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17 December 1940: Snow Falls on Malta in Record Freeze

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SNOW ON RABAT

Residents of the hill-top town of Rabat stared and shivered this morning as flakes of snow fell across the area.  Temperatures have plummeted in recent days, in what has been described as the coldest winter in Malta for 17 years.  While young children took to the streets excited at their first glimpse of snow, their parents were more concerned with how they will keep their families warm during this exceptionally cold spell.    

HMS Triton

HMS Triton

VESSELS MISSING

Two Malta-based vessels have bee reported missing after failing to return from missions in the past two days.  HMS Triton has been on patrol in the Adriatic and Free French submarine Narval on patrol off Kerkennah, Tunisia.  Both vessels failed to return from their missions and are now presumed lost.  The Italian news has claimed that one British submarine was successfully bombed in the central Mediterranean by an aircraft on 16 December.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 17 DECEMBER TO DAWN 18 DECEMBER 1940

Weather  Very cold and wet; some snow. 

0945 hrs  Air raid alert for enemy aircraft approaching the Island.  Malta fighters are scrambled to intercept.

1000 hrs  Six enemy raiders are identified ten miles north east of Grand Harbour.  They turn and head away from the Island over Delimara.

1026 hrs  Raiders passed sounds.

OPERATIONS REPORTS TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER 1940

ROYAL NAVY  Destroyer Griffin left to join the Mediterranean Fleet. 

8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT  A mine washed up in a dangerous position alongside a beach defence post; the post was evacuated.  The mine later disappeared.   

 

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Posted by on December 17, 2020 in 1940, December 1940

 

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25 September 1940: Bomb Disposal Squads Clear 32 UXBs

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RAF AND RAOC CLEAR AIR FIELDS

Bomb disposal teams from the RAF and RAOC have cleared 32 unexploded bombs (UXB) across the airfields of Hal Far and Luqa. The bombs were dropped in air raids on 15 and 17 September and have been cordoned off since then; none has exploded in that time   The RAF dealt with 13 UXBs within the aerodromes. RAOC officers Captain R L Jephson Jones and Lt W M Eastman RAOC with their staff of Royal Engineers concentrated on those outside the perimeter of the airfields.

The bombs all carried German Rheinmetal fuzes. Armed with information from Bomb Disposal Headquarters in the UK about these fuzes, the bomb disposal squads was decided that the majority of the bombs could be defuzed; the remainder were blown up. Once rendered harmless, some of the bombs were kept by the RAOC while the rest were collected by the Royal Navy and dumped at sea.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 25 SEPTEMBER TO DAWN 26 SEPTEMBER 1940

Weather  Fine.

1132-1219 hrs  Air raid alert for one formation of eight enemy Macchi 200 fighters which fly over the Island at 20000 feet. Three Hurricanes and two Gladiators are scrambled and engage the raiders in a dog fight at 22000 feet, shooting down one Macchi which crashes on land near a military defence post at Delimara, killing the pilot. The Fort reports incendiary bombs near the anti-aircraft searchlight half a mile away. Ack Ack guns also engage the enemy: one aircraft is believed damaged but is not seen to crash.  

Enemy casualties  Maresciallo Gino Lagi, 79th Squadriglia, 6th Gruppo, 1st Stormo, pilot of Macchi C200 shot down and died.

Narval Free French submarine joins Allied ops at Malta (1)

Narval Free French submarine joins Allied ops at Malta (1)

OPERATIONS REPORTS WEDNESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 1940

ROYAL NAVY  French submarine Narval sailed on first patrol under Free French colours. Rorqual sailed on patrol.

8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT  CO expressed appreciation for work done by A and B Coys digging up unexploded bombs.

(1)  Expedition Scyllas

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Posted by on September 25, 2020 in 1940, September 1940

 

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