Marsa

Validation date: 15 05 2012
Updated on: Never
Views: 2192


35°52'30"N 014°29'16"E

Runway: N/A

Marsa airfield was an airfield on Malta
Construction began in 1915, after two Royal Navy battleships, HMS Triumph and HMS Majestic, were sunk by German submarines in the Mediterranean on 6 May 1915.
Soon after, the Admiralty gave its permission to construct an anti-submarine sea-plane base in Malta.
This airfield became known as Calafrana, but as this was a seaplane base, it left the wish for a land based airfield on Malta because of the frequent rough seas around Malta.
The airfield was opened in the summer of 1918 to allow operations by two De Havilland DH9As of 562 (Malta Anti-submarine) Flight.
The end of World War I meant an end to this operation, and 562 Flight disbanded in early 1919.
The previous December however had seen an event that needed an airfield for the largest aircraft of the RAF at the time.
The third prototype of the Handly Page V/1500 long range bomber was used by the RAF to prove it could fly from England to India, at the time an English colony.
Its interior had been converted in such a way it could serve as an airliner, carrying 9 passengers on this particular flight although it could have carried 40.
The aircraft made it to India by the way, and was converted back to a bomber, but after having flown a single war mission in Afghanistan its wings fell victim to termites.
It remained the largest aircraft to land at Malta for many years.





The former airfield photographed during World War II


Today the airfield is only faintly recognisable from the air.
Immediately after the war the airfield was rebuilt into a sportsfield, with horse and running tracks, tennis courts and a golf course.
It is unsure why the British opted for Hal Far when they began looking for a new airfield 4 years later.





Former airfield Marsa in 2009 (Google Earth)