Operation Bellows (ii)

'Bellows' (ii) was the British naval delivery of Supermarine Spitfire single-engined fighters to Malta within the overall context of 'Pedestal' (4/12 August 1942).

Also associated with two other elements of this large-scale undertaking, namely 'Berserk' and 'Ascendant', 'Bellows' (ii) was entrusted to the elderly fleet carrier Furious, which was loaded with 39 Spitfire fighters on the Clyde river and sailed on 4 August with the light cruiser Manchester and destroyers Sardonyx and Free Polish Błyskawica, the former remaining part of the escort until the night of 5/6 August.

Furious and Manchester joined the WS.21S convoy on 7 August, and the entire force and convoy passed through the Strait of Gibraltar on 10 August. On 11 August Furious, escorted by the destroyers Laforey and Lookout detached from the main body and, at a point some 635 miles (1020 km) to the west of Malta, flew off all but one of the Spitfire fighters. One of the aircraft was forced to land hurriedly on the nearby fleet carrier Indomitable, but the remaining aircraft reached Malta.

Having completed her part of the operation, Furious turned back for Gibraltar escorted by the destroyers Keppel, Venomous, Wolverine and Wrestler, which had come out from Gibraltar to cover the return passage. Wolverine rammed and sank the Italian submarine Dagabur during the passage, leaving Furious and the remaining destroyers to proceed to Gibraltar.