Ships - Malta

Hover over cargo for list of Spitfire serials

cargo codes

Operation Spotter/Quarter

Vessel Code Loaded Sailed Convoy Destination Arrived Cargo Notes
Cape HawkeLiverpool09.02.42Gibraltar21.02.4216Sp 1FuEU Ref 86/42
HMS EagleGibraltar06.03.42Malta07.03.4215Sp

AB333 was unserviceable and was delivered on Operation Picket.

Operation Picket/Scantling

Queen VictoriaGlasgow03.03.42EscortGibraltar13.03.4216Sp 4SwEU Ref 205/1
HMS EagleGibraltar20.03.42Malta21.03.429SpOp Picket I
HMS EagleGibraltar27.03.42Malta29.03.427SpOp Picket II

All 16 aircraft were due to fly off in one operation but the Blenheim escort for the second flight failed to arrive. Eagle returned to Gibraltar and mounted a second operation a week later. One Spitfire on 2nd operation was unserviceable.

Operation Calendar/Newman

USS WaspGlasgow14.04.42Malta20.04.4247Sp

One aircraft (BP958) landed Algeria.

Operation Bowery/Oppidan

Empire HeathBelfast08.04.42OG.82Gibraltar20.04.4228Sp
USS WaspGlasgow03.05.42Malta09.05.4247Sp
HMS EagleGibraltar07.05.42Malta09.05.4217Sp

One aircraft crashed on takeoff (BP972 or BR133).

Operation LB/Hansford

HMS EagleGibraltar17.05.42Malta18.05.4217Sp


Operation Style

Empire ConradGlasgow15.05.42EscortGibraltar27.05.4232Sp 2FuEU Ref O33/2
HMS EagleGibraltar02.06.42Malta03.06.4232Sp


Operation Salient/Maintop

HopetarnLiverpool26.05.42EscortGibraltar02.06.4232SpEU Ref O33/3
HMS EagleGibraltar08.06.42Malta09.06.4232Sp


Operation Pinpoint/Colima

GuidoLiverpool13.06.42OG.85Gibraltar25.06.4212SpEU Ref O33/4
Empire ShackletonLiverpool13.06.42OG.85Gibraltar25.06.4218SpEU Ref O33/4
HMS EagleGibraltar14.07.42Malta15.07.4232Sp

EP117 crashed on takeoff. 31 arrived Malta.

Operation Insect/Knapsack

Empire DarwinCardiff29.06.42OG.86Gibraltar14.07.4222SpEU Ref O33/7
Empire TernLiverpool01.07.42OG.86Gibraltar14.07.426Sp
Empire KestrelLiverpool02.07.42OG.86Gibraltar14.07.424SpEU Ref O33/10
HMS EagleGibraltar20.07.42Malta21.07.4231Sp


Operation Bellows/Grinnell

HMS FuriousGlasgow04.08.42Malta11.08.4239Sp

2 aircraft flown off at Glasgow as test. One re-loaded aboard. 38 aircraft took off. 1 landed back on Indominable. 1 u/s with coolant pump trouble.

Operation Baritone/Headlong

Empire CliveCardiff11.07.42OG.87Gibraltar03.08.4232Sp
HMS FuriousGibraltar16.08.42Malta17.08.4232SpForce H

EP194 crashed on takeoff. EP152 and EP606 abandoned into Med. 29 aircraft arrived of which one (BR482) overshot landing and struck off.

Operation Train

Empire FranklinLiverpool31.08.42OG.89Gibraltar14.09.4226SpEU Ref O33/13
Empire CabotCardiff28.08.42OG.89Gibraltar14.09.4228SpEU Ref O33/14
Empire HeathCardiff28.08.42OG.89Gibraltar14.09.4216SpEU Ref O33/14
HMS FuriousGibraltar28.10.42Malta29.10.4231Sp

Aircraft on board the last convoy (OG.85) were intended for Operation Torch (the Allied landings in North Africa). With the permission of Eisenhower 44 were diverted to Malta (32 on Furious and 12 direct).

A total of 70 Spitfires were shipped on this convoy plus 22 Hurricanes and 5 Hurribombers together with 15 special tractors and 6 cranes.

The 12 aircraft flown direct from Gibraltar to Malta with long-range tanks were despatched on 25.10.42(2), 31.10.42(5) and 6.11.42(5).

1 aircraft was not loaded onto Furious as one small component was missing. 2 of the aircraft on Furious became unserviceable due to engine problems.

The latter two returned to Gibraltar and were flown to Malta with long-range tanks on 18.11.42. The final remaining aircraft (ER647) departed with long range tanks on the 20th November. This aircraft was not part of the original diverted shipment but had been delivered to Gibraltar on the second Operation Torch convoy.