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6 April 1942: Bomb Crushes Civilian Shelter – 18 Dead

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1-6 APRIL 1942: Enemy bombers over Malta 893; bombs 1,069,540kg (1053 tons); casualties 173

  • 114 bombers attack Malta today
  • Civilian shelter crushed in Tarxien: 18 dead
  • Widespread bombing in Floriana
  • Attacks on Hamrun, Zejtun, Guardamangia, Marsa, Zabbar and Zabbar
  • Ta Qali “nearly all buildings destroyed”

MALTA STANDING UP TO NEW AIR BLITZ AND HITTING BACK  London, Monday AAP

“Divebombers were again used by the enemy [Malta, Sunday] in full-scale attacks on the harbour, and more damage was done to civilian buildings.  Entrances to 3 shelters were blocked by debris, but they were soon cleared, and the people taking shelter were unhurt.

Such incidents are an everyday affair to the people of Malta after the most prolonged and intensive air assault the world has ever known.  Dive-bombing attacks, in which Valletta and countryside are attacked indiscriminately, have failed to stop the Maltese from carrying on.  Even before the all-clear signal is sounded police and ARP men are already rescuing people trapped in burnt houses and taking victims to hospital.

Meanwhile, ordinary work goes on. Buses sometimes have to make detours, but by the end of the day the roads are clear.  Electricity, gas and water supplies are always restored in a matter of hours.  Up to now, 4,200 private houses have been destroyed.”  The Argus, Melbourne

AIR RAIDS DAWN 6 APRIL TO DAWN 7 APRIL 1942

Weather  Wind westerly; 100% medium cloud.

0654-0720 hrs  One JU 88 and two ME 109s patrol north of the Island.

1015-1101 hrs  One JU 88 circles the Island, then drops bombs between Zabbar and San Pinto.

1354-1449 hrs  Two ME 109s machine-gun Ghain Tuffieha and Mellieha camp.

1740 hrs  Over 100 aircraft approach the Island in four waves.  The first wave of 15 JU 88s drops bombs in the Marsa and Hamrun areas.

1755 hrs  The second wave of 17 JU 87s and 20 JU 88s attacks the Dockyard area dropping bombs on Club House Wharf, wrecking cranes on Hamilton Wharf and sinking a floating crane.  A private shelter in Tarxien is hit by a heavy bomb, collapsing the structure and killing 18 civilians.

1809 hrs  Four ME 109s drop bombs on Hal Far, with a direct hit on the RAF Officers’ Mess, causing severe damage to the ante-room and bar.

1815 hrs  The third wave splits into two formations.  17 JU 88s attack the Dockyard again; another 12 88s strike other areas including Hamrun, Zejtun, Guardamangia, Floriana, Marsa and Ricasoli.  Ack Ack destroy one JU 88 and damage two.  In Floriana St Francis Barracks are hit, killing one soldier is killed and severely injuring three.  Bombs also damage St Thomas’ Street, Gunlayer Street, the Granaries, Sannia Street, Great Siege Road, Capuchins Street and Crucifix Hill.  Two killed and 12 injured.

1824 hrs  Numerous JU 88s and ME 109s are engaged by guns of 225 Light Ack Ack Battery: 10 hits claimed.  One JU 88 recedes smoking badly.  6 JU 88s drop bombs on Luqa aerodrome, damaging a cookhouse, the NAAFI, motor vehicles, wireless and electrical equipment.  One transit Beaufighter, five Hurricanes and a Spitfire of the photo-reconnaissance unit are damaged.  East Safi approach is rendered impassable.

1843 hrs  All clear.

2014-0710 hrs  11 bombers: JU 88s and Italian BR20s come in singly.  Raiders are engaged by Ack Ack.  Only one drops bombs on land, near Zonkor Point.  One Beaufighter is up but does not intercept.  Two Hurricanes 1435 Flight are airborne from Ta Qali from 0130 hrs: Sgt Wood damages one unidentified enemy aircraft.

Military casualties  Gunner William Bowen, Bombardier Stanley Nunn, Gunner Sidney Self, all 4th Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery; John Terrill, Driver, Royal Army Service Corps.

