Operation Survey

'Survey' was a British naval undertaking to ensure the passage of the MW.19 convoy from Alexandria to Malta (7/11 January 1943).

The merchant vessels involved were the 5,853-ton British Greystoke Castle, US Liberty ships Pierre S. Dupont and O. Henry (7,176 and 7,181 tons respectively), and two Dutch vessels, the 7,029-ton Tosari and 6,233-ton tanker Erinna.

Accompanied by the escort destroyers Aldenham, Beaufort, Belvoir, Dulverton, Exmoor, Hursley, Hurworth, Tetcott and Free Greek Vasilissa Olga, the convoy was attacked by torpedo-bombers at twilight on 8 January, but suffered no damage. In a second air attack after dark, bombs fell near Pierre S. Dupont and Beaufort, and a torpedo attack was made on Aldenham. During the following day the convoy ran into a gale, Erinna in particular labouring in the heavy seas, and the consequent reduction in speed to a mere 6 kt caused a delay in the interception of Captain E. W. Bush’s Force 'K' which had sortied from Malta to meet the convoy.

MW.19 was eventually met by the light anti-aircraft cruiser Euryalus and destroyers Jervis and Kelvin, and the convoy’s speed increased with an improvement in the weather. Air cover was provided by Bristol Beaufighter heavy fighters for most of the passage, and these were vectored onto an approaching Heinkel He 111 bomber, which jettisoned its torpedoes before being damaged and forced to turn away. During the afternoon of 11 January a lone Junkers Ju 88 bomber was also driven off, and that evening the minesweeper Speedy and accompanying motor launches brought the convoy into Grand Harbour.