25 May 1941: Air Chief of Faith, Hope and Charity Leaves Malta

25 May

Malta – World War 2. First visit to maltagc70? CLICK HERE  

Get daily updates direct to your computer – sign up to follow maltagc70 (see R) 

AOC Malta Air Commodore Forster Maynard (r)

AOC Malta Air Commodore Forster Maynard (r)


Air Vice Marshal Forster Maynard, AFC is to leave his post as Air Officer Commanding at the end of the month. The former World War I fighter ace was appointed Air Officer Commanding Mediterranean in November 1939.  When Italy declared war the following June, he was responsible for creating the only fighter forces to defend Malta when he organised the assembly of Gladiators ‘Faith’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Charity’ from packing cases.  Since then he has overseen the strengthening of the Island’s fighter forces in the face of heavy German air raids, as well as the introduction of offensive bomber operations against Axis convoys.  He will be replaced by Air Vice Marshal Hugh Pugh Lloyd MV DFC.


  • 4.5” HE 191 rounds
  • 3.7” HE 1260 rounds
  • 3” HE 134 rounds
  • 40mm 40 rounds


Weather  Very hot.

1150-1214 hrs  Air raid alert for 30 to 40 enemy aircraft which approach the Island from the north and withdraw before reaching the coast.

1327-1430 hrs  Observers report the approach of three formations of enemy aircraft which have not been reported by fighter control and raise the alarm. While one plot of four ME 109s circles the Island, apparently screening aircraft in transit between Tripoli and Sicily, a second formation turns inland and is over Ta Qali moments after the alert sounds.  The ME 109s machine-gun a searchlight station on the airfield, wounding one gunner.  Two Hurricanes are burned out and three others seriously damaged on the ground (but repairable).  A Lister engine is damaged and 90 gallons of oil are lost.  One pilot and one airman are injured by shrapnel and admitted to hospital; two other airmen are slightly wounded.  Bofors, heavy and light anti-aircraft guns engage; the Bofors claims hits on two ME 109s.  One ME 109 is believed probably shot down into the sea.  No Hurricanes are scrambled owing to the apparent error in fighter control which is immediately under investigation.

1755-1820 hrs  Air raid alert for a large fighter patrol which scouts round the Island. Seven Hurricanes are scrambled but the raiders do not cross the coast; no engagement.

Civilian casualties  Naxxar  Francis Mifsud, age 38.


ROYAL NAVY 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Since it is now apparent that Lampedusa is used as a refuge for small merchant vessels on the Sicily to Tripoli route, 4 Swordfish were despatched to lay ‘cucumber’ magnetic mines. A fifth Swordfish carried flares but owing to electrical failure none were dropped.  Illuminating cartridges lit the harbour for short periods enabling two cucumbers to to be laid near the harbour entrance.  Moderate light anti-aircraft fire was encountered.  Two Swordfish returned with their cucumber mines, one with engine trouble.  All aircraft returned safely.   

AIR HQ Arrivals 1 Sunderland; transatlantic flying boat Golden Horn from Gibraltar carrying Air Vice Marshal Lloyd, MC, DFC. Departures 1 Sunderland; transatlantic flying boat.  69 Squadron  Maryland southern part of eastern Tunisian coast.  Maryland reconnaissance northern part eastern Tunisian coast.  Maryland patrol east of Malta up to Cape Stilo for a convoy reported yesterday by a submarine.  Maryland photoreconnaissance Tripoli reports convoy.  Maryland reconnaissance eastern Sicilian coast reports enemy vessels.  

LUQA  Six Blenheims 139 and 82 Squadrons searched for troopships without success.

1st Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT  C Company relieve D Company of 8 Manchester and will come under the command of 8 Manchester.


All written content © maltagc70 unless otherwise attributed. For conditions of use contact

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in 1941, May 1941


Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: