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Brian 13th January 2018 12:29

Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
Hi guys

A strange request! Over the past few years a number of books have been published covering the Pedestal Convoy to Malta (August 1942). I can't afford to buy all these books just to answer my query, which is:

What information is contained within the pages of these books regarding the brief operations of 806 Squadron Martlets flying from the deck of HMS Indomitable?

I have written about the Martlets in the past, and now wonder if any 'new' information has come to light regarding the operations of the Martlets?

Are there any Pedestal/Martlet aficianados? Hopefully!

Cheers
Brian

Nick Beale 16th January 2018 21:40

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
There’s a bit in Peter Smith’s “Pedestal” (William Kimber,1970). On page 91, Lieut. Johnson is wounded in action with Ju 88s, tries to land on Indomitable but the arrestor fails and the Martlet goes overboard and he’s lost.
Otherwise there are general accounts of the various air actions and the Martlets’ participation is mentioned e.g. their role in breaking up a formation of Fiat Cr. 42.

bearoutwest 17th January 2018 07:54

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
Hi Brian,

I have the 1994 edition of Peter Smith's "Pedestal", though not sure if it's significantly different to the 1970 version Nick's mentioned. Short summary of the mention of Martlets, that I've managed to find (not a thorough search):

p.83/4 (11th-Aug)
Martlet ditches after attempting intercept of Ju88 snooper. Pilot (nameless) picked up by HMS Westcott, guided by Fulmar.

p.95 (12th)
9:07am raid by 19 Ju88, intercepted by 16 fighters (S-Hurricanes, Martlets, Fulmars). Lt Carver & S-Lt Hankey from HMS Victorious, Hankey* lost in this raid, Carver claims 2. HMS Indomitable's fighters intercept 20 miles from fleet. No list of Martlet claims - except that there were many fighter pilot claims as well as 4 credited to ship AA. 6 Ju88 fail to return.

p.101 (12th)
12:15pm raid by multiple Italian formations. 8 Fiat Cr42s of 160 Gruppo broken up by Martlets, 3 Fiats manage to strafe and near-miss HMS Lightning with bombs.

p.106 (12th)
Lt R.L. Johnston (CO. 806 Sqn) badly wounded in combat. Martlet lost overboard - as related in Nick's description. (So perhaps some difference in the two versions of book, as page numbers differ.)
Other Martlets chase group of 4 Ju88 unsuccessfully but encounter and shoot down Cant Z1007b.

p.118 (12th, 6pm)
HMS Indom. badly damaged by Ju87 raid.

p.121 (12th, 6:50-7:30pm)
12 of HMS Indom.'s fighters recovered on HMS Victorious. One Martlet runs out of fuel and ditches, pilot recovered by HMS Zetland.

*"Send Her Victorious" - LtCdr Michael Apps, notes that Hankey was already a survivor of HMS Eagle (my comment - perhaps, one of the four airborne S-Hurricane pilots when Eagle was sunk, but not specifically recorded in this book), and subsequently lost during the 6:15pm raid, flying a S-Hurricane from HMS Victorious.

- - - - - -
In "Aircraft Carriers" Vol.1 (2006) - Norman Polmar records on p316 (Ch: European War) - pre-dawn on 12th Aug, HMS Indomitables Martlets shot down 2 of 3 snoopers. (My comment - same paragraph as appears in his single-volume 1969 edition.)

- - - - - -
In "Wildcat" (1990) - Barrett Tillman records on p167 (Ch: Martlets) - 806 wasn't a full squadron, having only 6 Martlet IIs on board HMS Indomitable. On p168, he summarizes the Martlets claiming 2 SM-79s, 1 Ju88 and 1 Re2002 for 1 Martlet loss. (My comment - not sure if this is referred to as a combat loss, as Smith records two other ditchings in addition to the combat related loss of Lt. Johnston.)

- - - - -

Much of the information seems relatively old, dating from 1969-1994.

...geoff

bearoutwest 17th January 2018 09:17

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
http://www.armouredcarriers.com/oper...st-10-12-1942/

This seems to be a thorough and quite comprehensive account of the carrier fighter groups in the Pedestal convoy action. I don't know enough to comment on the accuracy though.

...geoff

James A Pratt III 17th January 2018 21:29

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
See also the book "Malta the Spitfire Year" Chris Shores

Col Bruggy 18th January 2018 11:53

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by James A Pratt III (Post 246008)
See also the book "Malta the Spitfire Year" Chris Shores

Hello,

Brian (Cull), is one of the co-authors of: "Malta:The Spitfire Year 1942"!


Col.

Brian 18th January 2018 19:13

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
Hi guys

Thanks for your comments. The more recent publications I have noted are:

Operation Pedestal by Brian Crabb (2014)

Operation Pedestal by John Mizzi (2013)

Operation Pedestal by George Schembri (1999)

Major Convoy Operation by Milan Vego (2012)

Ohio & Malta by Michael Pearson (2011)

Has anyone seen these - if so, comments would be appreciated regarding 806 Squadron Martlets.

Cheers
Brian

BruceMk11 30th January 2018 07:51

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
Geoff,

How many pages are devoted to the Martlet/Wildcat in FAA service in Tillman's book?

DuncanM 6th March 2018 00:18

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BruceMk11 (Post 246718)
Geoff,

How many pages are devoted to the Martlet/Wildcat in FAA service in Tillman's book?

Pages 215 to 232.

This book looks to provide a lot of information:

https://www.crcpress.com/The-Fleet-A.../9780815355076

BruceMk11 6th March 2018 09:02

Re: Operation Pedestal - Martlets
 
Thanks Duncan


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