12 August 1940: Night Raid Terror for Family Sheltering in Well

12 Aug

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Searchlights in action over Malta

Searchlights in action over Malta


Enemy bombers returned to Malta tonight with a heavy and prolonged raid over coastal gun positions, airfields, Grand Harbour and the submarine base. In the first bombing raid since 26 July, raiders crossed the coast at 10pm, dropping incendiaries as well as high explosives (HE) on a range of strategic positions across the Island. Malta fighters were scrambled and engaged the enemy in a dog-fight, while anti-aircraft guns held fire around them.

Inevitably bombs struck nearby civilian areas. One heavy HE bomb exploded near a well where a civilian family had taken shelter. The shock waves from the explosion caused severe concussion to one of their young children.


Weather  Fine and hot.

1321-1340 hrs  Air raid alert for one enemy bomber and six fighters which cross the Island and pass over Kalafrana where they are engaged by Ack Ack fire. Malta fighters are up but do not engage. No bombs are dropped.

2100-2150 hrs  Air raid alert for two enemy bombers which approach from the east. They are picked up by searchlights heading for Hal Far, where they drop incendiary bombs on the airfield. Four incendiaries and four high explosive bombs are dropped on Birzebuggia. Two fall near the Officers’ Mess of 2nd Bn Devonshire Regt and one incendiary near their administrative HQ. Five bombs are dropped around Fort San Rocco and one beyond Pietru. Ack Ack guns hold fire as one Sunderland, one Swordfish and one Hurricane are in the air.   

2155-2220 hrs  Air raid alert for one enemy bomber which is picked up by searchlights as it crosses the coast again and drops incendiary bombs in the sea north of Grand Harbour, then on Verdala and Zabbar. A small child suffers severe concussion when a bomb explodes 30 yards from a well in which his family was sheltering.

2235 hrs  Another raider is heard but evades the lights. It is attacked by a Malta fighter and retaliates with machine gun fire forcing the Hurricane to land. A bomber is then picked up by searchlights over Grand Harbour. Bombs are dropped on Kalafrana and Gzira areas; another five high explosives are dropped in the sea in Marsaxlokk Bay.

2305 hrs  Raiders passed.


AIR HQ  1300-1610 hrs  One Hudson reconnaissance Catania, Augusta and Cyracuse.


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Posted by on August 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


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