Operation Insect

'Insect' was the British naval delivery of warplanes to Malta as a repeat of 'Pinpoint' and using the same forces (20/22 July 1942).

Some 32 Supermarine Spitfire fighters were shipped from the UK in the freighters Empire Darwin, Empire Kestrel and Empire Tern in the OG.86 convoy, which sailed on 2 July and reached Gibraltar on 14 July. Although crated, four of the aircraft were damaged in transit and were therefore unusable for 'Insect'. The RAF element of the undertaking was 'Knapsack'.

The 28 serviceable Spitfire fighters and three already at Gibraltar, together with four Fairey Swordfish naval attack aircraft from Gibraltar and six Hawker Sea Hurricane naval fighters, were embarked in the fleet carrier Eagle, which departed on 20 July with the light anti-aircraft cruisers Cairo and Charybdis, and the destroyers Antelope, Ithuriel, Vansittart, Westcott and Wrestler, to reach a point to the south of the Balearic islands group and fly off the aircraft on 21 July after an unsuccessful four-torpedo attack by the Italian submarine Dandolo. Of the 31 Spitfire fighters embarked, one remained onboard unserviceable, and one of the aircraft which took off developed fuel tank defects and ditched, and the remaining 29 reached Malta safely.

The ships then returned to Gibraltar to prepare for 'Pedestal'.