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Monthly Archives: August 2016

31 August 1941: Malta Submarines & Swordfish Sink 12 Axis Ships

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HM Submarine Triumph

HM Submarine Triumph

ROYAL NAVY REPORT FOR AUGUST 1941

The chief events during the month have been:

  • The increasing success of the attack on the Italy to Tripoli shipping route.
  • The successful completed of ‘Operation Style’.
  • The attempt to pass ships from the former Operation Substance convoy to the westward without escort.

Attacks on Italian Shipping

(a) Submarines  During the month, 12 patrols were carried out by the submarine flotilla (and Triumph).  During the course of these patrols, the following successes were obtained:

  • 6 ships totaling 50,000 tons (approximately) are believed to have been sunk.
  • 1 cruiser – almost certainly Bolzano – was damaged and subsequently seen to be beached near Messina.
  • 1 ship – the Aquitania (4971 tons) was damaged and reported in tow. 1 destroyer was probably hit.

In addition, two successful train wrecking operations were carried out from one of which, unfortunately, some of the landing party failed to return. The above results were not achieved without serious loss: P32 and P33 [on offensive patrols] and Cachalot on passage from Malta to Alexandria were sunk.

(b) Swordfish of 830 Squadron  16 sorties were carried out during the month.  In the course of these operations, 6 ships of estimated 43,000 tons were claimed as sunk.  One of the ships of 13,000 tons may have been a hospital ship.  In addition, a further 3 ships totaling 17,000 tons and a destroyer, were claimed as damaged.  No aircraft were lost due to enemy action.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 31 AUGUST TO DAWN 1 SEPTEMBER 1941

Weather  Very strong wind and one short heavy cloudburst.

No air raids.

Military casualties  Corporal Cyril Taylor, 11th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers.

OPERATIONS REPORTS SUNDAY 31 AUGUST 1941

ROYAL NAVY  Utmost returned from patrol on Calabrian coast.  Unsuccessful attack on a convoy and blew up a railway bridge.

AIR HQ Arrivals 2 Beaufighter, 2 Blenheim. Departures 2 Blenheim, 4 Wellington. 69 Squadron Marylands striking force patrol off northern Tunisian coast.  Photoreconnaissance of Comiso, Gerbini and Catania, and Tripoli harbour and railway line. 38 Squadron 9 Wellingtons despatched to attack shipping in Tripoli harbour in 3 waves hitting several targets.  Most bombs struck the target area, causing fires and damage to buildings. 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 5 Swordfish searched for southbound merchant vessel off Syracuse but found no trace.  One Fulmar patrolled over Gerbini and machine-gunned the aerodrome, then patrolled over Catania, returning to Gerbini to release incendiaries and machine gun aircraft on the ground, starting five good fires. 

1st Bn DORSETSHIRE REGIMENT  Strengths 33 officers, 869 other ranks (2 RAOC attached).

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 1

2nd Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT  Strengths 22 officers, 421 other ranks.

3rd Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT  Total enlistments in August 85 conscripts, 2 volunteers. Strength on 31 August 18 officers, 636 other ranks.

 

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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in 1941, August 1941

 

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30 August 1941: Malta Aircraft Drop 200 Tons of Bombs on Tripoli

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bombing North AfricaAIR HQ MALTA REPORTS ON THE MONTH’S OPERATIONS     

During the month the Marylands and photoreconnaissance Hurricanes of 69 Squadron have covered the Italian convoy routes daily and have also made frequent reconnaissances of Sicilian and southern Calabrian ports and aerodromes, and of Tripoli. As a result of these reconnaissances and a study of the excellent photographs obtained Wellingtons of 38 Squadron have carried out 15 raids on Tripoli and two raids on Catania.  During the month over 200 tons of bombs have been dropped on Tripoli alone and have caused considerable damage to shipping and harbour installations.  One Wellington failed to return from a raid over Tripoli.

Blenheims of 105 Squadron have carried out 23 operations, all except two of them against enemy shipping. Considerable damage was caused to chemical works at Crotone and to storage tanks and factories at Licata.  Five aircraft have been lost but the crew of one are known to be prisoners.

Swordfish of 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm have carried out 16 operations, 13 of which have been most successful. Twice they have bombed the submarine base at Augusta and once shipping at Catania.

Hurricanes (cannon-loaded) of 126 Squadron have attacked floatplanes at Syracuse and balloons at Augusta with considerable success.

On 14 nights, Fulmars have operated over aerodromes in southern Sicily, dropping small bombs and carrying out machine-gun attacks; on one occasion at least five aircraft being burnt out at Gerbini. These intruder operations have frequently disturbed the Italian night flying routine.

No 126 Squadron has carried out 19 scrambles during the month, 249 Squadron has carried out 34 and 105 Squadron 36. The newly-formed Malta Night Flying Unit has had 17 scrambles and has shot down 4 enemy aircraft confirmed.  There have been a total of 12 enemy aircraft confirmed destroyed, three probables and one damaged during the month, against the loss of one Hurricane and pilot.

It is probable that the Italians have been operating without German assistance during the month. There have been six day alerts and 18 night alerts, on 15 of which bombs were dropped, approximately half of them incendiary.  It is interesting to note that on at least two occasions a ‘hang up’ of these incendiary containers has resulted in the enemy aircraft catching fire and being destroyed.  Little damage has been done by air raids, and none to service property; there have been no service casualties.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 30 AUGUST TO DAWN 31 AUGUST 1941

Weather  Sunny and hot.

No air raids.

Military casualties  Sergeant William F Butler, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR); Sergeant Thomas P Butterfield, RAFVR; Sergeant Maurice H Cope, RAFVR; Sergeant Donald R A Garrick, RAFVR; Sergeant David D Todd, RAF.

OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 30 AUGUST 1941

AIR HQ  Arrivals 5 Wellington. 69 Squadron Marylands reconnaissance Tripoli.  Special patrol sighted two passenger liners 110 miles south of Malta steering south eat. 38 Squadron 9 Wellingtons despatched to attack shipping and specified targets in Tripoli in 3 waves.  Several bombs struck the target area, causing fires and damage to buildings. 105 Squadron 6 Blenheims sent to attack a power station and chemical factory at Licata score hits on buildings and large fires.  The attack was a complete surprise and there was no opposition.   

HAL FAR  One Fulmar patrolled over Comiso and Gerbini but low cloud prevented any attack. Four bombs were dropped on barracks at Pozzallo, starting a fire. 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 5 Swordfish on anti-shipping search located a 1500 ton merchant vessel 20 miles west of Lampedusa and scored a hit with one torpedo and probably a second.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 1

ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS  Strength of detachment 27 officers, 192 other ranks.

 

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Posted by on August 30, 2016 in 1941, August 1941

 

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29 August 1941: Maltese Overseas Could Enlist to Defend Island

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15 Wellingtons attacked Tripoli

15 Wellingtons attacked Tripoli

MALTESE LIVING IN TURKEY ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICE

Maltese citizens currently living in Turkey could be invited to enlist for military service in the defence of the Island. According to the War Office in London, reports coming out of Turkey indicate that within Maltese communities in Istanbul and Smyrna a number of individuals may be eligible for general military service. 

If he wishes to recruit personnel for the defence of Malta, Malta’s Governor and Commander in Chief has been invited to communicate with the British Ambassador in Istanbul or the British Consul in Smyrna. The British Colonial Office is also willing to assist, and the Foreign Office has offered to provide free passage for suitable candidates from Turkey to the nearest territory where they could be enlisted.

BATHING RESTRICTIONS IN MARSAMXETTO HARBOUR

Bathing from the quay at the Royal Malta Yacht Club is prohibited to Service personnel except those having access to the changing accommodation in the Yacht Club. Men wishing to swim in this neighbourhood will find excellent facilities and refreshments at the Services Swimming Pavilion (Rocco Baths) which is 300 yards further east along the Harbour.  The entrance is on the Great Siege Road opposite the end of the Main Ditch.  Admission is free. 

AIR RAIDS DAWN 29 AUGUST TO DAWN 30 AUGUST 1941

Weather  Sunny and hot.

1300 hrs  Six enemy raiders are reported leaving the Sicilian coast. Malta fighters are scrambled but there is no interception.

1728-1740 hrs  Air raid alert for 12 enemy aircraft which approach from the north. Six cross the coast over St Paul’s Bay at great height, then recede without dropping any bombs.  20 Malta fighters are scrambled but there is no combat.

Military casualties  Private Lorenzo A D Beabey, 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment.

OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 29 AUGUST 1941

ROYAL NAVY  Upholder and Ursula brought to short notice and sailed to intercept convoy east of Tripoli.

