10 August 1941: Photoreconnaissance Plane Fatal Crash on Luqa

10 Aug

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Glenn Martin Maryland

Glenn Martin Maryland


A Maryland reconnaissance aircraft crashed on its approach to Luqa aerodrome today and burst into flames. Pilot F/Lt P R Wylde and his crew were returning from a photoreconnaissance mission over Catania and Syracuse when the wireless operator signalled to base that their Maryland had developed engine trouble.  F/Lt Wylde managed to nurse the aircraft back to Luqa but as he came in to land the starboard engine failed.  The aircraft crashed short of the runway, killing the pilot and observer Sgt R S Mutimer instantly.  F/Sgt C Clark was rescued from the aircraft just before it burst into flames.  He was rushed to Imtarfa hospital where he is reported to be very seriously injured. 


Additional censorship measures designed to protect the security of troops on Malta are causing severe delays in the delivery of cables. A recent ban on including the serviceman’s unit in the address has caused a massive increase in the work involved in the delivery of cables to their correct addressee.  Recent sharp increases in the Malta Garrison with the arrival of reinforcements have added to the problem.

The Island currently lacks an official Postal Section; the work is currently done by six other ranks from the Royal Army Service Corps who have been attached to the Malta General Post Office for dealing with mail and cables. The Governor and Commander in Chief has applied to the War Office for additional RASC personnel to replace those seconded to the service, an essential measure if the early distribution and prompt despatch of mail can be ensured. 

Lt Gen Dobbie concludes his message with a stark reminder that: “Prompt delivery and despatch of the very limited and intermittent mail is considered absolutely essential for the maintenance of morale.”


Malta is still short of Army medical personnel and facilities, according to the Governor and Commander in Chief. According to a a telegram to the War Office today, the Island requires an additional 164 Royal Army Medical Corps, including 64 trained nurses, as well as additional personnel for the Army Dental Corps and another 600 bed General Hospital with staff.  The above figures do not include Medical Corps reinforcements already scheduled for Malta. 


Weather  Sunny and fresh.

No air raids.

While on a test flight in a Hurricane S/Ldr Rabagliati sees a Cant Z506 floatplane flying not far from the Sicilian coast. He attacks, shooting the aircraft down into the sea.  The aircraft sinks but the four crew are seen to escape.

Military casualties Sergeant Richard S Mutimer, Royal Air Force, 69 Squadron; Flight Lieutenant Paul R Wylde, Pilot, Royal Air Force, 69 Squadron.


ROYAL NAVY Thunderbolt sailed for Alexandria.  830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 4 Swordfish carried out night search of East Sicilian coast and eventually released 3 torpedoes at a 7–10,000 merchant vessel in Syracuse.  Two hits claimed.

AIR HQ Departures 1 Blenheim, 1 Wellington. 69 Squadron 4 Maryland strike force patrols Ionian Sea and east Tunisian coast.  Photoreconnaissance Misurata and Tripoli.  Photoreconnaissance Catania port and aerodrome, and Syracuse.  The Maryland signals engine trouble while returning.  As it approaches land the engine fails and the aircraft crashes, killing F/Lt Wylde and Sgt Mortimer.  Sgt Clarke is injured.  The aircraft is burned out. 39 Squadron 9 Wellingtons sent to attack north west area of Tripoli dropped many bombs on target. 105 Squadron 4 Blenheims sent to attack merchant shipping scores hits and disables ship.  

HAL FAR  One Fulmar patrolled over Catania and Gerbini aerodromes and dropped four bombs on Gerbini; results not observed.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB dealt with 1 (50kg).

1st Bn HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT  Battalion in Gozo.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Battalion providing working parties day and night for unloading of convoy ships.


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Posted by on August 10, 2016 in 1941, August 1941


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