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23 May 1941: Malta Bomb Disposal Officers Killed

23 May

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Royal Navy Bomb & Mine Disposal team (NWMA)

Royal Navy Bomb & Mine Disposal team (NWMA)

MINE EXPLODES WHILE BEING DEFUZED

Two Royal Navy Bomb & Mine Disposal officers were killed today when a mine they were working on exploded. Electrical Lieutenant Antony Gusterson Rogers, GM and Commissoned Boatswain Lord J H Sheldon, GM were trying to disarm the mine when it detonated, killing them both instantly.  The Royal Navy team is responsible for dealing with all unexploded mines and have been under pressure in recent weeks with the large numbers dropped on land as well as in the two main harbours.

Boatswain Sheldon has been involved in bomb disposal in Malta since June 1940, when he volunteered to assist Royal Army Ordnance Corps officers following the first Italian attacks of the war. He was awarded the George Medal in September last year for his work.  Since last month Boatswain Sheldon has been in charge of Naval ratings who assist in the uncovering and removal of  parachute mines, and all unexploded bombs within Royal Navy premises.

Elect Lt Rogers was also awarded the George Medal in September last year while he was serving in mine disposal in London. Both officers have been recommended for a posthumous additional award for ‘gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty’ during their service in Malta.

MALTA LACKS VITAL STRATEGIC INFORMATION

The GCiC has written to the War Office asking for faster transmission of military news to Malta. Information is currently reaching the Island two days behind the general wireless broadcasts, leaving military chiefs starved of vital news.  In a telegram today Lt General Dobbie has asked for a regular resume giving details of enemy methods of fighting and Allied means of countering them, as well as details of any success achieved through new methods of using weapons currently deployed in Malta.

GERMAN PARACHUTE FLARES WARNING

All service personnel have been warned that German parachute flares are liable to ignite by spontaneous combustion even when thought to be safe after defusing. From today it will be considered an offence to tough one of these flares.  Any person finding a flare is required to report the matter immediately to his unit, which will then list such reports and forward them to General Staff.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 23 MAY TO DAWN 24 MAY 1941

Weather  Intermittent rain (heavy later) and squalls; poor visibility.

No air raids.

Military casualties  Electrical Lieutenant Antony Gusterson Rogers, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and Commissioned Boatswain Lord Joseph Herbert Sheldon, HMS St Angelo.

OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 23 MAY 1941

ROYAL NAVY  Upholder attacked Captaine Damiani; probably sunk. 

AIR HQ  69 Squadron One Maryland reconnaissance eastern Tunisian coast. Marylands reconnaissance of northern part of eastern Tunisian coast.  Blenheims could not be despatched due to very unfavourable weather conditions.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 0; dealt with 2 (2 x 250kg).

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Warning issued for move and composition of ‘Picnic’ detail. CO examined Poor House for billet for Luqa companies.

 

All written content © maltagc70 unless otherwise attributed. For conditions of use contact bdmalta@btinternet.com

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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in 1941, May 1941

 

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