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FIGHTER-BOMBERS REPORTED IN RAID OVER LUQA
Messerschmitt fighters have begun carrying bombs on missions over Malta. The fighter-bombers were among 12 MEs which took part in a bombing raid this morning on Luqa aerodrome, along with two JU 88s. Several eye-witnesses reported seeing the Messerschmitts dropping bombs during the raid. They described the fighters making short power dives from 23000 to 10000 feet to drop their bombs, and then take sharp avoiding action. 1st Bn Cheshire Regiment war diary noted: “these aircraft seem very successful. Their attacks are quick and sharp, and they seem to be a match for our Hurricanes.”
VALLETTA BACK IN BUSINESS
Businesses in Valletta have been re-opening their doors, just days after heavy raids caused massive damage across the City. Popular flower shops, cafes and other enterprises are now carrying on their businesses from improvised stands. The Coloseum and Manoel Theatres which were damaged in the raids are due to re-open next week. However, the treasures of St John’s Co Cathedral which was badly hit have been moved to a place of safety.
All Government Departments currently remain in Valletta despite the continuing threat of bombardment. Following damage to the Law Courts, His Majesty’s Superior Courts of Justice has been relocated to the Episcopal Seminary in Floriana. Courts of Magistrates of Judicial Police will operate from the lower part of the Auberge de France in Valletta (entered from Old Bakery Street.) The salvage of Court Records and documents from the destroyed Law Courts has also been proceeding briskly.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 14 MAY TO DAWN 15 MAY 1941
0724-0755 hrs Air raid alert for two JU 88 bombers and 12 ME 109 fighters which cross the coast at Marsaxlokk and drop small bombs on Luqa aerodrome; reports indicate that some are dropped by ME 109s. One bomb falls 50 feet from the camp of 1st Bn Hampshire Regiment and cuts a high-tension cable. Company Quartermaster Flatman is electrocuted and killed while trying to put out a fire caused by the broken cable. Hurricanes are scrambled and Bofors guns engage; no claims.
1253-1320 hrs Air raid alert for one JU 88 which carries out reconnaissance escorted by three Me 109s. Anti-aircraft guns engage; no claims.
1625-1710 hrs Air raid alert for 18 ME 109s which approach the Island from the east and drop bombs on the Ta Qali area. Four Hurricanes are destroyed on the ground. Hurricane fighters are scrambled and engage; two are destroyed by raiders. Pilot P/O C E Hamilton, 185 Squadron, is killed, the other bales out and is injured. Anti-aircraft guns engage; no claims.
2356-0020 hrs Air raid alert for six-eight enemy aircraft which approach the Island singly, crossing the coast from the south west and passing over Grand Harbour. Hurricanes are scrambled and engage one raider without result. Anti-aircraft guns engage; no claims.
0033-0115 hrs Air raid alert; for 16 unidentified enemy aircraft which cross the coast singly and carry out a bombing raid on the Dockyard, Valletta, Luqa, Salina Bay, St Thomas’s Bay and Zabbar, where 31 houses are destroyed. The old civil barracks at St Elmo are damaged, Valletta police depot and several houses in the City destroyed. Two civilians are killed, seven seriously injured. Heavy anti-aircraft guns fire one barrage; no claims.
0145-0210 hrs Air raid alert for a single unidentified enemy aircraft which approaches from the east and drops bombs on the Grand Harbour area and on Safi, where Malta Tank troop billets are destroyed by a mine (not a parachute type, probably a G mine). Heavy anti-aircraft guns fire one barrage; no claims.
0354-0418 hrs Air raid alert; raid does not materialise.
0434-0515 hrs Air raid alert for two unidentified enemy aircraft which approach from the north, passing over Gozo, and drop bombs on Anchor Bay.
Military casualties Pilot Officer Claud Eric Hamilton, Royal Air Force, 185 Squadron; Company Quartermaster Sergeant Robert Henry Flatman, 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment.
OPERATIONS REPORTS WEDNESDAY 14 MAY 1941
ROYAL NAVY Unbeaten attacked 1000 ton schooner; probably sunk.
AIR HQ Departures 6 Hurricanes, 1 Wellington to Mersa Matruh. 69 Squadron Maryland reconnaissance Naples reports convoy vessels. Maryland reconnaissance eastern Tunisian coast. Two Marylands afternoon patrol off eastern Sicilian and eastern Tunisian coasts.
HAL FAR P/O Hamilton killed as a result of aerial engagement with enemy.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB reported 8; dealt with 3 (2 x 250kg; 1 x 500kg).
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