Operation Status II

This was a British naval delivery of fighter reinforcements to Malta (10/14 September 1941).

After a rapid turnaround at Gibraltar after the completion of 'Status I', the fleet carrier Ark Royal with 26 Hawker Hurricane single-seat fighters and elderly carrier Furious with 20 fighters of the same type departed on 10 September as two separate forces which joined in the early on 11 September to be escorted by elements of Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville’s Gibraltar-based Force ‘H’ in the form of the battleship Nelson, light anti-aircraft cruiser Hermione, and destroyers Foresight, Forester, Gurkha, Lance, Legion, Lively and Zulu.

The two carriers launched 46 Hurricane fighters on 13 September, and of these one (the third aeroplane to be launched) crashed on take off. The other fighters met seven Bristol Blenheim light bombers, which served as navigational guide aircraft, and all of the aircraft reached Malta safely.

The ships returned to Gibraltar on 14 September. Furious departed on 18 September for Bermuda, escorted initially by Forester, Foresight, Fury and Legion, and thence to the USA for a refit.