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Ta'Qali - (Ta Kali)

Established in 1934 for passenger aircraft. Closed mid 1960's.
Two spellings are found commonly in literature - Ta Qali is used in modern literature.
Mainly used as an operational base for Hurricanes & later Spitfires.

Aerial photo of Ta Qali Airfield taken after a raid. The structures towards the top of the left side of the photo are reinforced aircraft pens.
Photo taken 29th April 1942

Ta Qali Airfield. Mosta Dome in centre.
Photo courtesy of John Pearson.

This is a 'blow up of the aircraft sitting on the airfield in the photo to the left.
The vehicle at the top of the photo could be a roller, used to level off the ground after filling holes made during raids.

Ta Qali Airfield. Taken probably in the 1950's
Photo courtesy of Roberto Benetti.

Hurricanes on Ta Qali Airfield.
Photo courtesy of Paul from his father (Bill Lazell's) collection.

Photos in this block courtesy of Barbara Hopkins whose husband 'Eddie' is seated at the front in photos above & right.
Both photos taken in the 'quarries of Ta Qali'.

Cpl Hopkins and friend at Mdina near Ta Qali 1943

Group from 249 sqdn Ta Qali in gardens at Naxxar Palace.

Spitfires at Ta Qali 1942/43

Medical staff outside sick quarters Ta Qali. Butcher , Jenkins, Mackay and one other.

Electrical section Mosta end of Ta Qali airfield 1942/43

Ta Qali 1942. Entrance cut in side of quarry in which caves were cut
at one side for sick quarters and another side for electrical workshops

Ta-Qali now....
This site is currently used as a retail / craft park. Many old buildings have been converted into units.
Some buildings/structures are from the war - some added post war.
From talking to the traders in 2006 it would appear that the site is due to be bulldozed to make way for modern units.

Huts. Ends constructed out of Maltese stone. Hut number painted on side.

Water tower, the old city of Mdina in the background.

Possibly the old HQ building.






All that's left of the runway. The strip was modernised after the war & tarmaced. Used at least towards the end of the '50's.

23 Spitfires landed from the Operation Bowery convoy (9th May 1942)
In January 1942 the airfield along with Hal Far became waterlogged after heavy rains & all fighter aircraft were moved to the bomber field at Luqa.


Various Squadron's were based at Ta Qali. The Spitfire contingent was made up of 249 & 272 Squadrons which contained pilots from Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand & UK.

229 Squadron

185 Squadron

603 City of Edinburgh Squadron - Hurricanes (Commanded by Squadron Leader Lord David Douglas - Hamilton).

605 Squadron (posted to Halfar / Kalafrana 27th February 1942).

USAAF Boston A 20's operated from this airfield.

Army units stationed


I list pilots here I have found in literature. This is not in any way complete & I would appreciate any help in expanding this list.


Stan Grant (Squadron Leader June 1942)
Laddie Lucas (Flight Commander)
Buck McNair (Flight Commander)
Chuck Ramsay (Warrant Officer - Canada)
Lattimer (New Zealand)

Commissioned Pilots...........

Norman Lee (UK)
Raoul Daddo - Langlois (Daddy Longlegs)(UK)
Berkeley- Hill (UK)
Jonesy Jones (Canada)
Al Yates (Canada)
Mac MacLean (Canada)
Paul Brennan (Australia/New Zealand)
Ray Hesslyn (Australia/New Zealand)


John Williams (Willie the Kid - Canada)
George (Buzz) Beurling (Canada) (Later commissioned)
Gerry de Nencrede (Canada)
Mickey Butler (Canada)
Bob Middlemiss (Canada) See photo
Paul Brennan (UK)
Gil Gilbert (Australia)
Heslin (New Zealand)
Jack Rae (New Zealand)
Jean Paradis (French-Canadian)(Shawinigan Falls, Quebec)
Harry Kelly (Texas, USA)
Baxter (Australia)
Tommy Tompkins (UK)
Louis de l'Ara (UK)
Ernie Budd (UK)
Rip Much (Canada)

From Laddie Lucas' book (unknown ranks).

Norman MacQueen (from Rhyl)
Ron West (Lossiemouth)
Pete Nash (London?)
Phillip Heppell (Northumbria)
Bob Sergeant (UK)
Jeff West (New Zealand)
Bud Connell (Canada)
Johnny Plagis (Salisbury, Rhodesia)
Buchanan (Rhodesia)
Laurie Verrall (New Zealand)
Jack (Slim) Yarra
Chuck Ramsay
Chuck Maclean
Ozzie Linton
John McElroy
Tex Spradley (Dallas, Texas)
Les Watts (Birmingham, UK)

Photos of Ta Qali airfield taken in 2006 by Keith Chambers
Keith's unit is 106th (Yeomanry) Regiment, RA (Volunteers)

The offical MOD site is:

Ta Kali Aviation Museum 2006. Photos courtesy of Keith Chambers.

Anti Aircraft gun