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RAF Safi Malta Trench- Art Ashtray
Royal Air Force Safi was located on the island of Malta, established in 1941 as a diversion airstrip for the main operating base at RAF Luqa ; a similar diversion airstrip to Safi was located at RAF Krendi.
RAF Safi was constructed at a time when Malta was under intense aerial bombardment (it became the most bombed place on earth in 1942) and Malta's Air Command needed to have alternative diversion airstrips to use as emergency landing grounds. Construction at Safi started in 1941 and the strip became operational in 1942 and was inaugurated by AOC Malta Sir Keith Park and it remained operational throughout the War. Post WWII Safi was reduced in function to become a Maintenance Unit. Today Safi's runway has long gone and the hangars and dispersal area have been extensively redeveloped.
We assume this nicely worked ashtray dates from the WWII period of occupation by the RAF and it features an RAF eagle and below a scale map of Malta and Gozo with the location of RAF Safi clearly marked. We were fortunate to purchase two of these ashtrays, clearly both worked by the same hand. The first sold even before we could list on the website and is now in the collection of one of our regulars back on Malta where it belongs;we don't anticipate its partner will be with us long. Items related to the Air War on Malta are few and far between and this is the first related pair of items we have ever handled relating to RAF Safi, so grab it whilst you can as we are unlikely to find another. Made from a good weight of copper plate the top surface is nicely polished whilst the bottom is 'au naturel'. The ashtray measures 4.75" diameter (12 cm). The final pictures attached show AOC Keith Park, taken at the offoicial opening of RAF Safi, with the ceremony perfomed by Field Marshall Lord Gort VC, Malta's then Govenor.