Operation Bijou (ii)

'Bijou' (ii) was a British deception plan to facilitate the passage of the fleet carrier Indomitable to the Mediterranean theatre (June/July 1943).

On 17 June the carrier joined Vice Admiral Sir Algernon Willis’s Force 'H' at Scapa Flow in the Orkney islands group for duty in Mediterranean, and departed for Oran in liberated North Africa. On 5 July the ship sailed from Algiers with the battleships Warspite, Valiant, Nelson and Rodney, fleet carrier Formidable, light cruisers Aurora and Penelope, and a screen of five destroyers to cover military convoys into the central Mediterranean for 'Husky' (i).

On 10 July Indomitable was part of Force 'H' deployed in the Ionian Sea to prevent interference by Italian naval forces during 'Husky' (i), but on 16 July was torpedoed by aircraft which had been wrongly identified during air attacks as Fairey Swordfish warplanes returning to the carrier, which later sailed to the USA for repairs.