AIR HQ  Arrivals 1 Bombay. Departures 2 Blenheim, 1 Bombay. 69 Squadron Marylands reconnaissance Tripoli, patrols of Cape Bon and western Sicily and photoreconnaissance Sicilian coast.  Two 40lb bombs are dropped on land west of Lampedusa harbour. 38 Squadron 15 Wellingtons despatched to attack shipping and specified targets in Tripoli hitting vessels and buildings and causing damage and several fires. 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 9 Swordfish sent to attack a convoy of 6 destroyers and 3 merchant vessels south of Cape Spartivento.  Owing to an effective smoke screen only one hit was scored on an 8000 ton merchant vessel.  Two Hurricanes returning from a special patrol see a small schooner a mile offshore at Pozzello and dive to attack; no damage caused.   

HAL FAR  2 Fulmars patrolled over Comiso, Gerbini and Catania, dropping two bombs on Gerbini and machine-gunning a control building.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 1; dealt with 2 (2kg incendiary).

1st Bn HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT  One other rank of D Company was killed at Pembroke Ranges.

 

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Posted by on August 29, 2016 in 1941, August 1941, Uncategorized

 

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28 August 1941: Malta on Full Alert as E-boat Engines Heard Offshore

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Defence post 1ATROOPS MAN BEACH AND HARBOUR DEFENCE POSTS

Malta troops were ordered to man defensive positions to prepare for a possible enemy E-boat invasion. The sound of motor boat engines was heard off the coast of Gozo just after 11 o’clock last night.  8th Battalion Manchester Regiment, currently stationed on the Island, were ordered to ‘stand to’ at all beach defence posts.  Shortly before midnight a message was immediately relayed to Malta, where beach posts were also quickly ordered to ‘stand to’.  All artillery positions defending Grand Harbour and Marsamxetto Harbour were ordered to man their guns.  Troops remained on red alert until daylight today when they were stood down.  Military chiefs confirmed today that boats had approached the Island but had not come within range of the coastal guns.    

NIGHTLY RAIDS ON TRIPOLI FROM MALTA – WAR CABINET REVIEW 21-28 AUGUST

Attacks were made on Tripoli on five nights. Wellingtons operating from Malta made a total of 52 sorties and dropped over 86 tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs.  These attacks, which were most successful, were concentrated on the harbour area and on military stores and supply dumps.  Direct hits were made on quay warehouses, which were probably destroyed, and some very extensive fires were reported in the harbour and in a military supply dump area.  Damage was also caused to shipping and harbour installations, and one merchant vessel was revealed to have a broken back and sank alongside Spanish Quay. 

Some successful attacks were carried out against shipping plying between Sicily and the African Coast. Two Blenheims made three hits on a 4000 ton merchant vessel north east of Kerkennah, which was claimed to be sunk.  Unfortunately, one of these aircraft hit the mast and crashed in flames.  Two schooners with an escort vessel were attacked and destroyed by four Blenheims in the Gulf of Sidra.   On another occasion a bomb exploded on the deck of a merchant vessel of 1000 tons, and a schooner was machine-gunned and left sinking.  Other Blenheims, unable to locate any enemy shipping, made an attack on lorries travelling on the Tripoli-Benghazi road.  A night attack on 27-28 August by Navy Swordfish resulted in one hit on a vessel of 8000 tons; this was followed by flashes and a red glow.

The enemy made two minor attacks on Malta by night. On the second of these, two aircraft believed to be JU 88 bombers, were seriously damaged by Hurricanes.  During daylight on 26 August, nine Macchi 200s were intercepted by Hurricanes 50 miles from the Island; three were shot down, one falling onto a village in Sicily, and two others probably destroyed, for the loss of one Hurricane.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 28 AUGUST TO DAWN 29 AUGUST 1941

Weather  Sunny and hot.

No air raids.

0625 hrs  Troops on beach defence posts are ordered to ‘Stand down’.

Civilian casualties  Naxxar  Marianna Vella, age 42; Mary Vella, age 14; Carmela Vella, age 11; Andrew Bella, age 7; Carmel Vella, age 4; Teresa Vella, age 3.

OPERATIONS REPORTS THURSDAY 28 AUGUST 1941

AIR HQ  Arrivals 4 Blenheim, 1 Sunderland. Departures 3 Blenheim, 2 Hurricane, 1 Sunderland. 69 Squadron Maryland searches of Ionian Sea, photoreconnaissance of Tripoli and patrols eastern Sicilian and east Calabrian coasts.  F/O Warburton dropped two 40lb bombs on buildings 10 miles west of Homs scoring direct hits and two more on barrack blocks south of Homs scoring a direct hit. 105 Squadron 5 Blenheims sent to attack merchant ships scoring several hits.  