Civilian casualties  Birkirkara  Gianninu Psaila, age 12.  Hamrun  Joseph Borda, age 82; Paul Cassar, age 43; Jane Farrugia, age 50.  Marsa  Anthony Pizzuto, age 38.  Paola  Joseph Curmi, age 38.  Qormi  Salvo Agius, age 68.  St Paul’s Bay  John Grech, age 28.  Tarxien  George Borg, age 63; Antonia Borg, age 56; Cetta Borg, age 25; Mary Borg, age 18; Francis Busuttil, age 44; Mary Busuttil, age 38; Rose Busuttil, age 18; John Busuttil, age 13; Joseph Busuttil, age 7; Michael Cilia, age 31; Paola Falzon, age 38; Mary Falzon, age 11; Concetta Falzon, age 9; Giorgina Formosa, age 56; Carmela Formosa, age 31; Maria Annunziata Muscat, age 26; Lewis Muscat, age 3; Rose Muscat.  Valletta  Paula Abela, age 55.  Zejtun  Anthony Spiteri, age 54.  Zurrieq  Anna Schembri, age 75.

OPERATIONS REPORTS MONDAY 6 APRIL 1942

ROYAL NAVY  Urge returned from patrol in Tyrrhenian, having sunk one 6″ cruiser, shelled a merchant vessel and blown up a train.  Upholder proceeded for patrol west of Tripoli, and P34 on the Calabrian coast.

AIR HQ  Arrivals  One Beaufighter, three Blenheims, one Hudson, four Beauforts, three Wellingtons from Gibraltar; one Blenehim, one Beaufort, ten Hurricanes from Gambut.  Departures  One Maryland to Gibraltar; two Hudsons, five Wellingtons, one Beaufort, three Blenheims, one Beaufighter to 108 MU.

LUQA  One Beaufort overshoots the runway at Luqa airfield, crashes and bursts into flames, killing the entire crew.  1015-1110 hrs  One Spitfire 69 Squadron photo-reconnaissance locally.  Photos taken of Grand Harbour, St Patrick’s Hospital.  1116-1150 Photos of Luqa aerodrome and dispersals.  1610-1630 hrs  Hal Far, Ta Qali, Grand Harbour, Kalafrana, W/T Station Luqa.  1330-1730 hrs  One Spitfire 69 Squadron photo-reconnaissance Vibo Valincia, Naples, Reggio Calabria aerodromes and Africa Depot at Naples.

TA QALI  Several scrambles during the day: no interceptions.  Aerodrome serviceable on runway.  Extension repairs still necessary.  Almost all buildings destroyed.  Many attempts to salvage gear and equipment carried out between raids.

1st BN THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT 0800 hrs Work on Pampas starts again.  Heavy raids Grand Harbour again: damage extensive in the Dockyard.

1ST BN THE DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY  A, B and part of HQ Company on working Ta Qali; C and D training.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 24; dealt with 12(3 x 50kg; 7 x 250kg; 2 x 500kg) not including anti-personnel bombs and incendiaries.

KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT  Five hand grenades are dropped on the Mellieha area.

8TH BN THE  KINGS OWN ROYAL REGIMENT Working party of 200 Other Ranks and 3 Officers building protective walls for aircraft at Hal Far.

8TH BN THE MANCHESTER REGIMENT  The Battalion less E Company were on manoeuvres, attacking the 1st Bn Kings Own Malta Regiment defences on Mellieha and Marfa Ridges.

2ND BN THE ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  Several sticks of bombs around Battalion HQ.  Two elephant shelters are demolished: no casualties.

 

All written content © maltagc70 unless otherwise attributed.  For conditions of  use contact bdmalta@btinternet.com.

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

 

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21 March 1942: 300,000kg of Bombs on Malta’s “Day in Hell”

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  • 300 tons of bombs on Ta Qali in 48 hours
  • 146 high explosive bombs target Mosta
  • 81 killed and many more wounded
  • Bombs on shelter in Mosta cause mass casualties
  • 5 enemy aircraft destroyed, 5 damaged
  • 9 Spitfires land safely ex Gibraltar

 

Ta Qali: 1600 bombs in 48 hrs

Ta Qali: 1600 bombs in 48 hrs

MASS BOMBING RAIDS ON TA QALI AND MOSTA

Raids on Ta Qali continued today with increased intensity.  In massive and widespread attacks this afternoon, communities surrounding the air base also suffered badly, as the enemy extended their targets to Mosta and surrounding communities of Rabat, Imtarfa and Balzan.  Casualties known so far are 20 military and 61 civilians killed and over 100 wounded.  22 civilians were killed in Rabat; 30 were killed and 45 wounded in Mosta, where a large number of bombs fell.

