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This is a general overview. Please see also the Operations page with links to individual pages.

At the beginning of the war convoys got through unharmed.Admiral Cunningham considered it would take 2 convoys a month each taking 40,000 tons of supplies to keep Malta going.
I recommend this site for details of every convoy resupplying Malta. It is quite extensive.

July 1940 Aircraft Carrier HMS Argus flew off Hurricaines from a distance of 400 miles from Malta.
August 1940 HMS Argus returned with more Hurricanes.
November 1940 HMS Argus again returned & 14 more Hurricaines were flown off but a strong headwind resulted in 9 of them running out of fuel short of Malta.
10th January 1941

Aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious limped into Grand Harbour after being hit by German dive bombers. She arrived with a convoy.

She was bombed in the harbour but only suffered one hit. Later repaired she left Malta on the 21st of January bound for Alexandria.

March 1941 A small convoy including the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal reached Malta & 12 Mark II Hurricanes were flown off.
April 1941 Four Destroyers were sent to Malta.
May 1941 Convoy arrived in Malta.
July 1941 Convoy arrived in Malta.
September 1941 Convoy arrived in Malta.
13th November 1941 Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal sunk off Gibralter by German submarine U-81.
12th January 1942 Convoy arrived escorted towards the end of there journey by RAF fighters.
February 1942 Convoy failed to arrive.
5th March 1942 First Spitfires to arrive in Malta flew off HMS Eagle near Gibraltar bound for Malta.
March 1942

Convoy from Alexandra comprising 5 light cruisers were attacked by an Italian battle fleet comprising 1 battleship, 6 cruisers & many destroyers.

On the 24th of March 1 merchantman in the convoy, the Breconshire carrying oil, was bombed outside Grand Harbour & sank.The merchantman Glen Campbell also sank a few minutes later.

Only the Pampas & the Talabot made harbour but the Pampas was bombed, caught fire & sank. The Talabot was hit & only part of the cargo was saved.

20th April 1942

USS Wasp, an American aircraft carrier carrying 47 Mark V Spitfires left Port Glasgow on the 12th of April escorted by the cruiser HMS Renown & 6 British destroyers.

On the 19th the convoy passed through the Straits of Gibraltar picking up another battle cruiser, 2 other cruisers & 8 destroyers. The Spitfires flew off the carrier on the 20th of April.

9th May 1942 USS Wasp flew off another 47 Spitfires & HMS Eagle flew off 17.
10th May 1942 HMS Welshman, a minelayer arrived with anti aircraft (AA) ammunition & spare parts for the Spitfires.
18th May 1942 More Spitfires arrived.
9th June 1942 HMS Eagle brought new pilots.
15th June 1942

Two convoys, one from the east & a smaller one from the west reached 60 miles from the Maltese coast. HMS Welshman arrived ahead of the rest & was rapidly unloaded, sailing within six hours.

The merchantmen included the Burdwan (British), the Tannibar (Dutch), the Chant & Kentucky (American), the Troilus & the Orari. Of these the only merchantmen to make harbour in Malta were the Troilus & the Orari. The other 4 were sunk. Also sunk were 2 destroyers, with the cruiser Cairo, 3 destroyers & a minesweeper damaged.

11 - 15th August 1942

A large convoy sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar with aircraft carriers HMS Eagle & HMS Furious. On the 11th of August HMS Eagle was torpedoed by U-boats & sunk just after a batch of Spitfire's had taken off. Two U-boats were later sunk.

The 12th of August saw the fiercest day of battle off the coast of Tunis.

On the 13th the convoy reached the range of Malta's short range fighters & at 1630hrs 3 merchantmen - the Port Chalmers, the Melbourne Star & the Rochester Castle arrived escorted by destroyers.

Early on the 14th the merchantman Brisbane Star arrived in reverse due to a gaping hole in her bows caused by a torpedo hit.

On the 15th the American tanker Ohio carrying aircraft fuel arrived, she was heavily damaged & even had a crashed Stuka dive bomber on her deck. Her engines were destroyed by bombs & she lay 60 miles off the Maltese coast adrift. Two destroyers were lashed either side of her which brought her to the harbour.

After unloading her cargo of fuel she broke her back & sank in the harbour.

From this convoy the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Cairo, the cruiser HMS Manchester & the destroyer HMS Foresight were all sunk.

The carrier HMS Indomitable & cruisers Nigeria & Kenya along with the battle cruiser HMS Rodney were all damaged.

None of the surviving merchantmen arrived without damage.

October 1942 HMS Welshman returned with aircraft fuel.
20th November 1942

The convoy Stoneage comprising 4 merchantmen (2,American,1 British, 1 Dutch), the cruiser Euryalus & 10 destroyers reached Malta from Egypt.

In all 50,000 tons of supplies reached Malta within days.

5th December 1942 UN convoy arrives.
March 1943 40,000 tons arrived & marked the end of the siege.
20th June 1943 King George VI arrived on HMS Aurora.

HMS Welshman was sunk off Tobruk on the 1st of February 1943.

The USS Wasp was sunk by a Japanese submarine on the 15th of September 1942 while covering re-enforcements to Guadal Canal.

Links Very detailed description of all convoy operations to Malta. Click the 'Part 1 - 2 - 3' links to expand the information. - Really useful site listing ships involved in convoy operations in WWII. Each ship links to full page coverage with useful dates & photos.

Malta Convoys

Index of merchantmen & convoy codes -