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 3; dealt with 40 (2kg incendiary).

 

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Posted by on August 28, 2016 in 1941, August 1941

 

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27 August 1941: Malta Convoy Ships Armed to Face Western Mediterranean

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Maritime Artillery Bofors gun (c) IWMA16249

Maritime Artillery Bofors gun (c) IWMA16249

MALTA GUNNERS JOIN CREW AND SHOOT DOWN ATTACKING AIRCRAFT

Gunners from the Malta Garrison were sent aboard two merchant ships to help defend the vessels against enemy attacks in the western Mediterranean, it was revealed today. The merchantmen were returning to Gibraltar after delivering their cargoes to Malta last month under ‘Operation Substance’. 

In a telegram to the War Office in London, the Island’s Governor and Commander in Chief confirmed that eight-man Bofors gun crews supplied by the Malta Garrison embarked on SS City of Durham on Saturday, and on SS Deucalion yesterday.  The Bofors crew on each sailing was joined by nine other ranks of the Maritime Anti-Aircraft Regiment and three personnel from gun crews of the Operation Substance convoy.  Each of the ships was equipped with two Bofors by Malta Command. 

According to radio reports, SS Deucalion was attacked early today by Italian torpedo aircraft.  The Bofors guns were put into action and are reported to have shot down one of the attackers.

37 UNEXPLODED BOMBS REPORTED TODAY

A total of 37 unexploded bombs were reported to Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal today. Reports came from areas along a six-mile path from Zeitun, through Marsa and Hamrun to Birkirkara and Lija.  All the bombs were confirmed as 2kg incendiaries.  28 were found in Msida alone and were probably dropped in the same container.  In nearly every case the Bomb Disposal Officer found that the fuze had fired but had failed to ignite the filling.  Teams of his Section are checking each area for additional bombs before removing all the unexploded incendiaries. (1)

MALTA GARRISON AUGUST 1941

  • Malta Tank Troop
  • Malta Signal Company
  • HQ Fixed Defences
  • HQ Royal Artillery (RA): 4 Coast Regt RA, 17 Defence Regt RA, 12 Defence Regt RA, 1 Coast Regt Royal Malta Artillery (RMA), 26 Defence Regt, 12 GOR, 12 AADC HQ
  • 7 Light Ack Ack Brigade (LAA): 32 LAA Regt RA, 74 LAA Regt RA, 3 LAA Regt RMA, 4 Searchlight Regt RA/RMA
  • 10 Ack Ack Brigade (AA): 2 Heavy Ack Ack (HAA) Regt RMA, 4 HAA Regt RA, 7 HAA Regt RA, 10 HAA Regt RA, 11 HAA Regt RMA
  • Royal Engineers (RE): HQ Fortress RE, 24 Fortress Coy RE, Bomb Disposal Section RE, No 1 Works Coy RE (Malta Territorial Force), No 2 Works Coy RE (Malta Territorial Force), 173 Tunnelling Coy RE, Works Services
  • Northern Infantry Brigade: 4th Bn the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regt), 8th Bn Manchester Regt, 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Bn Kings Own Malta Regiment, 2nd Bn Kings Own Malta Regiment
  • Southern Infantry Brigade: 1st Bn Hampshire Regt, 2nd Bn Devonshire Regt, 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regt, 3rd Bn Kings Own Malta Regt, 8th Bn Kings Own Royal Regt
  • Central Infantry Brigade: 11th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers, 1st Bn Cheshire Regt, 2nd Bn Royal West Kent Regt
  • Royal Army Medical Corps: 30 Coy 90 General Hospital, No 45 General Hospital, 15 Field Ambulance, 161 Field Ambulance, 57 Fd Hygiene Section, Convalescent Depot, Medical Stores
  • Royal Army Ordnance Corps: LAD Det (12 Fd Regt RA), 2 Ordnance Depots, 2 Ordnance MT Sub-Depots, 1 Ordnance Ammunition Depot and Sub-Depot, 2 Ordnance Workshops
  • Other: RA CH D (7CE, 6RC), 72 Det Royal Army Pay Corps, Army Dental Corps, QAIMNS, CMP, RTD, Kings Own Malta Regiment Static Group

AIR RAIDS DAWN 27 AUGUST TO DAWN 28 AUGUST 1941

Weather  Sunny and hot.

