Malta: June - November 1941(Part 2)


6/7.9 - A straight forward night attack on Convoy, the moon was just right and the ships stood out clearly. The sea was calm. The Convoy was well covered by Destroyers and Torpedo Boats. I flew over one of the latter. I did not see it until the last moment, but by this time I was committed to my approach angle to the Target. I think the "E" boat was as surprised as I was for he did not open fire until I was well passed. At between 500 and 700 yards I pressed the button and continued straight and level to ensure my "fish" made a good entry and passed over the stern of the ship. The attack was a success. I flew over the convoy and saw that the ship was stationary. I come down low over the water to get a better view, and flew over a lifeboat full of people.

12/13.9 - If my memory serves me right this was the night about which the Malta Daily Paper headlined as "Ducks and Drakes in the Med". The Squadron took off at dusk to attack a large Convoy heavily escorted by Destroyers. We found the Convoy and attacked individualy, splitting it up completely. At least three ships were hit and Destroyers were racing about all over the place. We returned to base and my flight were sent out again to finish off the remaining ships. As we approached the scene of the previous engagement, I saw a Destroyer racing along at high speed. I decided to follow it to see if it would lead me to the remaining ships, this took some doing in a "Stringbag", if there had been any wind against me I couldn't have done it. After awhile I saw a large MV and attacked it. There was a bright flash and then it just blew up.

19/20.9 - Convoy 3 MV, 4 DR near Kerkenah Bank. We arrived on the scene in the early hours of the morning in time to see the last of the MV's disappear into a fog bank. It looked like a great smoke screen to me. We flew over it and round it for two and a half hours and could see absolutely nothing. I considered just releasing my Torpedo into the center of the fogged area hoping for a lucky hit, but decided against it as we were very short of Torps. We left the area at dawn and arrived home with barely enough petrol to taxi in.

24.9 - I went on quite a few minelaying trips to Tripoli. They were long boring flights with just a little excitement at Tripoli. It was important to lay the mines exactly where instructed to do so. Tripoli was very well defended with 'Block Ships' in the channels.

13/14.10 - A routine convoy attack, Woozle Osborn was my flight Commander. It was a perfect night, we turned in on an MV, I saw Osborn's Torpedo hit the ship, my Torpedo also ran straight and true and there was a bright flash as it too hit the ship. I do not remember O'Brien.

l8/19.10 -This convoy appeared to be forming up as we arrived. It was a perfect night again. I chose a large ship and approached to attack. On my run in I saw a flash as the ship was hit astern by another aircraft, which I later discovered was Bobby Lawson. I pressed ahead with my attack and scored a hit amidships. I climbed up to see what the damage was. The ship had stopped and I saw a Destroyer go along side. Suddenly there was a tremendous explosion, and smoke and debris went passed my aircraft which was then flying at about 2000ft. It was a fantastic sight and I think the Destroyer was sunk as well.

11.11. I leave this to you, but would like to see your version.

I am sorry to have taken so long over this, but I have been over in the States for the passed two weeks. Perhaps we could meet for a Beer some time I could probably give you a better picture of what it was like during those days.

I would be very pleased to meet any ex-members of 830, they were a great bunch.

Yours sincerely,

Stewart Campbell

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