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The Miracle Ship

by jeanclark

Contributed by 
jeanclark
People in story: 
Kenneth Clark
Location of story: 
Malta
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A2443042
Contributed on: 
19 March 2004

As a staff sergeant in Malta, August 1942, Kenneth was standing on the Barracas hoping that the convoy from Britain would succeed in bringing food, supplies of fuel and ammunition to the island, which was being continuously bombed by Italian and German planes. Only 5 of the 14 merchant ships managed to reach the harbour, where the entire population of Malta was anxiously waiting, as well as the Army, Navy and Airforce personnel from Britain.

Everyone knew that if supplies did not come, the island would be overrun and lost to the enemy.

Kenneth says that, when the Ohio finally entered the harbour with 4 other ships - 3 destroyers and a tug holding her together - all the hundreds of people cheered and cried. It was a miracle....

Kenneth also remebers countless times when ships limped into harbour on their last legs, were franticly patched up overnight because they had to be gone the next day or be sitting targets. He would have been thrilled when the men of the merchant navy finally got reognition for their war effort as he saw the bravery and sacrifice by ordinary seamen in the battle for Malta. Kennth was honoured to receive the medal issued by the Maltese Government to veterans who had served on Malta to commemorate 50 years since the war.

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