Today’s raids bring the total number of bombs dropped on Ta Qali in the last 48 hours to 1600.  Since Thursday night over 300 tons of bombs have left huge craters across the airfield, now said to resemble the surface of the moon.

Mosta (NWMA Malta)

Mosta (NWMA Malta)

A CHILD REMEMBERS

In Mosta, little Doris Vella was in the air-raid shelter with her mother.  Her father had just left them, on urgent business, and her two older brothers had just escaped their mother’s grasp, to go up and watch the German bombers:

“The next instant a deafening explosion plunged the whole place into darkness and sent us reeling against the walls of the cubicle.  In the ensuing panic I began to grope around and felt the heads of the three young ones.  The straw mattresses on the bunks caught fire and burst into flames…As our eyes got accustomed to the dim light we saw dead bodies piled on top of each other.  A number of RAF men appeared at the shelter entrance and picking their way through the pile of corpses grabbed us and took us outside.  We walked in a state of shock towards our house and saw carts carrying bodies.  We recognized that of Milda’s mother, a refugee from Vittoriosa, horribly mutilated.  The walls of Gafa Street were black with the blast of the explosion.  We learned later that three [bombs] had landed and exploded simultaneously at the entrance and the emergency exit of the shelter.”   Doris lost her father and two brothers in the raid.  (1)

SPITFIRE PILOT’S DAY IN HELL

One 1000kg bomb landed in front of the Point de Vue Hotel in Rabat, being used as a billet for RAF fighter pilots.  Buck McNair had just arrived back at the hotel when the bomb exploded:

“When I came to, I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t feel I was dead, but I didn’t feel whole. My eyes were open, but my jaws and chest didn’t seem to be there…I felt for my tin hat, then I started to be able to see just as if the sun was coming up after a great darkness. I tested myself. I felt carefully with my fingers and found that I had a face and a chest, so I felt better…

As I became more conscious, I found I was upstairs; but I knew I shouldn’t be upstairs. I should be downstairs. Then I realized I had been blown upstairs either through a door or through an opening at the turn of the staircase. I’d been thrown up 20 or 30 feet …

I went out onto the roof and back down the main staircase which was barely hanging in place. I saw the bodies lying at the foot of it. They were in a heap. There was no blood. The raid was still on – the All Clear hadn’t sounded. But everything seemed very quiet. Heavy dust covered the bodies. I looked at them – studied them. One was headless, the head had been cut cleanly away from the top of the shoulders. I didn’t see the head, but I could recognize the man by his very broad shoulders …

I heard a moan, so I put my hand gently on the bodies to feel which of them was alive. One of them I noticed had a hole, more than a foot wide, right through the abdomen. Another’s head was split wide open into two halves, from back to front, by a piece of shrapnel. The face had expanded to twice its size. How the man managed still to be alive I didn’t know. I thought of shooting him with my revolver. As I felt for it, I heard Bud Connell’s voice behind me. ‘Look at this mess!’

I put my hand against the wall, but it slithered down it. It had seemed dry with all the dust, but when I took my hand away I found it was covered with blood with bits of meat stuck to it – like at the butcher’s when they’re chopping up meat and cleaning up a joint. I turned to Bud. ‘For God’s sake,’ I said, ‘don’t come in here.’ Then I noticed that my battledress and trousers were torn and ripped …

Ronnie West appeared. It seemed natural to see him. He had been in the building with us, but he didn’t say anything about me being there. He didn’t seem to want to talk …Now an ambulance and a doctor arrived. The doc asked me to help him with the bodies. I said ‘Get someone else, I’ve seen enough.’…The realization of what had happened began to dawn very slowly … My left arm had gone out of joint when I was blown upstairs by the bomb, but I had shoved it back in place … (2)

SPITFIRES LAND THROUGH THE FIRE

In the midst of the onslaught, a delivery flight of nine Spitfires managed to land safely, having flown off HMS Eagle ex Gibraltar.  The aircraft were protected as they approached by Malta’s fighter squadrons.  An expected delivery of seven more Spitfires failed to arrive.  They were unable to take off from Eagle as a Blenheim aircraft due to escort them to Malta did not make rendezvous with the carrier.

AIR RAIDS DAWN 21 MARCH TO DAWN 22 MARCH 1942

Weather  Wind south west; 80% cloud.

