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September 2005, during the week of the Malta International Air Show saw Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and British Army veterans who served on the ‘Fortress Island’ during WWII will link up with Veterans from the Commonwealth, USA and Maltese veterans in a week of Commemoration and Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the end of Malta’s Second Great Siege, Victory in Europe, and the end of World War II.

Thursday 22nd September
With the bastions full of waiting spectators, the Spitfire and Hurricane arrived in Grand Harbour at exactly 18:00 local time. The aircraft flew a total of six passes through the harbour before flying around the islands of Malta and Gozo as a pair and then around Malta in formation with a Malta Defence Force Islander. Merlins were once again heard and seen over Malta. The aircraft then went onto land at the Malta International Airport.

 
Friday 23rd September
Rest day from flying
Muriel Pavlow was treated to a guided tour of the Lascaris War Rooms. All the scenes of the war rooms in Malta Story were filmed in studios in the UK so this was the first time Muriel had seen the real plotting table. After the war rooms Muriel was taken up to the Siege Bell.
 
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Muriel recreating a scene from Malta Story at the plotting table

Saturday 24th September
This years Malta International Air Show had many firsts - The Spitfire, a Hurricane and a Messerschmitt 108. The Saturday show was special because the Veterans were the guests of honour. They were welcomed to their enclosure by an guard of honour. Their enclosure next to the Spitfire, Hurricane and Messerschmitt 108 gave them a perfect view of the Air Show and it gave the visitors the chance to meet the veterans and see the visiting aircraft. The Spitfire and Hurricane were the stars of the show. They took off together and flew several passes together before they each performed a solo display. Both aircraft taxied in to a stand ovation from the gathered crowd and the veterans.

In the morning before the show Muriel was taken to the Home Front Museum.
 

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  The Spitfire and Hurricane taxi in at Luqa  
  © Mike Tozer  
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  "Guns loaded" & "Onwards to Malta"   "Guns Loaded" & "Fuelled"  
  © Bryan Simpson   © Bryan Simpson  
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  Charlie Brown in the Spitfire   Clive Denney in the Hurricane  
  © Mike Tozer   © Mike Tozer  
         
 
Sunday 25th September
Sunday's Air Show started off with rain but this cleared to provide the visitors with another memorable day of flying. The Spitfire and Hurricane flew the same display that they performed on Saturday and they had an extra flight to perform that evening for the veterans that were gathering at the rain soaked War Memorial in Floriana. When it rains in Malta it rains and everyone in Valletta and the surrounding area were treated to one of Malta's best. The roads were flooded but the celebrations continued. The President and other dignitaries placed wreaths at the foot of the memorial and a service was held. At 6:00 the rains cleared and the sound of two Merlin engines could be heard in the distance. At 6:02 the Spitfire and Hurricane flew over the memorial in a salute to the gathered Veterans. On the second pass over the memorial the Spitfire dropped poppies over the memorial. Many of these were collected and handed to the veterans.
 
 
Monday 26th September
Rest day from flying

 
Tuesday 27th September
With the Spitfire undergoing repair at the Airport it was the Hurricane’s turn to fly. Howard Cook flew the Hurricane around the island in formation with the support aircraft so that air to air photographs could be taken.
 
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  Howard Cook taxies out for a flight around Malta   Rob Friar and David Polidano work on the Spitfire  
 
 

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A very happy David Polidano of the Malta Aviation Museum

     
Wednesday 28th September
On the Wednesday Veterans gathered at the Malta Aviation Museum for the opening of the "Air Battle of Malta" hangar. At this time the hangar contains the museum's Spitfire and Hurricane but it is planned to add the Tiger Moth and the Swordfish. The hangar was opened by Malta's President - Eddie Fenech Adami. Merlins Over Malta guest and star of "Malta Story" Muriel Pavlow gave a speech and talked about her time on Malta during the filming and her recent visit - Her first since 1953. Once again, the highlight of the day was the flypast of the Spitfire and Hurricane. They performed several passes as pairs and then they split to perform solo displays for the guests.
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  The Hurricane overhead the Museum   The President opens the hangar  
  © Mike Tozer   © Mike Tozer  
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  The Spitfire overhead the Museum   Muriel addresses the Museum's guests  
  © Mike Tozer   © Mike Tozer  
Thursday 29th September
After some delays at 13:30 (local) the aircraft flew out of Malta the way they came in – Through Grand Harbour and out towards Sicily.
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