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AVIATION FUEL TANK HOLED BY SHRAPNEL
Fuel storage tanks in Malta have been damaged by enemy bombs. In a report to his head office in London, the head of Malta’s leading petroleum company has described the effects of bombing on a key fuel depot.
The roof of one main tank was pierced by bombs damaging the centre ventilation shaft and depressing a large area of the roofing to three feet in depth. A second bomb exploded internally, blowing off 30 feet square of roof covering. A third bomb exploded about eight feet from the tank, which was penetrated by shrapnel 18 inches above ground level. The contents had to be transferred to another tank.
A bomb also penetrated the roof of a tank of aviation fuel, exploding against the bottom and making a nine inch hole, as well as damaging the roof and pipe work. The first level of the tank was badly riddled by shrapnel, causing 42 punctures and partial fractures in many places.
In all the loss of fuel was only approximately ten tons. The Dockyard authorities are currently reviewing the damage but first indications are that they can effect repairs using electrical welding apparatus.
BLENHEIM SHOT DOWN DURING RAID ON TRIPOLI
The crew of a Blenheim bomber of 110 Squadron are missing presumed killed tonight after their aircraft was shot down during a raid on North Africa. The Blenheim was one of two sent to attack a power station in Tripoli. The bomber was observed making direct hits on the target, causing significant explosions. It was then attacked by Italian CR 42 fighters and was seen crashing into the sea. The crew of the second Blenheim reported that it was unlikely there were any survivors. The missing crew have been named as pilot Wing Commander T M Hunt, DFC, wireless operator/air gunner Sergeant F Thripp and observer K C Tucker.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 18 JULY TO DAWN 19 JULY 1941
Weather Sunny and hot.
0927-0950 hrs Air raid alert for five enemy Macchi fighters five miles off the south of the Island.
0945 hrs An unexploded bomb at Targa Gap is removed by the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Section.
0222-0340 hrs; 0400-0435 hrs Air raid alerts for a total of nine enemy aircraft which cross the Island at intervals, dropping small calibre bombs on Zabbar damaging a water main near the Poor House, on isolated areas near Luqa, Naxxar and Gudja, and in the sea off the north coast near Dragonara and Valletta. Rinella wireless station is slightly damaged. Two Hurricanes and one Fulmar are airborne throughout the raids but searchlights do not illuminate any raiders and there are no interceptions.
Military casualties Wing Commander Theodore M Hunt, DFC, pilot, Royal Air Force (RAF), 110 Squadron; Sergeant Frederick Thripp, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, RAF, 110 Squadron; Sergeant Kenneth C Tucker, Observer, RAF, 110 Squadron.
Civilian casualties Attard Jane Fenech, age 50.
OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 18 JULY 1941
AIR HQ Arrivals 1 Sunderland. Overnight (17/18) the Inspector General, Air Chief Marshal Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt, and staff arrived by Sunderland from Gibraltar. 69 Squadron Maryland reconnaissance Catania, Augusta, Syracuse recorded 8 JU 52, 15 BR 20, 11 other unidentified bombers and 42 fighters. 148 Squadron 5 Wellingtons night bombing raid on Palermo Harbour. 110 Squadron 2 Blenheims attacked Tripoli power station achieving direct hits and causing explosions. 1 Blenheim of W/C Hunt was shot down by enemy fighters near Tripoli; probably no survivors.
HAL FAR Fulmars on ‘intruder operations’ over Catania and Gerbini dropped bombs on Gerbini and Augusta.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB reported 4; dealt with 7 (15kg HE).
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