Friday, June 21, 2024 Military Aviation » Royal Air Force Luqa  

RAF Luqa

On this page, I am reproducing a number of articles originally printed in past editions of Take-Off, the newsletter of the Malta Aviation Society (or Malta Aircraft Enthusiasts, as it was then known). These deal with detachments, exercises and general military activity at what was then known as RAF Luqa. These have been listed in a chronological order. (A link to each page is to be found at the bottom of this introduction.)

The use of words such as “new”, “old” or “latest”, have to be taken in the context in which they were written. Bear in mind that these articles are now at least thirty-thirty-five years old, when front-line aircraft meant Lightnings, Phantoms and Buccaneers.

Aircraft histories have been taken from The Vulcan Story by Tim Laming and Aircraft Illustrated Special: Lightning by Roger Lindsay. Additional histories about other aircraft mentioned will be appreciated. Information about Buccaneers and Phantoms taken from the Aircraft Illustrated Special: RAF Buccaneer and Aircraft Illustrated Special: RAF Phantom, both edited by Peter R. Foster. As these volumes were published in 1987 and 1989 respectively, the histories listed are not complete. The Phantom was retired from RAF service in 1991, the Buccaneer in 1993.

Anyone who can update the information on anyone of these four types is welcome to do so at info (at)

Malta-based Aircraft

First to be listed are the squadrons that were permanently based in Malta, No. 13 & 39 (Canberras) and Nos. 38 & 203 (Shackletons/Nimrods). As it would be too complicated to list when each aircraft joined and/or left the squadron, only the serials of aircraft that are known to have served have been given. Appropriate notes are given where necessary.

Histories, were available, about other aircraft were taken from the UK Serials Resource Centre at


RAF Luqa remembered

David Rose spent 18 months stationed at RAF Luqa (September 1972 – February 1974) and has set up his own tribute to RAF Luqa. Visit his site at RAF Luqa Remembered.

A friendly place.

From someone who will settle for being credited simply as Alec comes the following.

I always remember Luqa as being a very friendly place, and most servicing personnel were given a used starter cartridge as a handy ashtray/souvenir! I lived with my wife in a flat in Sliema, and enjoyed a 6am dip each morning before leaving for work on my Lambretta.

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