No air raids.

2305 hrs  The sound of engines is heard off Gozo.

2355 hrs  8th Bn Manchester Regiment is ordered to ‘stands to’ at Gozo beach defence posts.  Reports are received on Malta that a number of enemy motor torpedo boats are in the vicinity of the Island.  Malta beach posts are ordered to ‘Stand to’.

0145 hrs  Orders are issued to all posts firing over Grand Harbour to be ready for ‘Stand to’.

0245 hrs  Central Infantry Brigade orders coastal defence posts surrounding Grand Harbour and Marsamxetto Harbour to be manned.

0330 hrs  All posts are now manned.

OPERATIONS REPORTS WEDNESDAY 27 AUGUST 1941

ROYAL NAVY  Upholder returned from patrol off Marittimo, having sunk a ship thought to be Italian Fleet Auxiliary Tarvisio, a 2000 ton merchant vessel, and obtained an extremely doubtful hit on a cruiser.

AIR HQ Arrivals 2 Blenheim, 1 Sunderland, 2 Wellington. Departures 1 Sunderland. 69 Squadron Marylands reconnaissance Marittimo-Pantelleria, shipping patrol south of Lampedusa and photoreconnaissance of Comiso, Gerbini and Catania. 105 Squadron 5 Blenheims sent on a special sweep of Ionian Sea.  

HAL FAR 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 9 Swordfish attacked a convoy 37 miles north west of Lampedusa. Due to cloud cover only one torpedo was released hitting a merchant ship.  One Swordfish crashed on take-off; crew safe.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 37.

(1) UXB Malta, S A M Hudson, History Press 2010/2012

 

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Posted by on August 27, 2016 in 1941, August 1941

 

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26 August 1941: Malta to Gibraltar Sea Route Too Dangerous

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SS Deucalion (1)

SS Deucalion (1)

ALL SAILINGS TO GIBRALTAR CANCELLED DUE TO HEIGHTENED THREAT

All sailings from Malta through the western Mediterranean have been cancelled due to the heightened threat of enemy attack and mine damage. Naval Commanders have taken the decision following damage to SS Deucalion which sailed unescorted from the Island today.  She was followed later in the day by the destroyer HMS Farndale which had been undergoing repairs at Malta and could now provide an escort.

In order to escape enemy detection the merchant ship followed a route close to the Tunisian coast but she struck mines which exploded, causing her some damage. Still able to proceed at speed, Deucalion continued westwards but was then tracked and attacked by enemy aircraft. 

Deucalion is the second from July’s Operation Substance convoy to be attacked while attempt a similar passage in the past week. The fast freighter SS Durham sailed unescorted last Thursday under cover of darkness but she also struck mines off the Tunisian coast, although she was able to reach Gibraltar safely on Sunday. 

It is now believed that the Italian air force is fully aware of the vessels’ route and as a result it has been decided to send no further ships from Malta through the western Mediterranean for the foreseeable future.

BLENHEIM CREW KILLED ON EVE OF RETURN TO UK

A crew of RAF 105 Squadron was killed tonight when their Blenheim collided with a target ship during an attack on an enemy merchant vessel off the north African coast. Flight Sergeant Ronald Scott was piloting one of two Blenheims sent to photograph one merchant ship and to attack a second.  Sgt Scott dived low over the vessel to release his bombs on target but the Blenheim hit the ship’s mast and burst into flames.  There were no survivors.

The Blenheim’s crew have been named as Sergeant S G Bastin, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, and Sergeant Walter B Healy, Observer. The crew arrived at Luqa airfield in July and had already received notice of their return to the UK, having completed their tour of duty in Malta.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 26 AUGUST TO DAWN 27 AUGUST 1941

Weather  Sunny and hot.    

1705 hrs 15 Macchi 200 fighters are spotted circling 40-50miles north of the Island.   18 Hurricanes are scrambled and successfully intercept the raiders who are in three formations.  One Macchi is destroyed and one probably destroyed.  The Hurricane of Sgt J Maltby fails to return.  An extensive search by Swordfish and Hurricanes finds no trace of his aircraft.   

