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GERMAN BOMBERS IN HEAVY DAYLIGHT RAIDS
The enemy launched 87 air sorties against Malta today, including three daylight bombing raids. Italian aircraft were seen in formation alongside Luftwaffe fighters and bombers in an audacious mid-day attack on Grand Harbour and other targets along the north coast of the Island. On a day when the Catholic Maltese attend Mass, the many casualties include three civilians dead and twenty-five injured.
AIR RAIDS 21 DECEMBER 1941
0855-0957 hrs Air raid alarm for one JU 88 escorted by 17 fighters which crossed the coast and dropped one bomb on the cookhouse of a searchlight position at Corrodino; no casualties. Hurricanes engaged the raiders without results. Heavy and Light Ack Ack guns also engaged, claiming two hits on a JU 88.
1123-1210 hrs Air raid alarm for 30 enemy aircraft composed of five JU 88s, ME 109s and Macchi fighters which crossed the Island and dropped bombs on the Dockyard, Corrodino and Senglea areas, also near Mellieha searchlight position. B Block, Tigne Barracks was hit, killing three Army personnel. Civilian property sustained slight damage: three civilians were killed and 25 injured.
A number of anti-personnel grenades were dropped in the Manoel area. Hurricanes engaged enemy aircraft: one Macchi was destroyed, one probably destroyed, one ME 109 damaged. Two Hurricanes were lost, the pilot of one is safe. Ack Ack engaged; no claims.
1305-1315 hrs Air raid alarm for a reconnaissance raid by three enemy aircraft.
1512-1548 hrs Air raid alarm. 27 enemy aircraft in several formations approached the Grand Harbour and Gozo areas. Ack Ack engaged; no claims.
1706-1732 hrs Air raid alarm. One enemy aircraft thought to be on reconnaissance dropped one bomb in the sea off Grand Harbour.
2040-0630 hrs Four alerts were sounded for eight enemy aircraft, five of which crossed the coast. Bombs and incendiaries were dropped on the Ta Qali, Rabat, Imtarfa areas, and in the sea. Mines are reported to have been dropped six miles south east of Dingli, four miles south of Kalafrana and south of Filfla. Ack Ack engaged during one alert; no claims.
Military casualties Gunners Frank Anthony, Frank Coupe and William James, all 4th Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery; Flight Sergeant Brian Hayes, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 185 Squadron.
Civilian casualties Hamrun Carmel Cassar, age 8; Cospicua Saviour Cutajar, age 25; Zabbar Joseph Galea, age 20 and Anthony Psaila, age 16.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SUNDAY 21 DECEMBER 1941
ROYAL NAVY Olympus arrived with petrol and stores from Gibraltar.
AIR HQ Arrivals 13 Beaufighters from Gibraltar.
LUQA 69 Squadron One Maryland search for merchant vessel off C Pappos; one Maryland SF 6 patrol. Photo-reconnaissance (PR) Unit 2 One Maryland Tauorga-Buerat; one PR Tripoli & Castel Benito; one PR Comiso, Gerbini. 18 Squadron One Blenheim SF 1 patrol; three Blenheims shipping search in Gulf of Sirte. 107 Squadron Three Blenheims and 104 Squadron nine Wellingtons despatched to attack Castel Benito aerodrome. Four aircraft attacked Tripoli. 40 Squadron Three Wellingtons attacked Castel Benito aerodrome.
CENTRAL INFANTRY BRIGADE High explosive bombs dropped in various parts of area (especially in Dockyard area, Marsa, Luqa) during daylight attacks of considerable duration. No military damage or casualties.
2nd BATTALION THE DEVONSHIRE REGIMENT One Hurricane crashed near Ghar Dalam (A Company HQ). Pilot baled out uninjured was conveyed to Luqa by Captain M Holdsworth.
3rd BATTALION KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT E Company reports three bombs 400 yards east towards No 1 Dock. One on St Clements Bastion. A Company reports trouble with water mains.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB Dealt with 2 (containers of incendiaries).
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