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Hal Far

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

During the Second World War, Hal Far airfield was one of the main targets for the Luftwaffe and the Regia Aeronautica and suffered several bombings during the blitz. On July and August 1940 in the beginning of the Siege of Malta, the Italian air-raids managed to damage several squadron aircraft. As the raids intensified during 1942 more damage was inflicted on the airfield and the squadrons, present on the airfield. On one particular attack on Hal Far by Junkers Ju 88s, a Fairey Swordfish was badly damaged. Further raids during January 1942 resulted in the destruction at Hal Far of two other Swordfish and a Blackburn Skua, and damaged 15 Hurricanes, three other Swordfish and a Fairey Fulmar. Further damage to aircraft, airfield buildings and loss of personnel resulted during attacks in 1942 and 1943, with the last bombing being recorded on 21 May 1943.

Hal Far had been the first Maltese airfield to be bombed on 11 June 1940. During this period, 2,300 tons of bombs were dropped on the airfield, nevertheless it was never made unservicable, due to the efficiency of the airfield repair parties. On the airfield itself the ground crew casualties numbered 30 killed and 84 injured. Various officers and Maltese civilian employees were awarded the George Cross, George Medal and other awards for their courage and bravery in the face of enemy action. With enemy air raids practically at an end, and as aircraft became heavier and traffic had increased significantly, paved runways and taxiways were added to the airfield, together with the completion of runways 13/31 and 9/27.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 57th Fighter Group

    57th Fighter Group

    Group
    The group was first activated as the 57th Pursuit Group in January 1941, flying P-40 Warhawks as part of the Army Air Corps Northeast Defense Sector (later assigned to the I Fighter Command) at Mitchel Field, New York.[3] It trained in New England and...

People

  • Marshall Cordell

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Ground Crew Mechanic | 57th Fighter Group

  • Arthur Exon

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot - Squadron Commander | 57th Fighter Group
    Retired May 1, 1969. ...

  • John Felton

    Military | Flight Officer | Fighter pilot | 31st Fighter Group
    Joined RCAF 1940, Assigned to 185 Sqn RAF Malta defense. 50 missions. Credited 1 x Ju88 Strait of Messina. Transferred USAAF, assigned to 309FS, 31FG, 15AF USAAF. Credited 1 x destroyed. Spitfires and P-51 Mustangs. Ended Tour Duty (ETD). ...

  • Louis Frank

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot - Squadron Commander | 57th Fighter Group

  • Victor Glickman

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Ground Crew Chief | 57th Fighter Group

  • Frank Mears

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot - Group Commander | 57th Fighter Group
    "If we are to look at firsts, the 57th Fighter Group is one, the first American Fighter Group to be used in the role of tactical air operations. With the activation of the 9th Air Force, the 57th F.G. was its first assigned fighter group. In turn it...

  • Gilbert Mullins

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot - Deputy Group Commander | 57th Fighter Group

Aircraft

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 December 2016 05:28:52 466thHistorian Created entry with name, known as, latitude, longitude, construction date, closure date and history
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Hal_Far

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