Return to Menu


The Maryland was used as a photo reconnaisance aircraft. It played a vital role in ascertaining the Italian fleet disposition at the time of the attack on Taranto harbour.
Another role was to shadow axis convoys & give positions to allied aircraft or Naval forces so they could intercept.
Based on Malta & Egypt.

Photo courtesy of Keith Bastard.

Crashed Maryland Fighter. 1942

Roger Drew, Allan Bland, Ray Wylde (KIA), Ronnie Wooton.
Photo courtesy of Keith Bastard.

Photo courtesy of Keith Bastard.

Moram DFM.
Photo courtesy of Keith Bastard.

Frank Bastard.
Photo courtesy of Keith Bastard.

A Maryland Mission

Tail of Maryland on return from a mission. The following newspaper clipping was found in a log book which was salvaged from wreckage of Crew Room blown down by enemy action 8.2.42.
I have not put a full screen click on this photo as it is a poor image from old newsprint.
Photo courtesy of Peter Marrow.

Turret & damage to rear fuselage.
Photo courtesy of Peter Marrow.



For gallantry in action and devotion to duty an Air Gunner serving in Malta has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. He is Sergeant Robert James Watson.

Sergeant Watson was one of the rear gunners of a reconnaissance aircraft which was attacked by Messerschmitt 109s.
When the first German fighter opened fire the top gunner of the British aircraft was killed and Watson who was in the underneath
turret was severly wounded. Fire also broke out in the fuselage tank. In spite of his injuries Watson succeeded in pulling the dead gunner from the turret and took his place just as the second
Messerschmitt was about to attack. Watson opened fire and as a result the German fighter crashed in flames into the sea.
Having beaten off the attack, Watson then started to put out the flames, throwing out of the turret burning fragments.

By now the clothing of the dead gunner was also on fire, which Watson put out with his bare hands, sustaining severe burns. When the pilot made a successful landing, although the elevators were useless and the tail shot away, Watson was almost unconscious.

"The Times of Malta". February 24th 1942.

Another shot of the tailplane section.
Photo courtesy of Peter Marrow.

Clifford Beer's entry in his 'Observers and Air Gunner's Flying Log
Book' for Feb. 12th 1942 reads:

1600 Hrs. MARYLAND AR733. Pilot: P/O Channon Duty: S.F.3
Remarks: Patrol PANTS (Pantallaria) - CAPE BON - MARITIMO
On return to Malta no stand off message was received. We were attacked from astern by two ME109s eight miles from the island. First attack with .303 and cannon closed to 40yds killing Sgt. Moore (gunner) wrecking tail controls and setting bomb well petrol tank alight. Sgt. Watson (gunner) removed body and, although wounded in four places and badly burnt, shot down other 109 in flames. Pilot made excellent belly landing at 140 M.P.H.
at touch down. Petrol tank burnt out and fell out of a/c before reaching coast. Sgt Watson awarded immediate D.F.M. Flying time 2 hrs 35 mins.


Maryland Museum :