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This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Plane Called Faith

There were three of them, or so the legend goes, and they named them Faith, Hope and Charity. These are names of the three famous Gladiators that defended Malta during WW2. In reality there were at least 6 Gladiators together with a number of Hawker Hurricanes. The historical facts about that Malta Campaign may be found here.

The War Museum (9)

That Malta was hard hit and severely bombed during the war, is a fact. That Hope and Charity were lost, is also a fact. Charity was shot down on 29 July 1940 and its pilot, F/O P.W.Hartley, was severely burned. Hope was destroyed in an air raid on 4 February 1941. Faith survived and is with us still. It was presented to the people of Malta in 1943. In 1974, Faith was restored by ENG Wing RAF Luqa. It now resides at the National War Museum.

The War Museum (10)

It easy to see why a legend was born. This island was in a strategic position, almost right in the middle of the Mediterranean. It was an asset to the allies. So it was heavily bombed. These planes and their brave pilots defended Malta valiantly. Heroic feats were performed. I read that the names Faith, Hope and Charity only started to be used after the war was over. But I have always been told, by those that lived during those difficult years, that these names were given during the war, that Faith survived because it was the people’s faith which pulled them through.

The War Museum (11)The War Museum (12)

‘Faith’ Gloster Gladiator N5520

Location: Malta National War Museum, Lower Fort St Elmo, Valletta

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9.00-17.00

Last admission: 16.30

Closed: 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 January, Good Friday

9 comments:

  1. Such a worthy topic for a post, Loree. Thank you for this.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Suze.

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  2. Hello Loree:
    A good friend of ours lived for several years on Malta and always speaks with great warmth about the island and its people. This post was fascinating and covered a part of Malta's history that we only knew a little of. The World Wars now all seem so very distant but it is so important we feel to keep remembering the lives lost that we may all enjoy freedom.

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    1. I agree - we must never, ever forget the sacrifice.

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  3. This really touched me today as I just greeted an Honor Flight returning back to my city from a one day trip to see the monuments in Washington, D.C. It is a chartered plane for WWII veterans with much support. I took my family to see the return of one of these trips and was one of around 4,000 people there to honor these aging veterans with flags waving. I am applying for my dad to go in May... stay tuned.

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I am going to send it to my mom and dad. What a great name for the surviving plane, Faith.

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Wow what an amazing moment. I trust your dad will get to go ...

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  4. Hello Loree:

    A very inspiring post. I am delighted to find you, through Heather, Lost in Arles blog, and as your new follower look forward to knowing your corner of the world

    Helen

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  5. Hi Helen and welcome. I will visit your blog soon. Thanks for following this blog's journey.

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