Date: 19th November 1942 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 126 Squadron (motto: Foremost in attack)
Type: Spitfire VB
Base: RAF Luqa, Malta
Location: Mediterranean Sea
Pilot: Sgt. Henry Roberts NZ/412269 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
On Tuesday, the 08th September 1942 he was shot down by two enemy aircraft and baled out. He was rescued by an HSR launch in the incredibly fast time of 4 minutes. (Steve Blunt - logbook)
Taking off at 09:00 hrs with others and during the patrol on an incoming convoy some 100 miles south east of the island his engine failed. He was seen to abandon the Spitfire, sadly no trace of the young New Zealander was found.
Sgt. Henry Roberts. Malta Memorial. Panel 5, column 2. Born on the 04th September 1919 at Wellington. A clerk prior to enlisting at Levin on the 13th April 1941. Awarded his pilots badge and promoted to sergeant on the 07th November 1941. Son of Humphrey Joseph Roberts and of Helen Bertha Roberts (née Brittain), of Wellington City, New Zealand. Flew a Spitfire from HMS. Eagle to Malta on the 14th July 1942. 294 Flying hours logged and completed 52 operational sorties. Also served with 132 Squadron where he completed 5 operational sorties. He is credited with 1 confirmed enemy aircraft as damaged.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Steve Blunt, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: