3 March 1942: Enemy fighter machine-guns horse and cart

03 Mar

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Qawra Tower

Qawra Tower


  • Dockyard and submarine base
  • Hal Far, Kalafrana, Luqa and Ta Qali airfields
  • Mellieha and Qawra Tower
  • Zabbar and Sliema
  • Attard and Birkirkara
  • Safi and Gudja
  • Zebbug, Bir id Deheb
  • Siggiewi, and Bajda Ridge


A Messerschmitt 109 swooped down and let off a hail of machine-gun fire at a horse and cart this afternoon near Hal Far airfield, killing the horse instantly and wounding the Maltese driver and his passenger.  The cart was delivering rations to the Headquarters of 225 Light Ack Ack Regiment near the airfield, when enemy raiders approached.  The driver and Gunner J Martin of 225 LAA Regt were taken to hospital; the damaged cart has been sent for repair.


Royal Artillery Administrative Instruction – 3 March 42

The following orders regarding leave will be strictly enforced.  In all British units leave may be granted by units as follows:

  • Weekly leave not in excess of one day in seven, which shall not be cumulative.
  • Quarterly leave of five-day periods to be granted in strict rotation to all personnel, up to a total of 5 per cent per Regiment on quarterly leave at the same time.


Weather  Wind north east.  Little cloud; warmer.  Later 80% cloud at 8000 feet.

0750-0925 hrs  Two Messerschmitts circle the Island.

0935-1257 hrs  One continuous raid: bombs are dropped on Luqa and the Safi strip, the Dockyard and Lazaretto.  Two unexploded 1000kg bombs are reported in Birkirkara, 200 yards from the Headquarters of 11 Battalion Lancashire Regiment.  A priority UXB report is telephoned through to Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal: the bombs are defuzed and removed.

1320-1350 hrs  Two Messerschmitts circle off the coast near the Dockyard.

1419-1525 hrs  Six JU 88s and four ME 109s carrying bombs, escorted by 20 more fighters, approach the Island.  The ME 109s drop nine bombs on Hal Far airfield, damaging one Albacore, making five craters on the aerodrome and two on dispersal, and injuring a soldier and a civilian.

1440 hrs  The JU 88s pass over Hal Far and drop bombs on Luqa causing craters on the aerodrome and runway, and damaging five Wellingtons and one Beaufighter on the ground.  Gunners of 225 Light Ack Ack Battery attack a JU 88 as it dives from 7000 to 3000 feet to attack:  one hit is claimed.  One ME 109 is also damaged.

1538-1651 hrs  One JU 88 and five ME 109s drop bombs in the sea south of Gozo.

1657 hrs  Five JU 88s plus thirty ME 109s and Heinkels approach the Island.

1700 hrs  Three JU 88s drop bombs on Safi.

1750 hrs  Two JU 88s and seven Messerschmitts attack Luqa, dropping bombs the runway which is rendered unserviceable.  One Wellington is set on fire and destroyed.  Heavy and Light Ack Ack engage.

1850 hrs  All clear.

1937-0618 hrs  Nineteen aircraft coming in singly in turns, and then receding drop bombs on Zabbar, the Dockyard, Qawra Tower, Ta Qali, Sliema, Safi, Hal Far, Siggiewi, Attard, Kalafrana, Luqa, Gudja, Bajda Ridge, Mellieha, Zebbug and Bir id Deheb (where an electric cable is cut and left sparking).  Ack Ack fire 35 barrages.

2200 hrs  A Hurricane from Malta Night Fighter Unit, Ta Qali, suffers engine failure.  Pilot P/O Winton manages to bale out before the aircraft crashes and burns out.

2230 hrs  A Wellington flying in from Gibraltar slightly overshoots the extension of the runway at Ta Qali – no damage.


ROYAL NAVY  Upright is damaged by a near-miss during an air raid: sailing for United Kingdom is postponed.  One Albacore on a search in the vicinity of Lampedusa sighted one merchant vessel westbound but three Swordfish sent to attack failed to locate it.

AIR HQ  Arrivals  Eight Wellingtons from Gibraltar; one Wellington from LG 09; one Catalina from Rod el Forog; one Sunderland from Aboukir.  Departures  Two Wellingtons to Shalufa.

HAL FAR  Three Swordfish of 830 Squadron are dispatched to attack a merchant vessel sighted earlier by an Albacore.  The ship was not located; all aircraft returned safely.

LUQA 0740-0746 hrs  One Maryland 69 Squadron despatched on SF 2A patrol; returned early with mechanical trouble.  1408-1805 hrs  One Maryland 69 Squadron carried out special search.

TA QALI  Flying Officer G Robertson admitted to No 90 General Hospital.

ROYAL ARTILLERY HQ  No of alerts:  8.  Attacks on Harbour and Luqa.  Night raid lasted 11 hours.  One ME 109 damaged by Heavy Ack Ack day.

ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS  Staff Sergeant Jarvis Whittaker buried at St Andrews Cemetery.

1st BN THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT Normal training during the morning.  Rehearsal ‘Working Light Scale Equipment’.  Air raids throughout the day; large number of bombs dropped.  Telephone line to B Company blown up.  A raids continuously throughout the night: a steady stream of aircraft bombing Luqa.

1st BN THE DORSETSHIRE REGIMENT  2000 hrs  Bombs area 499217.  No military damage or casualties.

2ND BN THE ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS  Several raid alerts.  KMI hit: no casualties – very fortunate.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 21 February-15 March 128 (average 6 per day).


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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in 1942, March 1942


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