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Old 17th January 2018, 08:54
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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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
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