2244-2326 hrs  Raid no 826 Air raid alert for two enemy BR 20 bombers which approach the Island from the north and cross the coast singly, dropping hundreds of incendiary bombs on the Dockyard Victualling Yard, Boiler Wharf and a nearby depot, as well as Vittoriosa, Marsa, Birkirkara and Hamrun. Most incendiaries were quickly dealt with before they had time to start fires. Hurricane fighters are scrambled. One bomber is illuminated by searchlights and turns away towards the south.  Hurricanes follow and attack; the raider’s rear gunner returns fire but the bomber is badly damaged. The second is illuminated and heads away to the south west where it is engaged by Hurricanes and badly damaged.  The first aircraft is seen to turn upside down and the second begins to lose height, smoking badly.   

Military casualties  Sergeant Stuart G Bastin, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR); Sergeant Walter B Healy, RAFVR, 105 Squadron; Sergeant John F E Maltby, RAFVR, 126 Squadron; Flight Sergeant Ronald J Scott, RAFVR, 105 Squadron.

OPERATIONS REPORTS TUESDAY 26 AUGUST 1941

ROYAL NAVY  Deucalion sailed at 1100 for Gibraltar. Farndale sailed at 2000 for Gibraltar. HM Submarine Urge damaged a 5000 ton ship and sank a tanker in a southbound convoy off the west of Sicily.

AIR HQ 69 Squadron Marylands on striking force patrols. Maryland reconnaissance of south Sardinian waters for enemy warships.  Special photoreconnaissance of Calabrian and western Sicilian coasts. 38 Squadron 8 Wellingtons despatched to attack Tripoli in 3 waves.  Most bombs struck the target area, causing fires and damage to buildings. 105 Squadron 2 Blenheims sent to photograph a badly damaged merchant ship east of Kuriat, then to attack another north west of Kerkennah.  Sgt Scott dived to drop two bombs, scoring direct hits on the vessel, but then his aircraft collided with the ship’s mast and burst into flames before hitting the sea. 

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB dealt with 27 (2kg incendiary).

(1) http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?30638

 

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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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25 August 1941: Aerodrome Defences Need Better Communications

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Defence posts to have Tannoy speakers

Defence posts to have Tannoy speakers

RADIO SYSTEM NEEDED TO CO-ORDINATE GUN POSITIONS

Malta’s urgently needs a better system of communication for its aerodromes. Troops engaged in the defence of airfields are spread around the perimeter, a significant distance from RAF command and their own headquarters.  The problem is preventing messages being quickly and accurately disseminated and threatening the effective defence of the area from incoming attacks.  Lack of fast, accurate communication can also lead to incidents such as friendly fire, if returning Malta aircraft are not confirmed to defence posts as friendly soon enough to prevent attack.

It has been decided to install a network of radio receivers linking aerodrome defence posts. On-site tests have established that a radio reception set linked to the Infantry Commander’s post works effectively.  The system consists of radio receivers and loudspeaker units.  Governor and Commander in Chief has written to the War Office asking for 85 sets of the equipment to be forwarded to Malta at the earliest opportunity.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 25 AUGUST TO DAWN 26 AUGUST 1941

Weather  Sunny and hot.

1600 hrs  A single enemy aircraft believed to be on photoreconnaissance crossed the Island at a great height; no interception was made.

0306-0345 hrs  Air raid alert for two enemy BR 20 aircraft which approach the Island and cross the coast singly, dropping hundreds of incendiary bombs near Birkirkara, Mosta, Naxxar and Madalena. Two Hurricanes are scrambled but there are no searchlight illuminations and no interceptions.

OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 25 AUGUST 1941

ROYAL NAVY  Taku sailed for Gibraltar and UK.

AIR HQ  Arrivals 1 Sunderland. Departures 1 Sunderland. 69 Squadron Marylands on striking force patrols Lampedusa, Kerkennah, Misurat.  Two Marylands on morning and evening patrols to relocate the Italian Fleet south of Sardinia.  Photoreconnaissance east coast of Sicily and Calabrian coast, including aerodromes. 38 Squadron 9 Wellingtons sent in 3 waves to attack Tripoli dropped bombs and incendiaries causing fires and damage to buildings.  1 Wellington, pilot Sgt Gilbert, crashed on landing at Luqa. 105 Squadron 3 Blenheims sent to attack enemy shipping unable to locate target.  

1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT  Celebrated as an extra holiday in remembrance of Mons day. The meal for other ranks was increased, and a bottle of beer and a packed of cigarettes were given to every one, including those in hospital.

 

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

 

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