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6 March 1942: Malta Under Alert 33 Hours in 48 – Bombing Indiscriminate

06 Mar

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Searchlights in action (NWMA)

  • 33 hours 20 mins under alert in 48 hours – 7am on 5th March to 7am on 7th
  • 70,000 kg of high explosive bombs and 4000kg of incendiaries over Malta
  • Bombing ‘indiscriminate’ through ten hour night raid, say General Staff
  • Civilians trapped under collapsed houses
  • German pilot taken prisoner 

AIR RAIDS DAWN 6 MARCH TO DAWN 7 MARCH 1942

Weather  Wind south.  Little high cloud.

0816 hrs  43 enemy aircraft – ME 109 fighters and at least sixteen JU 88 bombers – attack the submarine base, dropping twenty 1000kg, ten 250kg and fifty 50kg High Explosive bombs.  Tigne Barracks are damaged but the submarine base escapes serious damage.  Two civilians are killed and one missing.  Five houses are destroyed – civilians are believed still trapped under rubble.

1140 hrs  A second attack targets Luqa, dropping bombs on Ta Karach ridge, Tal Liebru area and road between Luqa and Gudja.

1152 hrs  All clear.

1511 hrs  Four JU 88s and three ME 109s approach the Island and cross the coast, heading for Ta Qali.

1520 hrs  Four 250kg and eight 50kg bombs are dropped on Ta Qali: two land on the aerodrome.  One JU 88 is damaged by Light Ack Ack.  Heavy Ack Ack also engage.

1525 hrs  Six Hurricanes of  605 Squadron intercept the enemy aircraft.  Eight miles to the west of Filfla, F/Lt Stones catches an ME 109 and attacks it with a long burst of fire, from nose to tail: claimed as destroyed.  One parachute is observed coming down eight miles further north.

1615 hrs  All clear.

1630 hrs  One JU 88 and nine ME 109s approach the Island and carry out reconnaissance over Hal Far and Kalafrana areas.

1700 hrs  Four ME 109s drop sixteen HE bombs on the Ta Qali area.  Two land on the aerodrome.  Heavy Ack Ack gunners shoot down one ME 109 over Mosta.  The pilot bales and is spotted landing between Siggiewi and Zebbug.  He is arrested and taken to the Guard room at Ta Qali.

1745 hrs  All clear.

1754-1816 hrs  One JU 88 patrols the Island.

1847-1957 hrs  Air raid alert.  Raid does not materialise.

2207-0645 hrs  Fifteen enemy aircraft including JU 88s and two Italian BR 20 bombers approach Malta in relays.  They are reported as dropping bombs ‘indiscriminately throughout the Islands’ through a period of ten hours.  Areas bombed include Gozo, St Paul’s Bay, Grand Harbour, Ta Qali, Rabat, Hamrun, Zeitun, Ta Ingrau, Luqa, Mqabba, Gudja and Hal Far.  Heavy Ack Ack and searchlights are active.

2215 hrs  Three bombs are dropped near St Agata Church, Rabat.

2225 hrs  One Italian BR 20 attacks Hal Far, dropping over 50 incendiary bombs and starting a fire near an operation dugout.  The fire is quickly put out: no damage or casualties.

0500hrs  11th Bn Lancashire Regt report bombs within 900 yards of HQ.

0625 hrs  One bomber attacks Hal Far dropping nine bombs on dispersal areas; two Hurricanes are damaged.

Military casualties  Bombardier Frank Bowyer, 11th Heavy Ack Ack Regt Royal Artillery; Lance Bombardier Peter Duff, 11th  Heavy Ack Ack Regiment, Royal Artillery; Gunner Walter Smith, 4th Heavy Ack Ack Regiment, Royal Artillery; Gunner Vincent Ungaro, 2nd Heavy Ack Ack Regiment Royal Malta Artillery.

Civilian casualties  Rabat  Domenica Borg, age 19.  Sliema  Carmel Balzan, age 71; Laura Castagna, age 22; Kenneth Scicluna, age 6 months.

Enemy casualties  Oberleutnant Hermann Raab, Messerchmitt Bf 109 fighter pilot: reported missing.

OPERATIONS REPORTS: FRIDAY 6 MARCH 1942

AIR HQ  Arrivals  Seven Wellingtons from Gibraltar.

HAL FAR  Wing Commander C Ryley DFC assumed command of RAF Station Hal Far.

LUQA  2223-0310 hrs  One Wellington 37 Squadron attacked the railway station district at Tripoli as a diversion to minelaying aircraft. 0003-0315 hrs  Three Wellingtons 37 Squadron minelaying in Tripoli Harbour.

1st BN THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT  0900 hrs  GOC Major General D M W Beak VC DSO MC attended loading demonstration at Hornworks.

1ST BN THE DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY  GOC inspected the Battalion Loading Demonstration.

2ND BN THE ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS  B Company fired light machine guns at an ME 109.

11TH BN THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS  Luqa working party continued.  1045 hrs  GOC inspected Battalion Light Scale transport at Cowsheds.  1800 hrs  This unit takes over Observation Post at Tal Minsia.

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

 

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Posted by on March 6, 2017 in 1942, March 1942

 

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