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TUNNELLERS TO CREATE UNDERGROUND WAR HQ
173 Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers, is being mobilised for posting to Malta at the earliest opportunity. 173 was one of several tunnelling companies created during World War I to dig and maintain mines and other underground military facilities. They have been sent to Malta in response to a request from the Governor and Commander in Chief last month (maltagc70 8 May 1941) for additional personnel experienced in rock mining. One of their first priorities will be to create a new underground combined War HQ, an operating theatre and stores for essential commodities which have proved vulnerable to heavy enemy bombing.
AUSTRALIAN NAVAL COMMODORE LAUNCHES APPEAL TO HELP MALTESE
More than £700 has been subscribed at a cocktail party held by an Australian naval commodore to help the Maltese people, according to the Sydney press today. The party was organised in as part of an appeal for funds to support air raid victims in Malta.
Launching the appeal, Commodore Muirhead-Gould told the press: ”Although Malta has not been set on fire because of its stone buildings, the casualties there from more than 640 raids have been heavier than might have been expected… More than 30000 people have had to evacuate their homes and are living in camps or underground caves. They need our assistance and the need is urgent and vital.”
The appeal is being organised by a committee of Australian naval officers who have happy memories of service in Malta. They intend to promote the campaign in Australia through the press, radio, films and printed circulars and hope to raise £10,000 for Malta.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 17 JUNE TO DAWN 18 JUNE 1941
Weather Hot and sunny.
0210-0421 hrs Air raid alert for six unidentified enemy aircraft which approach from the north east. Four of them cross the coast at various points, and drop 15kg bombs on Iz-Zebbieh, Hal Far, Luqa, Ta Qali, Rabat and in the sea off St George’s Bay. 27 of the anti-personnel bombs are dropped close to the headquarters of 8th Bn Manchester Regiment at Ta Saliba. Heavy anti-aircraft guns fire two barrages; no claims.
Military casualties Master Gunner Antonis Fiteni, Warrant Officer II, 4 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery.
OPERATIONS REPORTS TUESDAY 17 JUNE 1941
ROYAL NAVY 830 Squadron Operation to attack enemy A/S vessels in Lampedusa, but were forced to turn back owing to bad weather.
AIR HQ Arrivals 2 Bombay. Departures 9 Hurricane, 1 Blenheim, 2 Hudson, 2 Bombay, 2 Wellington. 69 Squadron 5 Marylands on reconnaissance.
2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT New anti-aircraft guns for ground defences under occupation at Tal Handaq and Ghakba.
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