Sunday, December 27, 2009
The Harpoon Convoy Ships
The Harpoon convoy consisted of the American tanker Kentucky, the British merchant ships Troilus, Burdwan, Orari, the American merchant ship Chant, and the Dutch merchant ship Tanimbar. The main covering force, which would not go all the way to Malta, consisted of the battleship Malaya, the aircraft carriers Eagle and Argus, the cruisers Kenya, Liverpool, Charybdis, and 8 destroyers. The main covering force would turn back at the Skerki Channel, leaving just the AA cruiser Cairo (an old C-class cruiser converted as an anti-aircraft ship), 5 destroyers, and 4 Hunt class escort destroyers to accompany the convoy to Malta. There were also 4 minesweepers and 6 "minesweeping motor launches" to clear the way into Malta. Another tanker, the Brown Ranger, sailed independently to refuel the escorts to Malta. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.