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LONDON GAZETTE ANNOUNCES MEDALS FOR DOCKYARD WORKERS
The London Gazette today announced the awards for gallant conduct to two workers at Malta Dockyard. B J Lewis, Chargemen of Fitters, and Frank Mallia, Chargeman of Labourers were both awarded the George Medal which recognises civilian gallantry in the face of enemy action. These are the first such awards to the Island’s civilians since the Medal was instigated on 24 September 1940 by King George VI. The London Gazette citation read:
“During an enemy air raid on the area of the Corradine a bomb scattered splinters and debris dangerously near to a gun and its crew, one of the crew being killed. To protect the equipment from further damage volunteers were called for to erect round it splinter plates, weighing three-quarters of a ton each. Lewis and Mallia volunteered immediately for this service and Mallia’s exemplary coolness and his leadership inspired his gang to undertake the task.
On the following day these men and their gangs underook the transport and re-erection of a gun, a task which in normal times would have taken fully four days using all available daylight. They did it in five days and three hours in spite of frequent aerial bombardments, with no protection beyond their steel helmets.”
AIR RAIDS DAWN 18 DECEMBER TO DAWN 19 DECEMBER 1940
Weather Very cold and wet.
1035-1045 Air raid alert; raid does not materialise.
1255 hrs A mine is reported at Mellieha by 1st Bn Kings Own Malta Regiment.
1305 hrs A mine is reported off Mqabba by 2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment.
1326 hrs A mine explodes of Marfa east; no damage.
2330-2359 hrs Air raid alert for a single enemy bomber approaching the Island. Bombs are dropped on the Dockyard, breaking glass and frames of doors and windows in the Torpedo Depot, Msida and in the Dockyard Police quarters at Pieta. Bombs also fall on Zabbar areas and in the sea off Grand Harbour. Further bombs on the Tigne area and near the Army ranges break windows at St George’s Barracks, used by Navy evacuated families. The bomber is picked up by searchlights and pursued by a fighter, before being shot down in flames off Benghaisa.
0145-0159 Air raid alert for a single enemy aircraft approaching the Island. Searchlights are illuminated but do not locate the raider. No attack develops.
Enemy casualties Tenente Giulio Molteni, 193a Squadriglia, 87o Gruppo, 30o Stormo, pilot of a Macchi SM 79 bomber.
OPERATIONS REPORTS WEDNESDAY 18 DECEMBER 1940
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