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MALTA HAS NEW FIGHTER FLIGHT
Twelve Hurricane fighters flew in to Malta today to strengthen the Island’s air defences. At 0740 hours this morning RAF Luqa received a message to stand by for the arrival of two separate formations, each of seven aircraft.
In ‘Operation Hurry’ the twelve Hurricanes and two Skuas left the Clyde aboard HMS Argus which sailed for Malta on 20 July escorted by four destroyers. The convoy was then joined by two more destroyers, two battleships and one cruiser for the hazardous journey through the western Mediterranean. During their journey, the Mediterranean fleet made a diversionary attack on Cagliari, while a cruiser patrolled the area searching for possible hostile vessels.
The convoy escorted Argus to a point west of Malta from where the Hurricanes took off to fly the remaining distance to the Island in two formations, each guided in by one of the Skuas. At 083 hours the first formation was sighted over Hal Far and within minutes the Skua and Hurricanes were circling over Luqa aerodrome.
The first Hurricane landed successfully; the second plane was circling very low when his engine failed and the aircraft crashed. The Commander in Chief of the aerodrome dashed to the scene of the crash in his car, rescued the pilot, helped him into the car and drove him to the medical incident room at Luqa camp from where he was referred to the Military Hospital at Imtarfa suffering from abrasions and slight concussion. He has been named as Pilot/Sergeant F N Robertson, 66 Squadron. A guard was mounted over the wreck of the Hurricane. The other machines landed safely.
Minutes later the second formation of one Skua and six Hurricanes was seen approaching Luqa from the direction of Hal Far. The aircraft circled the aerodrome before the Hurricanes landed safely. As the Skua approached the runway it seemed to wobble and landed heavily on one wheel, skidding along on its left wing for about 200 yards before crashing over the air raid shelter near the control tower. The pilot escaped unhurt and the aircraft is repairable.
The RAF ground crews for the new aircraft arrived separately in Malta aboard submarines Pandora and Proteus. Declaring Operation Hurry a complete success, the Governor hopes that it will form a model for the future supply of Malta.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 2 AUGUST TO DAWN 3 AUGUST 1940
Weather Fine and hot.
No air raids.
OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 2 AUGUST 1940
AIR HQ Aircraft casualties 1 Hurricane. 1845 hrs One Hudson on reconnaissance Cagliari.
LUQA Strength of Station: RAF 21 Officers, 121 Airmen; Army 9 Officers, 250 Other Ranks; civilians 4.
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