Air Battle of Malta Memorial Hangar
On Wednesday, 28th September 2005, his Excellency the President of the Republic of Malta, Dr. Edward Fenech Adami launched the Air Battle of Malta Memorial Hangar on a site adjacent to the existing Malta Aviation Museum at Ta’ Qali. The new hangar serves to remind present and future generations of the bravery of the heroes who defended our island during World War II.
In his short speech, the Museum’s founder and director general, Mr. Ray Polidano thanked all those who assisted Malta Aviation Museum Foundation, a voluntary, non-profit making organisation, to realise the dream to have an Air Battle of Malta Memorial Hangar as well as the Air Battle of Malta Veterans present for the inauguration for their bravery and courage to defend our island in the horrible years of 1939-1945.
Jack Paternoster, an 82 year old museum member who managed to collect over £9,000 for the hangar project by going around British Villages on a bike and selling a book he authored recounted his experience in Malta during Wartime.
Ms Muriel Pavlow, the main actress in the early 1950s film ‘The Malta Story’ described her memories during the filming of this epic film which brought the last flying Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft to Malta prior to the Merlins over Malta current initiative.
Brigadier Carmelo Vassallo, the museum’s honorary president, emphasised the closed collaboration that was always present between the Armed Forces of Malta and the Malta Aviation Museum. The Armed Forces of Malta in collaboration with the Italian Military Mission in Malta were responsible for the levelling of the new hangar’s ground as well as another area on which a larger hangar is planned to be erected in the future.
Following the Brigadier’s speech His Excellency the President of Malta unveiled a commemorative plaque and the Chaplain of the Armed Forces blessed the Hangar. Finally a Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft which were brought to Malta specifically for this event by a team called Merlins Over Malta made an amazing flying display over the Museum Grounds.