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WEATHER GROUNDS AIRCRAFT
Gale force winds and heavy cloud prevent significant enemy raids and hamper operations from Malta’s air bases.
A heavy swell this evening grounds the Catalina carrying General Scobell and family away from Malta.
Hurricanes make a difficult landing returning from a mission in darkness.
WORKING PARTIES MOBILISED TO IMPROVE RAF LUQA
Central Infantry Brigade Order No 1
Task Dispersal of aircraft and improvement of runways for RAF.
Working Parties These will be made up as follows:
- 2nd Bn The Royal West Kent Regiment – 100 men
- 1st Bn The Chesire Regiment – 50 men
- 11th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers – 100 men
Transport All parties will have one lorry per 20 men available for work on the site…Units will be responsible for their own traffic regulation.
Tools Shovels and picks will be [issued] on site. 2 Devon are returning 150 shovels.
Rations Haversack rations for midday meal will be carried. It is hoped to arrange distribution of hot tea.
Dress Denims, steel helmets. NO respirators, NO rifles. Anti-aircraft Light Machine Guns will, however, be taken in accordance with this HQ Signal 0.921 of today’s date…
Further demands on an increased scale are likely to be made. The maximum commitment of this Brigade will be 500 men.
AIR RAIDS 0001 HRS TO 2359 HRS 9 JANUARY 1942
Weather Cold – squally, heavy cloud; wind fresh, force five to gale force; Thundery showers.
0942-1009 hrs One aircraft on shipping reconnaissance round the Island, 10-20 miles from the coast.
1800 hrs Nine Hurricanes scrambled at Ta Qali: air raid alarm; no contacts. Planes got down in darkness with difficulty under personal direction of the C O.
1821-1904 hrs Fourteen plus aircraft (bombers and fighter escort) approach from the north in four formations. One raid crosses the coast near Kalafrana and drops bombs west of Hal Far aerodrome and near Ta Silg [radar station]. The second and third raids drop bombs in the Wied at rear of Sans Souci and in the sea off Zonkor Point. The fourth raid crosses the coast near St Paul’s Bay, dropping bombs in the sea near Madliena and Torri Qalet Marku. Six hurricanes are airborne; Heavy Ack Ack fire barrages.
1904-2025 hrs Air raid warning. Raid does not materialise.
2015 hrs Air raid warning. One aircraft crosses the coast. Ack Ack engages and aircraft recedes.
OPERATIONS REPORTS: FRIDAY 9 JANUARY 1942
AIR HQ Arrivals five Marylands, one Beaufighter from Middle East; three Blenheims, two Hurricanes from El Adem.
LUQA 69 Squadron One Beaufighter photo-reconnaissance Tripoli (F/O Warburton), one Maryland shipping search; one Maryland SF14 patrol. 107 Squadron One Blenheim SF2b patrol.
TA QALI 242 Squadron under S/Ldr Wells with seven Officers and seven Sergeant Pilots attached this station for operations from Hal Far.
1st BN CHESHIRE REGIMENT Companies are re-firing the Tommy Gun and Anti Tank Rifle. The day was free from air raids: a surprising change. At dusk 14 aircraft were over and dropped bombs but damage was negligeable. The night was quiet. We were to have held a “Close Valletta” exercise between 0100 hrs and 0545 hrs. This was started but owing to bad weather and to resultant darkness preventing use of tanks it was postponed.
1st BN DORSETSHIRE REGIMENT 1815 hrs Four bombs in field in front of D3. Two rifles and one water tank damaged. Four bombs in Ta Ingrau area bearing 270 degrees from Tas Sienja Tower. One stick of bombs between RA7 and SA1. One stick of bombs in Latnia area. No military damage or casualties.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB Reported 7; dealt with 2 (1 x 50kg, 1 x Thermos) not including anti-personnel bombs and incendiaries.
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