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8 January 1942: Bomb Disposal Team Tackles 450 Anti-personnel Bombs

08 Jan
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COMPOSITE SUMMARY OF ARMY BOMB DISPOSAL WORK IN MALTA FOR THE PERIOD 30 JUNE TO 30 SEPTEMBER 1941

Lt G D Carroll (l) and men of RE Bomb Disposal Section, Malta

Army Bomb Disposal Establishment:  One Officer, 20 Other Ranks, Royal Engineers

  • Total unexploded bombs dealt (UXB) with during period: 584
  • Including High explosives (50-500kg) 36; Incendiary 94; Anti-personnel (Thermos)  454
  • No of excavations: 8 (max depth 18 feet; max offset 8 feet)

SUPPLIES FOR MALTA

The fast transport ship Glengyle arrives after a trouble-free run from Alexandria, carrying interim supplies of fuel, food and ammunition for Malta.

AIR RAIDS 0001 HRS TO 2359 HRS 8 JANUARY 1942

Weather cold but fair.

0250-0709 hrs  Four aircraft approach from the North East and patrol round the Island.  One aircraft crosses the coast near Hal Far at 4000 feet and drops bombs on Qrendi Landing Strip near defence posts of the Kings Own Malta Regiment.  Aircraft on patrol are within range on three occasions.  Heavy Ack Ack engages by immediate barrage.  One aircraft patrols near sea level in for 1½  hours; Bofors engage the aircraft in the Kalafrana-Hal Far areas.

0925 hrs Aircraft are scrambled from Ta Qali.

0930-1010 hrs  Two JU 88s escorted by 25 fighters approach from the north.  The fighter escort remains to the west and south east of the Island.  The JU 88 came in over Delimara and dropped bombs on Luqa.  14 houses demolished.  16 Hurricanes airborne – these remain over shipping convoy out to sea.  Heavy  Ack Ack engaged.

Civilian casualties  Luqa  Mary Camenzuli, age 78; Joseph Penza, age 71; Josephine Psaila, age 24; Teresa Sammut, age 68; Peter Vella, age 60.

1154-1207 hrs  Air raid warning.  Raid does not materialise.

1230-1239 hrs  Air raid warning.  Aircraft identified as friendly.

1357-1414 hrs  Raid does not materialise.

1809-1909 hrs  Six aircraft approach from the north but only one JU 88 crosses the coast east of Grand Harbour.  It approaches Luqa but is turned away by gunfire, dropping three unexploded bombs west of Qormi and a further stick in the sea south of Lapsi.  Heavy Ack Ack engages.  A second JU 88 approaches from the south east and drops bombs on Delimara Point, then recedes.

Night  No raids.  Believed due to bogged conditions of Sicilian aerodromes and enemy preoccupation with reinforcements for Tripoli. Local gales prevented Wellingtons operating from Luqa.

Military casualties  Sergeant Sidney Goldsmith, Royal Air Force, 59 Squadron; Sergeant Robert Jones, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (VR), 59 Squadron; Sergeant Thomas Stott, Royal Air Force (VR), 59 Squadron, Douglas Williams, Royal Air Force.  Gunner Alfred Goldsmith, 74th Light Ack Ack Regiment.

OPERATIONS REPORTS: THURSDAY 8 JANUARY 1942

HMS Glengyle

ROYAL NAVY  Arrivals  Glengyle and Force C: Lance, Lively, Jaguar and Havock.

AIR HQ  Arrivals  Two Hudsons, one Wellington, one Whitney from Gib. Departures: six Blenheims, nine Hudsons to 108 MU; two Wellingtons to Mersa Matruh; one Whitley to Kabrit.

LUQA  69 Squadron  One Beaufighter photo-reconnaissance Sicilian aerodromes; one Maryland SF14 patrol; one Maryland SF15 patrol; one Maryland SF6 patrol. 18 Squadron  One Blenheim special search.

TA QALI  Aerodrome [conditions] improving.  100 airmen took over billets in Mosta: Officers moved in and filled up Torri Cumbo (dispersal of troops).  Delivery Flight ceased to operate at Ta Qali: 24 airmen of Delivery Flight returned to Luqa.

1st BN CHESHIRE REGIMENT  Approximately four Ack Ack machine guns per Company were kept mounted in case of dive-bombing attacks, but nothing beyond the normal bombing was encountered.  During the morning there was one bombing raid on Luqa.  No aircraft were shot down.

1st BN DORSETSHIRE REGIMENT  0800 hrs  B Company in re-occupation of Bir Miftub position.  1500 hrs  B Company withdrawn to billets.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 1; dealt with (1 x 70kg) not including anti-personnel bombs and incendiaries.

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(1) UXB Malta, S A M Hudson, History Press 2010

 

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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in 1942, January 1942

 

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