13 March 1942: Spitfires Score 19 Strikes on Enemy Aircraft

13 Mar

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Spitfires at Ta Qali

“Oh, for a few Spitfires, we have thought again and again. It was said that Spitfires could not work here – on account of the climate said some, difficulties of upkeep said others, confused air-currents, etc. But we do know that the runways of the dromes have been lengthened, and somebody whispered that this was the real secret. Spitfires need a longer runway than we could hitherto supply. Last week there was a rumour that they were really coming – that some pilots had actually arrived.

Last Saturday some positively did, and Spitfires were flown over the island for recognition purposes. On Sunday and Monday they were in action; and in the local News last night, we were told that ‘our Aircraft’ together with ground batteries had destroyed 5 enemies and damaged 14 others. This is easily the best record for weeks and we are hoping to God that it may be the beginning of something like parity or even superiority in the air.” (1)


Weather  Wind south east; 100% cloud.

1100 hrs  Five Hurricanes 242 Squadron Ta Qali are scrambled to intercept incoming enemy aircraft.

1105 hrs  Three JU 88s accompanied by fighters approach the Island.

1130 hrs  The JU 88s drop three 500kg, six 250kg and thirty 50kg bombs on Ta Qali, damaging Chateau Bertrand and the Pottery, and killing a horse.  One fuel bowser and a Hurricane are set on fire.  One fighter Blenheim and a Beaufighter are damaged.  The aerodrome remains serviceable.  Heavy Ack Ack damage one JU 88.  Malta’s fighters engage.

1150 hrs  Sgt Mulloy, 242 Squadron, attacks and damages one ME 109.

1209 hrs  All clear.

1650-1730 hrs  One JU 88 with six ME 109s patrols the Island without crossing the coast.

1941 hrs  Two JU 88 bombers approach from the north and drop six 250kg and fourteen 50kg bombs on the Hal Far, Dingli and Wardia areas, and in the sea.  Guns and searchlights engage.

2154-2340 hrs  One aircraft drops bombs near Siggiewi, near Wolseley Camp, 1st Bn Dorsetshire Regt, on Ta Sinia and in the sea.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.

Military casualties  Leading Aircraftsman Gordon White, Royal Air Force, 249 Squadron.


ROYAL NAVY  Albacore search in the vicinity of Homs sighted nothing.

AIR HQ Arrivals  Two Wellingtons, one Hudson, one Flamingo from Gibraltar.

LUQA  0745-1220 hrs  One Maryland 69 Squadron carried out SF 5 patrol.  0943-1120 hrs  One Spitfire carried out photo-reconnaissance east Sicilian aerodromes.  Catania, Gerbini and Augusta photographed.  1558-1813 hrs  One Maryland 69 Squadron carried out SF 4 patrol but returned early owing to intercom trouble.  0015-0342 hrs  One Wellington 37 Squadron attacked Tripoli Harbour: no shipping sighted.

11TH BN THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS  Luqa working party still in abeyance.  This unit hands over Observation Post Tal Minsia to 2nd Bn Royal West Kent Regt.

ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS  Billets at 33 New Street and No 2 Piazza Miratore are damaged by enemy action.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 21 February-15 March 128 (average 6 per day).

(1) Extract from diary of Reverend Reginald M. Nicholls, Chancellor of St.Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Valletta.  Courtesy of website Malta Family History


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Posted by on March 13, 2022 in 1942, March 1942


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