Thursday, December 31, 2009
More air fighting over Harpoon on 14 June 1942
As noted, when the Harpoon convoy got within 150 miles of Sicily, the main body was attacked by Ju-88s and a few Ju-87s. the old aircraft carrier Argus managed to maneuver and avoid torpedoes from the SM-79 torpedo bombers. The FAA fighters fought valiantly, although 7 were lost on 14 June 1942. The Italians and Germans lost 17 aircraft to AA fire and British fighters. After dark, the convoy picked up a Beaufighter escort from Malta. The main escort force turned back when the convoy reached the Skerki Channel and the much smaller Force X (AA cruiser Cairo, 9 destroyers, 4 minesweepers, and 6 minesweeping motor launches) were the sole escort in the final run to Malta. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.