9 February 1942: Convoy Delays Force Cut in Domestic Fuel

09 Feb

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  • Seven night raids
  • Fuel depot set on fire
  • Eight unexploded bombs jettisoned near Kalafrana


Mosta (NWMA Malta)

Despite continuing exceptionally cold weather conditions in Malta, the Government has to make drastic cuts to rations of kerosene.  The fuel is used for heating and cooking in Malta – and is especially needed by civilians bombed out of their own homes.  Difficulties in running supply convoys from North Africa have made the cuts necessary.  As Lt Gen Dobbie reports to the Secretary of State for the Colonies:  “We are reverting to summer kerosene ration on 9th February instead of the beginning of April.  This is a measure which long term supply makes necessary.  It will cause temporary inconvenience.”


Weather  Early morning mist.  Wind south west.  Warmer later in day; clear sky.

1035 hrs  P/O Stuart of 249 Squadron, Ta Qali, crashes while making an air test and is killed.

1346-1401 hrs  Two ME 109 fighters approach from the north at 10000 feet, losing height until they reach Kalafrana at 50 feet, when they recede.  Guns do not engage.

1500-1534 hrs  One JU 88 bomber approaches from the north, skirts the Island to the east then crosses the coast near Kalafrana before receding north via Grand Harbour.  No bombs are dropped.  Malta’s fighters are airborne; no interceptions.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.

1600-1625 hrs  Three JU 88s escorted by ME 109s approach from the north and drop bombs on Ta Qali, Mosta and Qrendi.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.  Four civilians are killed in Mosta.  Bombs on Ta Qali camp cause considerable damage to a Photo Section and Sick Quarters, blackouts and a barrack block.  Three airmen and one member of Army medical staff are killed.  Three officers are badly injured.

1740-1808 hrs  Two plus ME 109s approach from the north, patrol at low altitude north of the Island, then recede.

1859-1918 hrs  One JU 88 approaches from the north east and drops bombs in Kalafrana Bay.  Searchlights illuminate the target; Heavy and Light Ack Ack engage.

2012-2046 hrs  One aircraft approaches from the north.  Heavy Ack Ack engage and bombs are dropped in the sea off St Thomas Bay.

2134-2327 hrs  Two aircraft approach from the north.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.  Bombs are dropped in the sea off Grand Harbour, on land west of Kalafrana and in the Gharghur and Delimara areas.  RE Bomb Disposal receive a report of eight unexploded bombs near Kalafrana.

0037-0104 hrs  One aircraft approaches from the north.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.  Bombs are dropped in the Bingemma and Baida areas.

0112-0132 hrs  One aircraft approaches from the north; no bombs are dropped and guns do not engage.

0344-0351 hrs  One aircraft approaches from the north, turns to the north of Gozo and recedes.

0408-0445 hrs  One aircraft approaches from the north and drops bombs in the Rabat and Ghar Lapsi areas.  Heavy Ack Ack engage.

0520-0610 hrs  One JU 88 approaches from the north and is engaged by Heavy Ack Ack.  The aircraft drops bombs in the Kalafrana and Birzebbuga areas.  A flare falls on the Shell Depot, Birzebugga, and ignites waste oil from fuel tanks, starting a fire.  A fire engine is called; by 0600 hrs the blaze is well under control; it is extinguished by 0645 hrs.

Military casualties  Pilot Officer James Stuart, 249 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (VR); Corporal Alfred Tapping, Royal Air Force (VR); Leading Aircraftsman Valentine Turner, Royal Air Force (VR); Private William Spinks, Medical Section, 8th Battalion The Manchester Regiment.

Civilian casualties  Mosta  Vincenzo Borg, age 55; Annetto Mifsud Ellul, A & CE, age 43; Marietta Pizzuto, age 50; Salvina Scerri, age 28; Qormi  Carmelo Bonnici, age 45; Francis Felice, age 56.  Siggiewi  Wistin Baldacchino, age 58.  Valletta  Spiro Cefai, age 43.


LUQA  69 Squadron  Two Marylands SF6 patrol; one Maryland shipping search Beurat-Tripoli.

TA QALI  Three aircraft from Hal Far 185 and 605 Squadrons arrived for operations at Ta Qali.  Six airmen attached Kalafrana on police course.

1st BN THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT HQ and A Company fired Bren Guns on Pembroke Ranges.  Working party again sent to Marina Pinto; Luqa working party as usual.  CO held a conference in the afternoon to discuss the move of C and A Coys; to be completed by 1200 hrs 13 February.  B, C and D Companies held their weekly cross-country run.

8TH BN THE MANCHESTER  After a moderately heavy raid on Ta Qali area Private W Spinks of the Medical Section was killed by enemy action.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 10; dealt with 1 (50kg) not including anti-personnel bombs and incendiaries.


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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in 1942, February 1942, Uncategorized


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