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BOMBS MISS AIRFIELD AND STRIKE VILLAGE
Enemy bombers attacking Luqa aerodrome missed their target today and created devastation across a nearby village. 25 high explosive bombs were dropped in this morning’s raid. Only one hit the aerodrome, the other 24 rained down on the village of Luqa. Ten houses were demolished and one 16 year old boy was killed.
LORD BEAVERBROOK PRAISES MALTESE VALOUR
Lord Beaverbrook, Minister for Aircraft Production, in a message to Malta said: “The world needs no proof of your people’s devotion to our common cause, but it will never forget their valour and constancy in these days of crisis.” (1)
AIR RAIDS DAWN 22 SEPTEMBER TO DAWN 23 SEPTEMBER 1940
1115-1135 hrs Air raid alert for a formation of four CR 42 fighters escorting five SM 79 bombers which drop 25 bombs around Luqa aerodrome from 15000 feet. One bomb hits the aerodrome and the remainder fall around Luqa village, demolishing ten houses and killing one civilian boy. Two bombs fail to explode. Ack Ack guns engage; no hits claimed. Malta fighters are scrambled and are about to attack at 16000 feet when they are drawn off by a false alarm of a dive-bombing attack. One Gladiator at 10000 feet is surprised and attacked by three enemy fighters but not hit.
Three reported unexploded bombs at Luqa are found to have their safety pins intact.
1210 hrs Hal Far and Luqa areas are declared clear of unexploded bombs. Three dug out by the bomb disposal team were found to have their safety pins in place.
2045 hrs An enemy submarine is reported 1½ miles off Ghallis Tower heading south east. Coastal guns are ordered not to open fire in case the submarine fires back at them but to report the vessel’s location immediately.
2240 hrs A coastal defence post reports the sound of engines offshore.
Civilian casualties Luqa Paul Magri, age 16.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SUNDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 1940
AIR HQ Departures 1 Sunderland.
KALAFRANA Latecoere aircraft carried out 5¾ hour leaflet patrol over Bizerta and Tunis. One Sunderland left for Middle East.
2nd Bn ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS Beach guns in Battalion sector placed under command.
(1) Malta Diary of a War, Michael Galea, PEG 1992
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