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ROYAL MALTA ARTILLERY RESCUE SURVIVORS
A Wellington bomber of 104 Squadron returning from a successful bombing mission over Catania crashed today near Attard, killing four of the crew and injuring the other two. It is believed that the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, possibly due to being wrongly identified as an attacking enemy plane.
The Wellington crashed on L’Imrihel Feature, killing three of the crew on impact. Personnel of 6th Heavy Ack Ack, Royal Malta Artillery, managed to rescue the injured pilot, Sgt R Hills, and the second pilot, Sgt E Martin who was seriously wounded. Before they could return for the final crew member, the aircraft’s petrol tanks exploded, killing him instantly.
MALTA RECONNAISSANCE PILOTS SPOT CONVOY TARGET
A large convoy has been seen by aerial reconnaissance loading at Naples. Three of these ships, the 7800 ton German ‘Reichenfels’ and two 6500 ton Lenici class ships were today photographed off Pantelleria, heading towards Tripoli under protective destroyer escort.
ITALIANS PILOT STUKAS
Four enemy aircraft which dropped bombs on Mellieha and Dingli overnight are believed to be JU 87s flown by Italian pilots. The aircraft caused some confusion among observers who were at first unable to identify them. They reported that the shape and markings suggested JU 87s but the aircraft were not operating in the usual agressive manner of the Stuka dive-bomber.
The pilot of a Beaufighter on patrol with Malta Night Fighter Unit later confirmed that he had engaged with JU 87s at the time of the raid, damaging one.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 29 MAY TO DAWN 30 MAY 1942
Weather Wind south-easterly, moderate to fresh; haze.
0510-0605 hrs Two Spitfires 249 Squadron Ta Qali are airborne on shipping reconnaissance but sight nothing.
0820 hrs Air raid alert.
0822-0926 hrs Three Spitfires 126 Squadron Luqa patrol the Island: no combat.
1202 hrs Four Spitfires 185 Squadron are scrambled from Hal Far and four of 249 Squadron Ta Qali to intercept incoming enemy aircraft.
1235 hrs Air raid alerts sounds as the formation approaches the Island. There is no engagement with Malta fighters.
1305 hrs All clear.
1458-1622 hrs Four Spitfires 185 Squadron are scrambled from Hal Far to patrol for enemy fighters: no interceptions.
1638-1748 hrs Four Spitfires 126 Squadron scrambled from Luqa to intercept enemy aircraft: no engagement.
1715-1825 hrs Enemy fighters are reported approaching the Island. Seven Spitfires 603 Squadron Ta Qali are scrambled, climbing to intercept the hostile aircraft. They sight two but no interceptions take place.
1750 hrs The air raid alerts sounds as the fighters near the coast. They carry out a fighter sweep.
1825 hrs All clear.
2310 hrs A Wellington bomber returning from operations crashes near Tal Hlas.
0009-0244 hrs One Beaufighter is airborne from Luqa on intercept patrol.
0025 hrs The air raid alert sounds for a small formation of enemy bombers approaching the Island. One JU 88 and four other unidentified bombers drop bombs near Mellieha and Dingli. The Beaufighter engages and damages one aircraft, identified as a JU 87.
0212 hrs Air raid alert. Raid does not materialize.
Military casualties Flight Sergeant George Davis, Royal Canadian Air Force, 104 Squadron, RAF; Sergeant Andrew McColl, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (VR); Sergeant Elwyn Roberts, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, Royal Air Force (VR), 104 Squadron; Flight Sergeant Kenneth Ross, Air Gunner, Royal Air Force, 104 Squadron.
Civilian casualties Nil.
OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 29 MAY 1942
ROYAL NAVY St Angelo and Trusty Star continued minesweeping.
AIR HQ Arrivals One Lodestar from Heliopolis; one CW 20 from Gibraltar. Departures One Hudson to Gibraltar.
HAL FAR 2145 hrs Four Albacores and two Swordfish of the NAS were airborne on strike mission. The convoy consisting of three merchant vessels and three destroyers was located off the Tunisian coast but was covered by a thick fog patch 300 feet deep, 15 miles long and 10 miles across. No attack was possible and all the aircraft returned with their torpedoes at 0320 hrs.
LUQA 0930-1215 hrs One Spitfire photo-reconnaissance Lampedusa, Trapani and Palermo. 1505-1707 hrs One Spitfire photo-reconnaissance of Messina Harbour and St Paul’s Bay. 2117-0310 hrs One Wellington S/D Flight on armed search Gulf of Gabies. One Wellington 104 Squadron despatched from Luqa to bomb Catania aerodrome. Bombs landed in the target area: many fires are seen. On returning to base the aircraft crashed near Attard, killing four of the crew and injuring the pilot and second pilot.
4th BN THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT) REGIMENT Working parties Luqa aerodrome.
1st BN THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT 1230 hrs Working parties for pen-building and crater filling at Luqa finished and returned to billets.
1st BN THE DORSETSHIRE REGIMENT 1000 hrs Pte Porter is buried at Imtarfa Cemetery.
1ST BN THE DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY Working parties on Luqa aerodrome continue.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB Reported 5; dealt with 5 (1 x 500kg, 3 x 250kg, 1 x 50kg).
1ST BN THE HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT 17 vehicles, 4 Officers, 130-150 Other Ranks at Safi strip widening and levelling runway.
8TH BN THE KINGS OWN ROYAL REGIMENT Day working parties building pens for aircraft 6 Officers 200 Other Ranks.
11TH BN THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS Luqa working party continued. 1230 hrs Working party of 50 men tin-loading at Luqa.
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