Because of the convoy run from Alexandria to Malta in March 1942, the air activity increased considerably. The British made a special effort against the Axis air forces, especially the Luftwaffe. In conjunction with the convoy, the army conducted raids against Rommel's army. These were supported by fighter cover and resulted in three Me-109's destroyed, although at the cost of five Kittyhawks and one Hurricane. At the same time, Wellington bombers raided airfields and ports.
When the Germans started flying supplies and troops over the sea in Ju-52's, long-range Kittyhawks and Beaufighters were sent against them. After a successful action on 12 May 1942, the Germans resorted to escorting the Ju-52's with Me-109's fitted with "extra fuel tanks". This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.