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LAST BATTLE FOR P/O HUTT
The fate of Pilot Officer D F Hutt of 40 Squadron, reported missing after last night’s attack on Naples, is explained by a returning Regia Aeronautica pilot:
“During the night between 5th and 6th December 1941 twenty Wellingtons from 40 and 104 Squadrons attacked the Royal Arsenal at Naples. Maresciallo Patriarca from 356a Squadriglia, 21o Gruppo took off from Capodichino airfield to intercept the incoming bombers. At 21:35 he spotted Wellington R1066 of 40 Squadron, flown by Pilot Officer D F Hutt, and engaged it in a long fight, firing 408 rounds of 12.7 mm ammunition before he finally shot it down. Two members of the Wellington crew baled out near the port, Hutt included, but four others were killed. Patriarca landed at Capua almost out of fuel, and with the tail of his fighter damaged by return fire.” (1)
AIR RAIDS DAWN 6 DECEMBER TO DAWN 7 DECEMBER 1941
2308-0659 hrs 18-20 enemy aircraft approached the Island singly from east and south as intruder raids over aerodromes. Bombs dropped on edge of Luqa, near Ta Qali, and Naxxar. Bofors engaged low flying aircraft at approx 2,000 feet. Heavy Ack Ack engaged illuminated targets by height control. Searchlight operators identified two JU88s – Luftwaffe.
The RE Bomb Disposal Officer is called to Luqa on another high priority mission to defuze three unexploded bombs hampering air operations. They are German.
2056 hrs Air raid alarm. 14 enemy aircraft crossed coast, two only dropping bombs, one stick of six north of Rabat and others in sea. The raids were of two kinds: (a) nuisance raids and (b) intruder raids – enemy aircraft following in our returning bombers. Heavy Ack Ack barraged on one occasion only. Searchlight operators identified two JU88s.
Military casualties Gunner Thomas Hines, 26th Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 6 DECEMBER 1941
ROYAL NAVY Five Albacores attacked Castel Benito aerodrome with bombs and incendiaries.
AIR HQ Arrivals 12 Wellingtons, 1 Whitley, 1 Cathay and 1 Halifax from Gibraltar; 2 Marylands from 201 Group. Departures Four Beaufighters for 108 MU.
LUQA S/D Flight: one Wellington special shipping search. 69 Squadron Photo-reconnaissance over Catania and Gela, another over Tripoli and Castel Benito. One Maryland SF 6 patrol; three Marylands special search, including one in Kefalonia area, a second in Zante area. 18 Squadron: one Blenheim SF 11 patrol. Six Blenheims attacked barracks at Homs. 107 Squadron: one Blenheim SF 11 patrol. 40 Squadron: ten Wellingtons attacked Royal Arsenal at Naples.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB Reported 6; dealt with 3 (German 50kg).
(1) Biplane Fighter Aces From the Second World War by Hakan Gustavsson. Read more at http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se
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