Operation Shelford

'Shelford' was the British naval preparation for the repair of the captured Italian port of Benghazi in Libya for service as a supply port for Lieutenant General R. N. O’Connor’s Western Desert Force’s advance deeper to the west into Libya (11 February 1941).

The undertaking began with the boarding at Alexandria of the advance clearance party on the destroyer Hereward for movement to Benghazi. On the following day the light cruisers Ajax and Orion departed Alexandria to rendezvous in the Aegean Sea with the heavy cruiser York, the light anti-aircraft cruiser Bonaventure and the destroyers Jaguar, Janus, Jervis and Mohawk, which had departed Souda Bay. Meanwhile the armed boarding vessel Chakla (carrying the senior naval officer, Inshore Squadron, Captain A. L. Poland) departed Tobruk with the Australian destroyers Stuart, Vampire and Voyager, ther minesweeper Fareham and the minesweeping corvettes Hyacinth and Peony to arrive in Benghazi on the following day.