0900 hrs  Seven Messerschmitts drop twelve 50kg high explosive (HE) bombs on Ta Qali, near the Rock Shelter and by underground hangers: one bowser is burned out.

1000 hrs  Nearly 100 bombers, including several Heinkel HE 111, and about 20 fighters attack Ta Qali, in a repeat of last night’s raid, except that this time enemy aircraft approach in groups at greater height, not in ‘line ahead’.

Hundreds of HE bombs, mainly 250kg and 500kg, are dropped on and around the airfield, causing 27 craters and damaging the Pottery, control van and other vehicles.  Many fires are started.  Bombs which fell wide of the mark kill five military Other Ranks and wound another five, at Imtarfa.  Two Other Ranks from a working party are wounded. Two Beaufighters, two Hurricanes and one Spitfire are damaged.  One soldier and one civilian are killed; four soldiers, one pilot and two civilians are injured.  All work is called to a halt, due to the number of delayed-action bombs on aerodrome.  Ack Ack destroy one JU 88 and damaged two more.

1014 hrs  Two JU 88 bombers drop one 1800kg bomb each on Manoel Island and Bighi Hospital.

1107 hrs   Eight ME 110s with 25 ME 109s patrol the Island, then drop eight 250kg and twenty-seven 50kg HE bombs on Ta Qali and Rabat.  Seven Hurricanes from Hal Far attack the ME 110s, claiming four destroyed.  Pilots S/Ldr Mortimer-Rose, P/O Ormrod, P/O Beckett, P/O Allardice, P/O Wigley, Sgt Rose, P/O Milburn.  One aircraft returns early due to engine trouble.  Light Ack Ack gunners destroy one ME 109.  Malta’s fighters are airborne, but occupied in escorting nine Spitfires arriving from Gibraltar.

1135 hrs  Three JU 88s drop bombs on the Safi strip.

1436 hrs  Between 60 and 70 bombers approach the Island from different directions with a relatively small fighter escort. Planes come in irregularly, in groups of two and three, at heights ranging from 10,000 to 16,000 feet.  Consecutive aircraft do not follow each other into a steep dive.  Hundreds of HE bombs are dropped from varying heights; mainly 250kg and 500kg but also several 1000kg, and some rocket bombs.  The main target is Ta Qali, where main damage is to assembly areas and approaches, petrol installations and a reservoir.  Heavy and Light Ack Ack engage: three JU 88s are destroyed and three damaged.

1545 hrs  JU 88s and Messerschmitts carrying bombs target outlying districts, causing casualties and damage in Rabat and Imtarfa, Mosta, Balzan and San Anton. 

Two JU 88s attack Tigne and Manoel, dropping one 1800kg HE bomb each and demolishing buildings at Tigne Barracks.

1658 hrs   One JU 88 carries out reconnaissance at 20000 feet.

1944 hrs  Two enemy aircraft drop bombs in the sea and on land near Dingli. Heavy Ack Ack engage.

2215 hrs  All clear.

Military casualties  Flight Lieutenant Cecil Baker, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve VR), 126 Squadron; Flying Officer John Booth, Royal Air Force (VR), 249 Squadron; Flying Officer James Guerin, Royal Australian Air Force; Pilot Officer William Hallett, Royal Air Force (VR), 126 Squadron; Pilot Officer Edward Streets, Royal Air Force (VR), 126 Squadron; Flight Lieutenant Arthur Waterfield Royal Air Force (VR).

