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PANIC IN KALKARA – BOMBS KILL SIX CHILDREN UNDER TEN
Panic struck the streets of Kalkara this morning when enemy raiders dropped bombs across the community, destroying several houses in St Rocco and Capuchin Streets. Eight civilians were killed in the raid and another eight wounded. Seven of the dead were from a single family: Melania Borg was killed along with her six children, all under ten years of age.
The suddenness and ferocity of the attack shocked the harbour community causing residents to stampede in sheer panic. Police Sergeant Bujega acted swiftly to calm the situation and set out to find immediate shelter for the stricken community. Helped by the team at Cottonera ARP centre he forced open the door of the Armoury at Vittoriosa, which they cleared for the homeless. Once cleaned and made fully ready, the Armoury is expected to accommodate up to 150 refugees from Kalkara.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 7 JULY TO DAWN 8 JULY 1940
Weather Cloudy and hot.
0800-0840 hrs Air raid alert. Enemy aircraft are reported in the vicinity of Malta but do not cross the coast or drop any bombs.
0917-0935 hrs Air raid alert for five enemy bombers which cross the coast and drop bombs Benghaisa, then the Dockyard. Twelve bombs are dropped in the area of Tarxien and Zeitun, severely wounding one officer. Eight civilians are killed and eight wounded in Kalkara; one civilian is killed in Zeitun. One Hurricane pilot picks off an enemy bomber at the edge of the formation and attacks with machine gun fire. He is heard on his radio: “Am just giving the right hand bomber a basin full…going down, going down.” The enemy aircraft is observed falling into the sea south of Filfla.
1000hrs Private A House of the Dorsetshire Regiment is accidentally shot and killed at Zabbar.
1315 hrs Air raid alert. Raid does not materialise.
1835 hrs Air raid alerts. Enemy aircraft approach the Island. Malta fighters are scrambled; the enemy raiders turn back, without crossing the coast or dropping bombs.
Military casualties Private Arthur House, 1st Bn The Dorsetshire Regiment
Civilian casualties Kalkara Melania Borg, age 42; Maggie Borg, age 10; George Borg, age 5; Josephine Borg, age 4; Cettina Borg, age 3; Vincent Borg, age 2; Irene Borg, age 8 months. L Gibbons. Qormi Amante Abela, age 30. Tarxien Joseph Garcia, age 14.
Enemy casualties Tenente Pellegrino Zagnoli, 233a Squadriglia, 59o Gruppo, 41o Stormo, pilot of S79 bomber, shot down; Franco Mora, 233a Squadriglia, 59o Gruppo, 41o Stormo, crewman of S79 bomber, shot down and missing.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SUNDAY 7 JULY 1940
ROYAL NAVY The Mediterranean Fleet, less Ramillies and the 3rd Cruiser Squadron, left Alexandria today to carry out operation MA5, the objective to cover the passage of fast and slow convoys from Malta to Alexandria with evacuees and fleet stores. The aim is to reach cover position east of Cape Passero on Tuesday. Destroyers will proceed with Jervis and Diamond to escort convoys.
AIR HQ 0400 hrs Anti-submarine and search patrol by flare-dropping Swordfish: nothing to report.
ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS Bomb Disposal UXB All unexploded HE bombs and fragments were collected at Marino Pinto, handed over to the Navy, taken out to sea in a minesweeper and dumped at sea. Dealt with 2 incendiary Zurrieq.
2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT Message received for a working party to stand by for loading stores on board ship tomorrow.
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