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14 June 1940: Malta Needs Fighter Aircraft

14 Jun

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GOVERNOR PLEADS FOR HURRICANES FOR MALTA

Hawker Hurricane (c) IWM CI 120

Hawker Hurricane (c) IWM CI 120

The Governor and Commander in Chief has told London that Malta urgently needs fighter aircraft.  In a telegram today he urged the War Office to divert three Hurricane fighters currently en route for Egypt should be diverted at least temporarily to Malta, to defend the Island. 

The Governor’s plea follows bombing raids which have been much heavier and more frequent than anticipated, since Italy declared war on the Allies on Monday.  He added that, while the morale of the population remained high, he feared that it might deteriorate unless active visible measures were taken for their protection. 

The Governor’s request was very strongly supported by the Commander in Chief, Mediterranean, who proposed that the spares should be rushed from Gibraltar to Malta by destroyer, instead of being taken round to Egypt by the cape.

MALTA VOLUNTEER DEFENCE FORCE EFFECTIVE

The Malta Volunteer Defence Force is already providing an effective service in the defence of Malta.  Personnel are reporting for duty promptly following the air raid alert.  Their knowledge of their localities has proved useful in identifying unusual or suspicious activities in the area, and in liaising with local civilians.  Working alongside Infantry units, they have also erected and manned road blocks. 

POLICE TO KEEP ONLOOKERS AWAY FROM ENEMY AIRCRAFT

RAF Headquarters have asked for assistance from the Commissioner of Police to keep unauthorised personnel and civilians away from crashed or force-landed enemy aircraft.  As well as the danger of explosion or injury, enemy aircraft are an important source of military intelligence.  It is vital that they remain out of bounds until they have been property examined by a competent RAF technical officer.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 14 JUNE TO DAWN 15 JUNE 1940

Weather  Overcast and gusty, north east wind; cloud base 10500 feet. 

Power Station

Power Station

0827-0856 hrs  Air raid alert.  Two enemy bombers approach at 8000 feet then dive to 4000 feet over Grand Harbour and Valletta dropping three bombs near the NAAFI and one opposite St John’s Co-Cathedral, which fails to explode.  Objectives appear to be HMS Terror, the Dockyard and the Power House.  High explosive bombs are also dropped on the Harbour, Ta’ Xbiex and Fort St Angelo, where one naval rating and one civilian are wounded by an incendiary bomb.  A minesweeper on patrol reports seeing one enemy aircraft damaged, and losing height rapidly, a portion of the port wing falling into the sea.  The aircraft flew off in a northerly direction at low altitude and is later observed coming down in the sea off St Paul’s Bay, leaving only a patch of oil. 

2200 hrs  A defence post reports a light flashing from the direction of Targa Gap; to be investigated.

0420 hrs  A defence post reports a light flashing for about 20 seconds near the pumping station and Naxxar Gap; to be investigated.

Civilian casualties  Birzebbugia  Anglu Farrugia, age 50.  Cospicua  Emanuel Gauci, age 50.  Gzira  Elvira Micallef, age 23; two unidentified females.

OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 14 JUNE 1940

ROYAL NAVY  An air raid on Malta was carried out this morning in which St Angelo was struck by one heavy bomb.

2nd Bn DEVONSHIRE REGIMENT  Private H Kite and Private J Slade were buried with full military honours at St Andrew’s Military Cemetery.

ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS: Bomb Disposal UXB  Dealt with: HE 250lb in Sliema now exploded in situ.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Sandbagging carried out undisturbed by troops and considerable progress made.

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Posted by on June 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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