I have been busy the last few days hence the lack of posts on this project. Thankfully I am not doing it in ‘real time’ to the event so it is not a major issue. Here is the entry for 23 March.
“BOMBING HIGHLY SATISFACTORY”. This message, transmitted back from Army Headquarters, was expression of appreciation for the work done by the Kittyhawks of our wing in a bombing raid on an enemy strong point about 30 miles North West of MEDININ and just in front of the MARETH LINE. The enemy strong point consisted of a hill with gun emplacements, commanding a road up which our troops were endeavouring to advance. Nine of our aircraft with Lt.Col. LOFTUS leading in the tenth Kittyhawk, took-off at 0630 hours fully armed. They were followed by Kittybombers of No. 5 Squadron and No. 4 Squadron provided top cover of fighters.
The enemy strong-point was located and our aircraft dived from 8000′ to drop their bombs, some of the pilots strafing in their dive. Bombs were all in their target area and direct hits on emplacements were registered. One bomb is thought to have hit an ammunition dump as “quite a pyrotechnic display resulted”.
An indication of the success of the bombing was the fact that the Americans, who were to have bombed after us, were not called upon to do so. Over 30 per cent of the enemy emplacements were put out of action, it was learned, and the position was taken. From all aspects this was a most successful operation, as the enemy were taken completely by surprise and there was no A.A. Fire from the target are to speak of, when our planes swooped down.
The main road to FOUM TATAHOUINE passes our camp and with the recent thrust towards the GABES GAP, this road has lots of interest. This evening under the cover of darkness, tanks and supply vehicles began rumbling up and numbers of our personnel stood at the road “watching the tanks go by” – a heartening spectacle for us.
TNA, AIR 27/22 ‘No. 2 Squadron SAAF Operations Record Book’ 22 March 1943