC II armourer with the R.A.F. Sadly the war in Malta left a permanent impression on him. Be grateful for any further information and pictures.

  2. sweeper1920

    July 29, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Hello Jayne Cockroft,
    My father, Charles Broomhead, 228 squadron, was the wireless operator in that account. He was subsequently awarded the DFM for his act of bravery, something he was not proud of, because it was not under enemy action and he felt many more personnel did braver things not recognised.
    He was an avid photographer & did his own processing & I have several photos of his stay in Malta & Alexandria.
    Meryn Broomhead (Mr)


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