Operation Inspection

'Inspection' was a British operation, otherwise known as 'MBD2', to move the fleet carrier Illustrious, severely damaged in 'MC4', from Malta to Alexandria before transiting the Suez Canal for onward passage to the USA for repair (20/25 January 1941).

To support the undertaking, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham’s Mediterranean Fleet organised three groups of warships, namely Force 'A' with the destroyers Greyhound, Janus, Jervis and Juno (14th Destroyer Flotilla) to operate in the vicinity of Souda Bay on Crete; Force 'B' with the heavy cruiser York, the light cruisers Ajax and Orion, the light anti-aircraft cruiser Bonaventure, and the destroyers Hero and Ilex (2nd Destroyer Flotilla) also to operate in the vicinity of Souda Bay; and Force 'C' with the battleships Barham and Valiant, the Australian light cruiser Perth, and the destroyers Diamond, Griffin, Hasty, Mohawk, Nubian and Australian Stuart, which was to be at short notice at Alexandria. On the arrival of the AS.12 convoy’s escorts at Alexandria, the destroyer Hereward relieved Stuart in the Force 'C' screen.