Private Stephen Gardiner; Private James Garnick; Private Charles Levey; Private James Joseph Murray, Private Robert Sadler; Private John Wake; Private John William Dewhurst (died 22nd March); all 1st Battalion, Durham Light Infantry.  Lance-Corporal Peter Thompson, Royal Army Service Corps, attached Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps; Sergeant James Ure, Royal Army Service Corps, attached Royal Army Medical Corps; Private Raymond Siviour, 4th Battalion, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment); Lance-Corporal Pacifico Falzon, Royal Engineers, Malta Territorial Force; Lance-Corporal Clarence (Terence) Gallagher; Corporal Douglas Baldwin; Lance-Corporal William Brown; Fusilier Harold Vernon; all 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Civilian casualties  Attard  Anthony Pace, age 24.  Balzan  Sister Paola Agius, age 73; Joseph Muscat, age 32.  Floriana  Francis Azzopardi, age 16; Publio Mercieca, age 16.  Mdina  Vincent Mizzi, age 13.  Mosta  Doris Borg, age 6; Teresa Cuschieri, age 70; Gio Maria Cuschieri, age 37; Anthony Degiorgio, age 79; Carmela Degiorgio, age 77; Maria Degiorgio, age 34; Georgina Dougall, age 42; John Fabri, age 9; Carmelo Fenech, age 11; Joseph Fenech, age 11; Giovanni Galea, age 66; Victor Galea, age 39; Kalanc Gatt, age 42; Francis Gatt, age 13; Giuseppe Gatt, age 9; Maria Gauci, age 8; Censu Gauci, age 5; Mary Grech, age 54; Alfred Montanaro, age 63; Mary Montanaro, age 60; John Montanaro, age 18; Olga St John, age 26; Zareno St John, age 3 mths; Pina Tabone, age 22; Santu Tonna, age 32; Bartholomew Vella, age 41; Carmelo Vella, age 12; Giuseppe Vella, age 9; Vincent Zammit, age 39; Ganna Zarb, age 48; unidentified female; unidentified male.  Msida  Salvu Vella, age 45.  Rabat  Carmel Abela, age 63; Louis Adami, age 29; Mary Adami, age 6; Albert Adami, age 2; Catherine Azzopardi, age 80; Rev. Robert Calleja, age 58; Lewis Caruana, age 2 mths; Domenic Ceci, age 84; Angelina Ellul, age 73; Spiru Galea, age 63; Teresa Galea, age 42; Peter Giordimaina, age 65; Alb. Laferla, age 45; Dolor Mangani, age 20; Felicia Mifsud, age 26; Gisuarda Mifsud, age 10 mths; Albert Mifsud, age 19; Harriet O’Neil, age 56; Gisuardo Portelli, age 71; Dr A Stilon LLD, age 64; Margherita Vassallo, age 28; unidentified female.  St Paul’s Bay  Rita Vella, age 6.  Zejtun  Carmelo Zahra, age 15.

OPERATIONS REPORTS: 21 MARCH 1942

ROYAL NAVY  Raid no 1843 Damage to Ricasoli Rifle Range.  Surgeon Rear Admiral’s Residence at Royal Naval Hospital demolished.

AIR HQ  Arrivals  Nine Spitfires, two Blenheims from Gibraltar; one Sunderland from Aboukir.  Departures  Four Beaufighters, two Hudsons to 108 MU; one Wellington to Shalufa; one Hudson to Gibraltar; one Sunderland to Aboukir.

HAL FAR  PM  One Albacore despatched on shipping search: nothing sighted.

LUQA  0807-1246 hrs  One Maryland 69 Squadron despatched on photo-reconnaissance of Taranto and Messina.

TA QALI  1600 hrs  Third blitz on Ta Qali [this afternoon], damaging the Officers’ Mess at Rabat and killing six officers including AFL (F/O) Waterfield, Intelligence Officer, and five pilots.  Over 1500 high explosive bombs plus incendiary bombs have been dropped on the camp in the last 24 hours.  Immediate steps are taken to arrange alternative accommodation for officers and airmen.  The entire personnel of 500 airmen have to be evacuated and housed in Rabat and St Edwards College.  There are a large number of absentees: police patrols are inaugurated and all shelters are searched.  Kitchen and ablutions are arranged and premises at Messina House are taken over.  All officers and airmen are arranged for by dusk.  All equipment is salvaged from the Orderly Room and Guard Room which are evacuated as the buildings are destroyed.  By nightfall a new Orderly Room is operational and new sick quarters are set up.  Equipment stores are installed in caves.

1st BN THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT  0915 hrs   Battalion drill parade. AC HQ under the CO Floriana.

1ST BN THE DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY  During a large scale air raid on Ta Qali aerodrome some bombs fell near Imtarfa Hospital for which B Company were supplying a guard.  One scored a direct hit on a guard tent: five Other Ranks were killed outright; one died of wounds the same day and another died of wounds on 22nd.  Four more Other Ranks were wounded and admitted to hospital.

2ND BN THE ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS  PM Blitz on Ta Qali: Quarter Master’s store hit.  Cpl Baldwin, L/Cpl Gallagher, L/Cpl Brown, Fusilier Vernon killed.  Battalion took one German parachutist prisoner.

