19 November 1941: Malta Attack A Costly Enterprise

19 Nov

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Six Blenheims from 18 Squadron based at Luqa have carried out a bold attack on an Italian convoy attempting to run supplies to Tripoli.  This time Malta’s losses were heavy:   Flight Sergeant Chester Newsome and Sergeant Harold Macaulay of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Sergeant Roland Walker, Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve, all flying with 18 Squadron were shot down. 

Sergeant Harold Hanson from the Isle of Man has been reported missing, along with Sergeant John Woolman and Sergeant William Buck.  All three were members of the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve flying with 18 Squadron RAF. (1)  An immediate search mission from 18 Squadron has been sent out to look for the missing pilots.



0229 hrs One enemy aircraft approached Island from north.  Incendiaries dropped near Mosta at 0245 hrs.  No alarm sounded for this raid.

0545-0646 hrs  Air raid alarm.  Eight enemy aircraft plotted from Sicily, only three crossing coast.  Bombs dropped on land near Anchor Bay and TKM searchlights.  No casualties.

1147-1213 hrs  Air raid alarm.  Recce raid by two Macchi’s.

1902-2007 hrs  Air raid alarm.  Five enemy aircraft crossed coast, two of which were barraged twice by Ack Ack.  One aircraft illuminated by searchlights for 6½ minutes.  Small High Explosives and incendiaries dropped Madalena and Naxxar area.

2132-2148 hrs  Air raid alarm.  One enemy aircraft approached from south west of Island.  Barraged by Ack Ack three times.  Bombs in sea and near Attard.

2203-2230 hrs  Air raid alarm.  One enemy aircraft approached Island from west.  Small High Explosives and incendiaries near Rabat.


ROYAL NAVY  Osiris arrived having hit a ship off Candia.  Force “K” returned to harbour at 0700 hrs.

LUQA  One Blenheim 18 Squadron (Sgt Davies) and one Blenheim 107 Squadron SF11 Patrol.  18 Squadron  Six Blenheims attacked convoy. 40 Squadron  One Wellington attacked Messina.  Four Wellingtons attacked Tripoli.  Four Wellingtons attacked Brindisi. 104 Squadron  Five Wellingtons nuisance raid Naples. Three Wellingtons attacked Benghazi. 

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 4; dealt with 2 (2kg incendiary).

(1)  Thanks to Ivor Ramsden of the MANX AVIATION AND MILITARY MUSEUM for information about Sgt Harold Leslie Hanson, RAFVR, formerly of Peel.  The museum is a collection of militaria, civil and wartime aviation dedicated to the memory of those from the Isle of Man who served in a military capacity on the Island or overseas. 

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Posted by on November 19, 2021 in 1941, November 1941


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