11 May 1941: Five Hour Raid on Luqa Destroys 40 Houses, 4 Killed

11 May

Malta – World War 2. First visit to maltagc70? CLICK HERE  

Get daily updates direct to your computer – sign up to follow maltagc70 (see R) 

Damaged Maryland

Damaged Maryland


An almost continuous 5½ hour raid was launched over Malta this evening; the main target was Luqa aerodrome. From 7pm onwards an estimated 30 aircraft approached the Island in waves to launch repeated attacks.  Two Hurricane night fighters were scrambled twice but found no opportunities to engage the raiders.  Searchlights illuminated two raiders and anti-aircraft guns fired six barrages but there were no claims of enemy aircraft damaged or destroyed. 

A large number of bombs hit Luqa aerodrome, damaging buildings and aircraft. One hangar was hit by a bomb, one Maryland was also hit and burned out, a second badly damaged and two others slightly damaged.  Water and electricity supplies to the airfield have been disrupted.  Three unexploded have been reported in the area.  Bombs also damages civilian property over a wide area:  40 houses were demolished, four civilians killed and seven seriously injured.


Troops have been reminded that a considerable wastage of petrol may be caused through losses from leaking containers. From now on the motor transport officer of each unit is required to ensure that all deliveries of canned petrol by contractors are carefully examined before being accepted.  All leaking containers should be rejected.  The orders include the reminder that greatest care should be exercised in the handling of petrol containers, particularly 2 gallon ones, which are not designed for rough treatment and are easily damaged. 


  • 4.5” HE 178 rounds
  • 3.7” HE 1289 rounds
  • 3” HE 151 rounds
  • 40mm 970 rounds

The Governor and Commander in Chief has recommended to the War Office that 40mm Bofors guns should be equipped for firing against tanks and armoured landing craft as a precaution against enemy invasion. He has requested 3000 rounds of solid shot by the first available convoy.


Weather  Fine.

0905-0915 hrs  Air raid alert for two SM 79 bombers which approach the Island but do not cross the coast or drop any bombs.  Two anti-aircraft gun positions engage; no claims. 

0919-1005 hrs  Air raid alert for six unidentified enemy aircraft which approach from the north and patrol to the east.  One JU 88 bomber crosses the Island from Marsaxlokk to St Paul’s Bay and is engaged by anti-aircraft guns; no claims.  Hurricanes are scrambled; one chases a JU 88 out to sea and severely damages it.

1830-1850 hrs  Air raid alert triggered by the return of friendly aircraft.

2032-2230 hrs  Air raid alert for 19 unidentified aircraft which approach the Island and launch a bombing attack dropping bombs on Spinola, Luqa, Grand Harbour, Fleur de Lys, Clements, Ta Qali, Zeitun and St Paul’s Bay.  Searchlights effect two short illuminations and anti-aircraft guns engage; no claims.

0017-0128 hrs  Air raid alert for 15 enemy aircraft which cross the coast at various places from the north and east in a continuous stream, dropping bombs on Luqa and Safi, Grand Harbour and Valletta, and the Tarxien area.  Searchlights illuminate the raiders on two occasions.

0154-0235 hrs  Air raid alert for unidentified aircraft which cross the coast at Marsaxlokk and drop bombs on Kalafrana and Luqa.

0553-0610 hrs  Air raid alert; raid does not materialise. 

Military casualties  Lance Bombardier Saviour Mangion, 4 Battery, 5 Coast Regiment, Royal Malta Artillery.

Civilian casualties  Zeitun  Dolores Degabriele, age 5; Joseph Degabriele, age 2; Bernarda Mifsud, age 33.


AIR HQ Arrivals 3 Bombay. Departures 5 Blenheim to Gibraltar. 21 Squadron left for UK. 69 Squadron Maryland reconnaissance Cape Bon to Trapani.  Maryland shuttle service Zante and back.  Maryland patrol Greek coast. 0330-1600 hrs Beaufighters standing patrol over fifth destroyer flotilla.   Operations by Wellingtons and Swordfish against Tripoli.   

MALTA SIGNALS COMPANY 28 pdr cable Camerata to St Elmo and 28 pdr St James to St Elmo cut by enemy action.


All written content © maltagc70 unless otherwise attributed. For conditions of use contact

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in 1941, May 1941


Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: