12 November 1941: Air War Losses and Gains

12 Nov

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HMS Ark Royal with Swordfish overhead

HMS Ark Royal with Swordfish overhead


Overnight, seven Swordfish from 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm at Hal Far were despatched to attack a convoy consisting of two merchant vessels west of Pantelleria.  Three aircraft returned to base owing to engine trouble; the remaining four failed to return to base.  The missing crews are Lt Cmdr Hunt, Lt Osborn, Lt Wigram, S/Lt Campbell, S/Lt Taylor, S/Lt Robinson, Sgt Parke, L A Fallon and L A Griffiths. 

In the early morning RAF Blenheims from Malta set out on a special mission, to guide in a new delivery of Hurricane aircraft flying off the aircraft carriers Argus and Ark Royal as part of Operation Perpetual.  A total of 37 Hurricanes set off for Malta that morning; 34 aircraft arrived safely.

Their mission successfully completed, the aircraft carriers turned westwards along with the rest of the convoy, Force “H”.  Next afternoon Ark Royal was hit by an enemy torpedo.  With the valiant efforts of the accompanying destroyers, the carrier was brought within sight of Gibraltar before she finally sank on the morning of 15 November.

HMS Ark Royal sinks off Gibraltar

HMS Ark Royal sinks off Gibraltar


0034-0129 hrs  Air raid alarm caused by approach of friendly aircraft.

0210 hrs  Air raid alarm.  One enemy aircraft approaches from the north, drops bombs fifteen miles east of Delimara and recedes. 

0624-0650 hrs  Air raid alarm.  One enemy aircraft drops six bombs in the sea 1½ miles off the Island.

Military casualties  Leading Airman Kenneth D Griffiths, Royal Navy; Lieutenant Frederic A Wigram, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, both HMS St Angelo; Pilot Officer John Bebington, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR); Sergeant Cedric Greenhill, RAFVR; Sergeant James Henderson, Royal Canadian Air Force; all 40 Squadron.


ROYAL NAVY  Porpoise sailed for Alexandria with passengers and stores.

HAL FAR  One Fulmar made a night intruder patrol over Gerbini and Catania aerodromes.  Bombs dropped on Gerbini revolving beacon but the light did not go out.

LUQA 107 Squadron  Five Blenheims attacked Mellaha aerodrome. Three Blenheims special search for dinghy.  One Blenheim SF 11 patrol.  18 Squadron  Three Blenheims special search for dinghies Malta-Maritimo. One Blenheim shipping search Pantelleria.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 2; dealt with 5 (1 x 50kg; 4 x Thermos).


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Posted by on November 12, 2016 in 1941, November 1941


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