4th BN THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT)  Two more heavy raids on Ta Qali aerodrome.  4 Buffs working party one Other Rank killed, four Other Ranks injured.

11TH BN THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS  Observation Post at Tal Virtu has several near misses during intense raids on Ta Qali during the past 24 hours.  Bombs in this unit’s area at Hamrun, St George’s, St Julian’s, Balzan and Birkirkara.

8TH BN THE MANCHESTER REGIMENT  Another very heavy raid on Ta Qali aerodrome and some of the billets and posts were damaged.  Battalion suffers five casualties: one injured and four suffering from shock.  A Spitfire, a petrol pump and an ammunition van are set on fire.  Lt Cummins and his Platoon Sergeant Jones fought the fires and managed to put them out.  Air Officer Commanding visited the scene and thanked the personnel for their good show.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 15.

(1) From The People’s War, Malta 1940-43, Laurence Mizzi, Progress Press 2002

(2) Diary of Robert Wendell ‘Buck’ McNair from Canadian Aces (Miles Constable)

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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in 1942, March 1942

 

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25 March 1941: Churchill’s Top War Team In Malta

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Anthony Eden & Sir John Dill

Anthony Eden & General Sir John Dill

ANTHONY EDEN AND GENERAL SIR JOHN DILL ARRIVE FROM ATHENS

Rev Nicholls, Chancellor of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, meets distinguished guests at San Anton Palace:

On Lady Day, when I reached the Palace about 6 o’clock after my day’s work, I was told that some distinguished guests were expected about midnight. I met them all next day at dinner. Anthony Eden, with his Principal Private Secretary (named Stevenson) and another Secretary called Dickson, also General Sir John Dill the [Chief of Imperial General Staff] and Brigadier Mallaby [Deputy Director of Military Operations, War Office].

They had flown in a Sunderland flying boat from Athens by night, and the weather being rough the boat could not take off again, so perforce they must wait here till the sea became calmer. They were all in good temper though very disappointed at being delayed. After dinner some played billiards, while Lady and Sybil Dobbie and I talked about Malta, etc., to Sir John Dill in front of the fire.

MORE FIELD SECURITY POLICE NEEDED…

From: Governor & Commander in Chief                         To:  War Office

The considerable increase in the strength of the Malta Garrison necessitates the strengthening of the Field Security Police. Owing to the peculiar conditions in Malta, the normal establishment of a Field Security section would not be suitable for our purposes and it is suggested that a modified establishment should be approved.  This would require a further Warrant Officer, four sergeants and three Field Security Policeman be despatched from the UK. 

AIR RAIDS DAWN 25 MARCH TO DAWN 26 MARCH 1941

Weather  Fine.

0615-1640 hrs, 0735-0835 hrs  Air raid alerts for enemy aircraft which approach and carry out reconnaissance over the Island.

Military casualties  Private Herbert Gunns, Royal Army Service Corps.

OPERATIONS REPORTS TUESDAY 25 MARCH 1941

AIR HQ Arrivals 1 Sunderland. 69 Squadron Maryland reconnaissance between Malta and Tunisian coast for enemy shipping.  228 Squadron was transferred to the Middle East Command today leaving a detachment of 25 men at Kalafrana, including maintenance personnel.

KALAFRANA  One Sunderland arrived from Middle East with Mr Anthony Eden and other distinguished passengers.

1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT  The Battalion is splitting up more and more, and once again a large number are leaving our command. Today we have had to provide 5 officers, 4 NCOs and 54 privates to work on unloading the ships of the convoy.  The hours of work are to be 1730 to approximately 2300 hrs.  The duty is liable to last for about 15 days.  We also sent off today 3 NCOs and 18 men to the 71 Mobile Coast Battery for training as anti-aircraft gunners.  On 31 March we are to send 2 officers and 45 other ranks to the anti-aircraft training school at Lija for training on Bofors and in mid-April we are to send a further 1 officer and 42 other ranks for Ack Ack training.  All these will be lost to us until more anti-aircraft gunners arrive on the Island, sufficient to man all weapons.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS  Bomb Disposal UXB reported 3.

2nd Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT  7 conscript recruits joined the Battalion.

(1)  Extract from diary of Reverend Reginald M. Nicholls, Chancellor of St.Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Valletta.  Courtesy of website: Malta Family History

 

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Posted by on March 25, 2016 in 1941, March 1941

 

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