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MALTA HAS HIT BACK
In the year since Italy has entered the war, Malta defences including fighter planes and anti-aircraft guns have brought down 155 enemy planes and 60 others badly damaged.
MAIL COULD BE DELAYED IN FAVOUR OF SUPPLIES FOR MALTA
Mail for Malta from the UK may have to be delayed if the Island is to receive urgently needed stores, the War Office warned the Governor & C in C today. Following severe delays in mail deliveries at the end of last year, a new system has been operating by which most first class postal matter and all postcards have been despatched to Malta direct by Wellington service aircraft. However, the recent urgent need for special supplies to the Island can only be met using the same aircraft capacity. As a result, Lt Gen Dobbie will have to decide whether such deliveries must take precedence over the mail. However, any decision will have to take account of the fact that the total allowed on Welllingtons from Gibraltar to Malta and the Middle East is limited to 100lbs per aircraft.
SUBMARINES AND SWORDFISH LAUNCH ATTACKS FROM MALTA
Report to the British War Cabinet to 8th June
On 3rd June HM Submarine Unique sank a laden 1000 ton merchant vessel in Lampedusa Harbour. Early on the morning of 28th May a party from Upright carried out a landing four miles south-est of Punto Stilo Light, Calabria, and blew up the railway line.
On the night 7-8th June, seven Swordfish of the Feet Air Arm, operating from Malta, laid mines in Tripoli Harbour; as a diversion a bombing attack was also carried out, as a result of which several large fires were started at the west end of the harbour. On the following night, Swordfish dropped flame floats, as it was thought the harbour might be covered with inflammable oil as a result of the sinking of MV Barmania, but no fires resulted; bombs were also dropped and a merchant vessel was fired.
Successful reconnaissances over the Ionian Sea and off the Eastern Tunisian Coast were carried out by Marylands from Malta. There are indications that the German air forces in Sicily have been drastically reduced.
The enemy carried out a series of small night raids on Malta and some damage was caused to Luqa aerodrome; Ta Qali and Hal Far were also attacked by day. On the night 5-6th June, a HE 111 was held by searchlights and probably destroyed by a Hurricane; on another night two BR 20s were shot down into the sea. Four Hurricanes intercepted four SM 79s fifty miles south of Malta, two of which they destroyed and badly damaged the others. Another SM 79 with an escort of ME 109s attempted a reconnaissance of the Island and was also shot down into the sea
AIR RAIDS DAWN 11 JUNE TO DAWN 12 JUNE 1941
Weather Strong winds.
0620 hrs Air movement monitoring picked up two enemy aircraft patrolling four miles to the south of Malta. Hurricanes are scrambled and attempt to intercept; no claims.
0845-0930 hrs Air raid alert for an Italian SM 79 bomber on reconnaissance, escorted by ten ME 109 fighters approaching the Island from the north, then turning to cross the coast over Kalafrana towards Hal Far. Heavy anti-aircraft guns engage heavily, breaking up the formation. The ME 109s sheer off northwards and take no further part in combat. Hurricane fighters are scrambled and engage the SM 79 bomber to the east of Filfla. In the engagement, one Hurricane and the SM 79 crash into the sea close to one another off Benghaisa. An extensive search recovers only one body, that of the Italian airman. Pilot F/Lt Burnett of 46 Squadron is missing.
1407-1420 hrs; 1436-1453 hrs; 1540-1612 hrs; 1623-1640 hrs Air raid alerts triggered by a total of 22 enemy aircraft in five formations patrolling 30 miles north of the Islands. Hurricanes are scrambled on each occasion and the raiders turn back before engaging or reaching the Island.
0200-0230 hrs Air raid alert for three unidentified enemy aircraft which approach from the north east to Zonqor Point. Two raiders cross the coast. 20 bombs are dropped off St Thomas’ Bay, in the sea two miles east of Kalafrana and also to the north west of Anchor Bay. Nine red Very lights are seen fired from the sea east of Delimara Point.
0319-0338 hrs Air raid alert for a single unidentified enemy aircraft which approaches from the north east and crosses the coast over St Paul’s Bay, dropping bombs between Ta Qali and Mosta, as well as eight east of Valletta.
0352-0410 hrs Air raid alert for a single enemy aircraft which approaches the Island but turns back before reaching the coast.
Military casualties Flight Lieutenant Norman Whitmore Burnett, pilot, Royal Air Force, 46 Squadron; Squadron Leader Michael L Watson, Royal Air Force, 82 Squadron.
OPERATIONS REPORTS WEDNESDAY 11 JUNE 1941
AIR HQ General Haining and party passed through Malta. Arrivals 1 Sunderland. Departures 1 Beaufighter, 1 Sunderland, 1 Cunliffe Owen Flying Wing. 69 Squadron 4 Marylands on reconnaissance. 1 Hurricane on photo-reconnaissance of Gerbini aerodrome, revealing 12 ME 109s and 3 SM 79s; also Catania aerodrome, identifying 20 twin-engined aircraft and 10 Italian fighters. 82 Squadron 2 Blenheims attack convoy; 1 shot down.
1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT A demonstration was given on the use of Italian hand grenades.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB reported 1.
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT A practical demonstration at Ghain Tuffieha of Italian grenades revealed them to be a poor weapon.
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