My Dad’s first ship, HMS Aurora>, or the ‘Grey Phantom’ as she was known by the Italians because of her stealth movements in the Med. Dad could talk about her stats but very seldom would he talk about his experiences on her except where he went.
She brought King George VI to Malta in 1943 following the ‘Relief of Malta’ where in my dad’s words, there was not a cat or a dog to be seen on the Island as Malta had been under seige from June 1940 to November 1942 in the fight to gain control of this strategically important island by the the air forces and navies of Italy and Germany against the Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Air Force (RAF). It was their resolve to bomb or starve Malta into submission, by attacking its ports, towns, cities, as well as ships supplying the island. Malta was one of the most intensively bombed areas during the war. The Luftwaffe (German Air Force) and the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) flew a total of 3,000 bombing raids, dropping 6,700 tons of bombs on the Grand Harbour area over a period of two years in an effort to destroy RAF defences and the ports.