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On the whole, I think he enjoyed his service career.One of my main memories of those days, as a young lad, was that having signed up for so long in the first place, he spent the next 10 years waiting to get out ...if so, see my info and offer for help right at the bottom of this page. Dad wasn't a particularly good or keen sailor, so his memories of the voyage are, understandably, rather scant. On gaining access to his service record, we did indeed discover the truth in the family 'legend' that he was not originally posted to Malta at all.His access to Marsaxlokk was by bike down the lanes from his flat in Zejtun, through the villages, and over to the bay, and thence via launch and small RAF craft of varying descriptions out to the Sunderlands moored in deep water.As he often said, he thought he'd joined the Air Force, not the bloody Navy!Dad used to sit, or lay, in the bomb-aimer's position when his air-test was complete, and often had the shakes and heeby-jeebies by the time they landed.

Hal-Far was the location of the radio workshops where wireless sets were taken for major work 'on a bench'.

There's some interesting RAF links at the bottom of this page. which moved around quite a bit, but in 1947 was at Cranwell. In effect, he 'jumped ship', albeit with his CO's blessing, and spent two years on an island that was almost idyllic in comparison to where he might have ended up.

Also, do you need help with deciphering your man's Service Record ... The road shown is still there, and that corner now boasts a large 2-storey secondary-school type building of the 70's. He recalled arriving at Liverpool Docks to be confronted by the sight of a ship, so massive it seemed to a 20-year old that had never been near the open sea let alone aboard a ship, it were bigger than a block of flats.

The Med might be the calming mill-pond for today's summer holidays, but in winter it can be as cold and as rough as the North Sea. Only 5 years after the end of the war, with Valetta still largely in ruins and bomb damage everywhere, it is surprising that they enjoyed it as much as they did.

The RAF had several craft down there, one of which was a very ancient and leaky oil-fired pinnace ! An idyllic holiday destination now, Malta in 1950 wasn't quite so pleasant or fun - but then a massive improvement on the Canal Zone. She complained, when I was born up at the Military Families Hospital at Mtarfa, that dad didn't take her any flowers!

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