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8 July 1940: Quarrymen Dig 30 New Rock Shelters

08 Jul

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NEW SHELTERS IN STONE QUARRIES NEAR LUQA

Stone workers in the quarries of Kirkop have put their skills to good use in creating thirty new shelters around the village.  Recognising that the safest possible shelter against bombing raids on Malta is under rock, the stone-cutters, miners and masons of the Island’s celebrated limestone quarries have dedicated hours of labour to creating shelters.  The shelters’ proximity to Luqa aerodrome makes them particularly welcome.  Some 30 such refuges are now complete and are being made available to the public for safe shelter during attacks. (1) 

INTERNATIONAL PRESS REPORTS ON MALTA RAIDS

International newspapers are today reporting that three enemy aircraft were shot down in twelve hours in Malta over the weekend.  According to the press, two crashed into the sea on Saturday night, when raiders bombed and machine-gunned an aerodrome, wounding a soldier and slightly injuring four civilians.  During four air raids on Sunday, they report, Malta fighters shot a raider down into the sea, two soldiers were killed and six wounded, and nine civilians killed and one wounded.  Several houses were destroyed.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 8 JULY TO DAWN 9 JULY 1940

Weather  Heavy cloud in the afternoon.  Strong winds and heavy swells in Marsaxlokk Bay. 

Lockheed Hudson

Lockheed Hudson

0535-0555 hrs  Air raid alert.  No bombs are dropped.    

0825-0845 hrs  Air raid alert.  No bombs are dropped.        

1030-1050 hrs  Air raid alert.  No raid materialises.

1420-1445 hrs  Air raid alert.  A formation of enemy aircraft is heard above the heavy cloud and engaged by Malta fighters and successfully turned away five miles from the Island.    

1700-1715 hrs Air raid alert.  One Hudson aircraft lands in Malta; no enemy raiders are seen.     

OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 8 JULY 1940

AIR HQ  Arrivals  3 Sunderland.  0445 hrs  Anti-submarine patrol and reconnaissance by Swordfish: nothing to report.  PM  At the request of the Commander in Chief one Hudson aircraft carried out reconnaissance to a depth of 265 miles off Malta: no enemy forces sighted. 

KALAFRANA  A refuelling lighter broke its moorings due to a heavy swell and was reported adrift in Marsaxlokk Bay.  It was subsequently secured by the Mate of Andromeda, who dived overboard with mooring ropes.  Three Sunderlands of 228 and 230 Squadrons arrived.  One recruit medically examined for the RAF.  One bus ambulance sent to Luqa for permanent duty.

ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS  Bomb Disposal UXB  Dealt with 1 incendiary Birkirkara, 2 incendiary Kirkop, 3 incendiary Mqabba.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Working parties loading stores at Marsaxlokk.  Owing the the frequency of air raid alerts little progress was made to the platoon’s defence works.

3rd Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT  Two recruits attested.

(1) Source: When Malta Stood Alone, Joseph Micallef, Interprint Malta, 1981

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Posted by on July 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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