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LARGE CONVOY ASSEMBLING UNDER ‘OPERATION SUBSTANCE’
Over 40000 tons of general supplies, 60000 bombs and nearly 300000 rounds of ammunition are among the cargo loaded onto six merchant vessels bound for Malta. ‘Operation Substance’ will carry much needed supplies of food and fuel, as well as military equipment, intended to equip the Island for all its needs for several months. The cargo includes:
- Ammunition 290000 rounds, bombs 61000, grenades 45000
- Smoke bombs 12300, signal flares 105000, explosive 72000 lbs, detonators 25000, cord 90000 ft, mine fuzes & detonators 16400.
- Mobile guns 20, Bren guns 75, rifles 3245, guns 7853
- Vehicles: anti-aircraft tractors 29, Bren carriers 30, motor cycles 84, pedal cycles 70, lorries 24, trailers 20, winch 1, fire engine 1, RAF tractors 12
- Motor transport stores: 331 tons
- Naval power boats 3, seaplane tender 1
- NAAFI: stores 1376 tons
- Naval Armament (tons): stores 1107, victualling 740, general supplies 761
- Ordnance: stores 2975 tons
- Royal Air Force (tons): stores 779, ammunition 397, oil 198, aviation spirit 5187
- Royal Army Ordnance Corps: stores 11 tons
- Royal Engineers: stores 708 tons
- Bomb Disposal: equipment 2 tons
- General supplies 4704 tons
- Kerosene 2661 tons, MT spirit 708 tons, coal 4791 tons, cement 2660 tons
- Foodstuffs (tons): fodder 989, tinned fish 291, tinned veg 755, flour 1600, wheat 5345, maize 680, rice 240, margarine 212, butter 25, edible oil 196, cheese 101, coffee 134
- Colonial Office: stores 151 tons
- Medical stores: 46 tons
- Stationery: 12 tons
- Mail: 197.5 tons
AIR RAIDS DAWN 19 JULY TO DAWN 20 JULY 1941
Weather Sunny and hot.
AM Hurricanes are scrambled in response to a formation of six enemy aircraft located some distance to the north of the Island. The raiders turn away and there is no engagement.
0246-0338; 0405-0437 hrs Air raid alerts for four enemy aircraft which approach the Island at intervals from the north east and drop bombs mostly in the sea, except for one stick south east of Zeitun. 17 heavy anti-aircraft funs fire three barrages; no claims.
Military casualties Sergeant John D McCracken, pilot, Royal Air Force, 126 Squadron.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 19 JULY 1941
ROYAL NAVY Unbeaten returned from coastal patrol west of Tripoli – sank 2 schooners by gunfire. Upholder sailed at 2200 for Operation Substance. Four Swordfish dropped bombs on Tripoli Harbour near-missing a merchant vessel and starting a fire on the foreshore.
AIR HQ Arrivals 6 Beaufighter, 6 Blenheim, 2 Maryland, 1 Sunderland. Departures 1 Sunderland, 1 Wellington. 69 Squadron Marylands reconnaissance Tripoli, Zliten, Sirte area, Palermo, Messina, Naples, Pantelleria, Catania, Cagliari, Elmas, Monserrato. 126 Squadron Hurricane pilot Sgt J D McCracken was killed in an accident on take off.
HAL FAR 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 4 Swordfish attacked Tripoli with torpedoes and bombs; observation of results difficult due to poor visibility. Fulmar operation on Catania; small bombs were dropped.
TA QALI Station visited by Inspector General Air Chief Marshal Sir E R Ludlow-Hewitt, CMG, DSO, MC and staff, who stayed for lunch.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB reported 2.
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