Fort St. Elmo - Remembrance - 2014‏

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Fort St. Elmo - Remembrance - 2014‏

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Fort St. Elmo - Remembrance - 2014‏

  1. 1. 1 FORT ST. ELMO 11 June 1940 FROM THE MALTA WAR DIARY - AIR RAIDS - DAWN 11 JUNE 1940 0655-0751 hrs: Air raid alert. Ten Italian SM79 bombers in two formations escorted by Macchi 200 fighters approach the Island at 14000 feet, crossing the coast over Kalafrana and Hal Far, and heading towards Grand Harbour. Sixteen 250lb bombs are dropped on Hal Far, and another thirty between Fort Benghaisa and Birzebbugia. The Dockyard, a searchlight, buses and vehicles are damaged. Enemy aircraft are engaged by fighters and two are reported shot down in the sea by Maltese gunners – one near Filfla and the second north of the Island.
  2. 2. 2 One SM79 bomber carries out a low-flying attack on Fort St. Elmo, dropping three bombs and killing six members of the Royal Malta Artillery. The soldiers in question were on lookout duties as an “anti- parachutist squad” and boy Busuttil was on telephone duty who rushed outdoors on hearing the second explosion and was killed instantly by the third along with the others. Those killed were: Bombardier Joseph Galea Gunner Michael Saliba Gunner Richard Micallef Gunner Carmel Cordina Gunner Paul Debono Boy Philip Busuttil Buried at the Addolorata Cemetery.
  3. 3. 3 FORT ST. ELMO, MEMORIAL SERVICE, 11 JUNE 2014 The first six local casualties of World War Two were commemorated on Wednesday 11 June 2014 at Fort St. Elmo, 74 years after Italian SM79 bombers attacked Fort St. Elmo. The event was organised by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation. Dr. Stefan Zrinzo, head of the Corporation said that he hoped this Memorial Service would become an annual event. Representing the 3/11 Regiment RMA(T) Association at the Memorial Service were, René Grixti, President of the Association, together with Capt. Harold Harris, Capt. Saviour Portelli, Edward Balzan, Richard Bezzina, Joseph D. Buttigieg. Notably present was the 94 year old Major Maurice Agius from the Royal Malta Artillery Association. Also present were representatives from the Government and the Services, the Royal British Legion, the Royal Naval Association, the Royal Air Force Association and the George Cross Island Association. The following images were created 11 June 2014 at Fort St. Elmo by Ian Noel Pace, Photojournalist at http://www.inewsmalta.com/ Laying a wreath at the Memorial Service: representing the 3/11 Regiment RMA(T) Association, René Grixti, President of the Association, assisted by Richard Bezzina.
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  8. 8. 8 Acknowledgements With thanks and appreciation to Capt. Saviour Portelli, Joseph D. Buttigieg and René Grixti for contribution of news for this file. 3/11 Regiment Royal Malta Artillery (PDF Library). 1. Birth and Demise of a Regiment(1941) 2. Bofors Heritage 3. Ftit Ritratti min Francalanza 4. Last of the Bofors 5. Major Louis Radmilli 6. Major Victor D'Ugo(1936) 7. Memories of 11th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment(1951) 8. Royal Malta Artillery 1800-1970 9. Sgt Alfred Aquilina(1940) 10. Sgt. Francis Xerri(1940) 11. 3/11 Regt. RMA(T) in the Infantry role(1967) 12. Richard Bezzina, Reminiscences of 3/11 Regt. 13. Civil Defence Exercise. 14. Charles Cutajar, Reminiscences of 3/11 Regt. RMA(T). 15. 3 LAA Regiment. 16. Michael Camilleri, Memories of 11th HAA Reg. RMA(T) 1951-1963. 17. 3/11 Sports. 18. Ix-Xagħra tal-Furjana – Floriana Parade Ground. 19. A Wartime Regiment by Colonel E.J. Salomone, 0.B.E. (Retired). 20. Fort St. Elmo - 1940 - Remembrance. 3/11 Regiment Royal Malta Artillery (PDF Library). Updated 22 July 2014 alexabela3@gmail.com

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