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TIMES PROFILES ROYAL ENGINEERS BOMB DISPOSAL MALTA
Times of Malta, 2 November 1941
The 24thFortress Company includes that which interests every civilian in this war – Bomb Disposal Sections. The men of these sub-units of the Engineers are responsible for the ‘disposal’ of unexploded bombs here, and dangerous as is their task, they are the last to claim any special merit for their job. Quietly efficient, experienced in handling their dangerous charges, both here and in Britain, these soldiers take their orders in a routine manner.
MATTER OF FACT COURAGE
Their attitude is a commendable one. Trained and provided with the very latest information concerning the types of fuzes and explosives they are likely to encounter, they simply ignore any further danger. The bomb disposal officer, under whom they work, examines each new charge, and, when his decision is made and line of action decided upon, Sappers of the Bomb Disposal Section carry on as if with a parade-ground order.
Despite their reluctance to allow the factor of heroics to be associated with them, these Sappers have, nevertheless, done sterling work here, amid breathtaking hazards. Readers will appreciate also that these risks are taken in a premeditated manner, without the exhilaration of actual battle to lend a spur to courage.
Nothing at any hour comes amiss to these soldiers. They are prepared to tackle at any time of the day or night any enemy missile from a small fire bomb to the heaviest high explosive. In Britain they have tackled all types of Nazi bomb, while their experience in Malta covers both German and Italian efforts.”
GOVERNOR & C IN C MALTA: REPORT FOR OCTOBER
There were five day raids and ten night raids during October. Casualties were seven killed and seven seriously injured (3 men, 2 women and 2 children in each case). 12 houses and 1 store demolished or seriously damaged. Reduction in price of essential imported commodities was announced on 30th October and has had admirable effect locally.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 2 NOVEMBER TO DAWN 3 NOVEMBER 1941
0855 hrs Air raid alarm. No engagement.
1201 hrs Air raid alarm. Three plus Macchi fighters approached Island from NE split formation and crossed coast just S of Grand Harbour. Heavy Ack Ack engaged by means of barrage and height control fire.
2216 hrs Air raid alarm. Two enemy aircraft approached Island from N and dropped bombs in sea off Tal Qroqq.
Military casualties Sergeant Harold Forth, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR); Sergeant Ernest Spry, RAFVR, both 40 Squadron, Sergeant Ian McCalman, Royal Australian Air Force.
Enemy casualties Tenente Francesco Toscano, pilot; Sottotenente Felice Bussolin, Sottotenente, pilot.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SUNDAY 2 NOVEMBER 1941
ROYAL NAVY Four Albacores sent to attack sulphur factory at Licata with good results. Submarine HMS Tetrarch under command of Lt.Cdr. George H Greenway, RN has failed to arrive in Gibraltar, having sailed from Malta on 26 October 1941 for refit in the USA. She is presumed lost while passing over Italian mines off Capo Granditola, Sicily.
HAL FAR Two Hurricanes 185 Squadron on enemy ferry service patrol off Panteleria. Two Fulmars, Fleet Air Arm also on patrol off Pantelleria. Nothing sighted.
LUQA Wellingtons of 40 Squadron attacked Castel Benito aerodrome in company with Wellingtons of 104 Squadron.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB Reported 7; dealt with 28 (27 x Thermos; 1 x 2kg incendiary).
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