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TWO GLADIATORS A WRITE-OFF
Two of Malta’s precious Gladiator aircraft were irreparably damaged in separate incidents today. One crashed into an obstruction on the aerodrome during take-off from Hal Far this morning. The pilot, Squadron Leader A C Martin made a violent uncontrollable swing to the right and hit a packing case. The pilot was unhurt.
This afternoon, two Gladiators were taking off from Hal Far when aircraft N5524 piloted by Flying Officer P Hartley lost a wheel when taking off and overturned on landing. The pilot was shaken and slightly injured. Both aircraft have been declared a total write-off.
Now only two Gladiator fighters remain in service to defend Malta.
MALTA NEEDS MORE RADAR
The Governor and Commander in Chief Malta today applied to the War Office for a further set of Radio Direction Finder (RADAR) equipment. Lt Gen Dobbie told London that additional provision is needed to ensure adequate warning of air raids continuously throughout 24 hours. This would avoid unnecessary casualties as well as establish confidence among civilian workmen during working hours, he said.
The existing main RDF system was installed on Dingli Cliffs in 1939 and can detect aircraft flying at 10000 feet from a distance of up to 70 miles. A mobile second system operates nearby in support of Dingli but is considered insufficient for current and future needs.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 21 JUNE TO DAWN 22 JUNE 1940
Weather Fine; light variable wind.
0905-0928 hrs Air raid alert. One enemy aircraft flies over Kalafrana and Hal Far, believed to be on reconnaissance.
2220 hrs A Royal Engineers officer reports seeing a metallic object floating in the entrance of St George’s Bay. A party of Royal Engineers take a boat out to investigate but lose sight of the object.
OPERATIONS REPORTS FRIDAY 21 JUNE 1940
KALAFRANA AC Tong transferred to Military Hospital, Imtarfa.
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT A trade testing board, president Capt E A Wavish, today assembled at Ghain Tuffieha camp for the purpose of classifying Pte E R D Bylett, shoemaker.
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