Monday, January 25, 2010

The Decoy Convoy

A day-and-a-half ahead of the Vigorous convoy, 11 ships sailed with an escort as a DecoyConvoy. The idea was to draw the Italian fleet to the decoy convoy and keep them away from the main body of the Vigorous Convoy that sailed later. The Decoy Convoy had an escort consisting of the old cruiser Coventry and 8 destroyers. Early in the game, the merchant ship, City of Calcutta, was bombed and had to be sent into Tobruk. They rendezvoused with the main body on 13 June 1942. One more merchant ship, the Elizabeth Bakke, was not able to maintain the speed of the convoy. That left the Decoy Convoy with 9 merchant ships. Early on 14 June, the Dutch ship Aagtekirk was also left behind as the ship was not able to steam the convoy speed. The Aagtekirk and her escort were attacked by 40 aircraft. The Aagtekirk sank about 12 miles from Tobruk. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.

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