Operation Railway I

This was a British naval delivery of fighter aircraft to Malta (25/28 June 1941).

Reaching the Clyde river after ‘Rocket’, the elderly fleet carrier Furious embarked her largest aircraft shipment to date, namely 64 Hawker Hurricane monoplane fighters and nine Fairey Swordfish naval biplane attack aircraft. The carrier departed the Clyde on 22 June escorted by the light anti-aircraft cruiser Hermione and destroyers Lance, Legion, Vanquisher and Winchelsea, and later Faulknor, Fearless, Forester, Foxhound and Fury from Gibraltar, which Furious reached on 25 June.

After this 22 aircraft were transferred to the modern fleet carrier Ark Royal, which departed on 26 June escorted by elements of Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville’s Force ‘H’, namely the battle-cruiser Renown, light anti-aircraft cruiser Hermione and destroyers Faulknor, Forester, Fury, Lance and Legion, to fly off the aircraft on 27 June escorted by Bristol Blenheim aircraft from Gibraltar. Only one Hurricane failed to complete the delivery flight, and Ark Royal and her escort returned to Gibraltar on 28 June.