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On the previous day at noon, after the bombardment by H.M.S. Suffolk (see Minute 2), attacks had been made on Stavanger aerodrome by twelve Blenheims. Direct hits on runways had been reported and also on dispersed aircraft, some of which had been blown up. The pilots had been unable to make close observations, but had reported that the hangars looked as though they had been damaged. Fifty Messerschmitts 110 and some 109s had been encountered over the aerodrome. Two Blenheims had been shot down, whilst a third, which had succeeded in returning to its base, had been hit in fifty-two places.
Eleven Wellingtons had left between 5-30 and 7-30 the previous evening for a further attack on Stavanger. Six aircraft had dropped their bombs on the aerodrome and hits had been observed, but four had been unable to locate the target. One of these machines was missing.
H.M.S. Suffolk had fired 217 rounds at Stavanger Aerodrome between 4-45 and 6-5 A.M. on the 17th April. Observation of the effects of the fire had been difficult owing to the fact that aircraft communication had broken down, but heavy smoke had been observed over the target. During the action a torpedo had been seen to miss astern. When retiring, H.M.S. Suffolk had been bombed persistently and had sustained one hit and several near misses, which had caused considerable damage. Thirty-three divebombing attacks had been made and 82 high-level bombs dropped. The casualties had been 17 killed and 33 wounded. H.M.S. Suffolk was now approaching Scapa, escorted by HALS. Renown and 9 destroyers. During the air attack. Fleet Air Arm aircraft had succeeded in bringing down 1 Heinkel and 1 Dornier and had damaged 3 Heinkels.
Patrols had been undertaken over H.M.S. Suffolk on her return journey during the previous afternoon and enemy bombers engaged in attacking her had been chased off. This patrol had been later relieved by Skuas (see Minute 2).