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Wellington - The 'Wimpy'

Crashed Wellington. 1943 at the end of Luqa main runway. Night landing. Aircraft overshot the runway & ended up overhanging the quarry at the end.

Wellington overhanging quarry, Luqa airfield, Malta 1942

Wellington showing damage after a bombing mission. Malta 1942

Crashed Wellington overhanging quarry at the end of Luqa airfield.
Photo courtesy of John Pearson.

Used mainly as a bomber, but the Wellington was also used as a multi-role aircraft. Wellington's & Liberator's were fitted with torpedo's.
Wellington's were also fitted with depth charges, much to the delight of the armourers who regularly had to change depth settings at the last minute before take off.
Wellington's were based at Luqa & were used for the bombing of North African ports in axis hands & also Italian mainland targets. During 30th June - 13th July 1941 - 122 bombing sorties were made from Malta which was a record since the beginning of the war in Malta.
Targets from Malta included Taranto, Tripoli, Corfu, Naples & Palermo.

Bomb load of a Wellington bomber , Luqa.

Winter at Luqa. Loading bombs onto a Wellington in the mud.
Photo courtesy of Charles Mac Kay

Crashed Wellington. Sam Betton is shown leaning on the aircraft.
Photo courtesy of J.A.Lester.

Fitting first Block Buster to arrive in Malta into a Wellington.

Vince Camilleri sent me this photo of a Wellington Mk.1c T2817/K which was part of 148 Squadron.
Anthony Camilleri (Vince' father) squatting front left. Standing is Sgt.Saliba.

Photo thought to have been taken in 1942.

The Wellington was the heaviest bomber based on Malta. They flew from Luqa as the airfield had a solid surface able to take the heavy load. Luqa was also home to just about everything flying from Malta especially in very wet weather.
In 1941 some Wellingtons were equipped with radar. These were used to guide Swordfish onto targets

The Wellington was also based in Egypt at Shallufa, a few miles from the Suez Canal. These aircraft were the first to be converted to carry torpedoes. Two were fitted & were used in night drops against shipping from advanced airstrips near LG 87. This aircraft proved to be a 'potent force' against Rommel's supply shipping.

Wellington Bomber Crew 148th Sqdn R.A.F. Middle East Command. Missing January 19th 1942. From a framed photograph.

Sgt. I.T. James ; P.O. W.J. Carroll ; S/Ldr .E.Abbot ; Sgt. T.H. McGrath ;P.O. H.R. Merry ; Sgt. J.A. Sellars

Information supplied with this photograph courtesy of Stuart Brown..."148 Squadron moved to Kabrit on 26 March 1941, with detachments at Luqa, Landing Ground 60 and Landing Ground 104" I believe Kabrit was in Egypt and all of the above crew are commemorated on The Alamein Memorial.

Luqa was the airfield used to station Wellington's & had only 2 runways at the time mentioned above. The main runway, I understand was used for operational flights.



Torpedo Leader on Malta. Wing Commander Patrick Gibbs.