Thursday, January 21, 2010
Allied air power in support of the Vigorous convoy
A torpedo striking force was based at Malta and on the Libyan border in Egypt. Torpedo-armed Wellingtons and Beauforts were at Malta. More Beauforts were based just inside Egypt from Libya. American B-24 Liberators from the Halverson Detachment were based at Fayid. they had raided Rumania on 12 June 1942 and then were kept in the Middle East for use against the Italian fleet. There was also fighter cover for part of the run to Malta. The short range fighters based behind the front would provide cover at the beginning of the voyage and then Kittyhawks with external fuel tanks and Beaufighters would provide air cover when the Vigorous convoy was beyond the range of the short range fighters. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official history.