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OPERATION STATUS PHASE II A SUCCESS
45 Hurricanes flew in to Malta today, the second reinforcement of fighters to arrive on the Island in a week. Their arrival completes Operation Status which was intended to deliver some 60 Hurricanes in total. However, the first phase last Tuesday was only partially completed, when guide Blenheims did not arrive to escort fighters from their aircraft carrier to the Island.
Ark Royal returned to Gibraltar on Wednesday and, following a rapid turn-round, embarked with 26 Hurricanes. A second carrier Furious departed with a separate protective force carrying another 20. They were due to rendezvous yesterday for the Hurricanes to fly off to Malta but the event had to be postponed.
Early this morning seven Blenheims from Malta reached the rearranged rendezvous ready to guide the Hurricanes to their destination. All but one of the 46 fighters took off successfully and completed a safe transit to the Island. The remaining Hurricane crashed on take-off.
NIGHT CURFEW FOR TROOPS
New curfew regulations have been introduced for 1st Bn Cheshire Regiment. From today no serviceman may be away from his billet after 1930 hours except those on 24 hours or 3 days’ leave. In addition, only 25 per cent of men may be away on leave at one time. The regulations are designed to ensure that posts can be quickly manned against surprise attack.
However, the Battalion commanders recognise that the new requirement to stay in at night make it imperative that the men have more NAAFI accommodation and a recreation room. The Battalion is trying to find a suitable place for an HQ Officers Mess so that the present Mess may be given over to the men.
SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS IN MALTA
From: Governor & C in C Malta To: War Office
We are still short of the following infantry officers in Malta: 4th Bn The Buffs 4, Kings Own Malta Regiment 5, Devonshire 9, 1st Bn Cheshire Regt 4, 1st Bn Hampshire Regt 8, 1st Bn Dorset Regt 7, 2nd Bn Royal West Kent Regt 7, 8th Bn Manchester Regt 4, 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers 8: total 56. The Middle East reports that officer material is drying up. A small class of NCOs sent to their officer training unit will not be ready until next year. I request the early despatch of as many as possible to meet the deficiency.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 13 SEPTEMBER TO DAWN 14 SEPTEMBER 1941
Weather Fine and warm.
1117-1130 hrs Air raid alert for three enemy aircraft approaching the Island. Ten Hurricanes 249 Squadron and nine 195 Squadron are scrambled. The raiders turn away before reaching Malta and there are no interceptions.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 1941
AIR HQ Arrivals 1 Sunderland. Departures 1 Sunderland, 1 Wellington. 38 Squadron 7 Wellingtons attacked Tripoli Harbour. 69 Squadron 1 Blenheim special patrol; photo-reconnaissance east Sicilian coast. 105 Squadron 3 Blenheims searched for missing Blenheim crews. 3 Blenheims search and sweep for shipping, central Ionian Sea. Fleet Air Arm One Fulmar offensive patrol over Gerbini and Catania dropped high explosive bombs south east of Gerbini and incendiaries near Moto.
TA QALI 8 officers and 6 sergeant pilots arrived by Hurricane from HMS Ark Royal. 6 officers and 5 sergeant pilots arrived by Hurricane from HMS Furious. 8 officers and 7 sergeant pilots left by air for the Middle East.
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