21 November 1941: Malta Fights Off Italian Attack

21 Nov

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“Rose to the sound of much noise: the Italians were indulging in a low flying attack on aerodrome at 7.15am.” 


Ta Qali in 1941 (NWMA Malta)

0713 hrs  Air raid alarm.  Two waves of six and nine Macchi’s approached Island from NE.  Six enemy aircraft with another six providing high cover attacked Hal Far and Ta Qali aerodromes with cannon and machine gun fire, causing very slight damage.  One Swordfish damaged.  Heavy and Light Ack Ack, also light machine guns engaged claiming three Macchi 202’s damaged.  Hurricanes engaged, one Macchi being shot down in sea, and three damaged.  One Hurricane slightly damaged.  One Hurricane crashed on Attard-Rabat road.  Pilot uninjured.

0906 hrs  Air raid alarm.  Three enemy aircraft approached Island shot returning Photo Reconnaissance Unit Hurricane into sea.  Pilot rescued.

1412 hrs  Air raid alarm.  No engagement.

1714 hrs  Air raid alarm.  Seventeen Macchi’s approached Island.  Fifteen Hurricanes airborne, four of whom intercepted with no observed results.  One Hurricane missing, 1 slightly damaged.

RAF Hurricane 1941

1850 hrs  Air raid alarm.  One enemy aircraft approached Island from north, crossed coast Grand Harbour and went out over Delimara.  Bombs dropped in sea East of Delimara.

2230 hrs  Air raid alarm.  No engagement.

Military casualties Flight Sergeant Richard Allinson Cousens, Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve, 185 Squadron; Private Francis Talbot, 1st Battalion The Dorsetshire Regiment.


ROYAL NAVY  Urge returned from patrol off Cephalonia, having unsuccessfully attacked two escorted merchant vessels at long range.  A second diversionary operation to support the Eighth Army offensive in North Africa, codenamed “Landmark” commenced – a convoy and Force “K” sailed at 1300.  Four Albacores carried out A/S patrol south of Malta.  Four Swordfish and four Albacores attacked convoy and escort 12′ east of Cape Spartivento.  Four torpedoes were dropped and one hit claimed on a cruiser and one on a merchant vessel of 7000 tons.

LUQA  One Blenheim 18 Squadron and one 107 Squadron SF11 patrol.  One Blenheim 107 Squadron special patrol. One Wellington S/D flight located convoy.  Twelve Wellingtons 40 Squadron attacked convoy. Four Wellingtons 104 Squadron attacked convoy. 

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 70; dealt with (2 x 43lb incendiary; 68 x Thermos).


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Posted by on November 21, 2021 in 1941, November 1941


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