Back to Force H in Gibraltar
After a short stay in the Clyde we set sail on the 16th February and joined
a convoy bound for the Mediterranean, arriving at Gibraltar on the 23rd.
We now quickly got back into the old routine of escorting carriers to fly
off fighters to Malta. On the 26th we left Gibraltar to escort Eagle and
Argus with Malaya, but had to return on 28th as the operation was postponed
- for what reason I don't know. Shortly afterwards, on March 5th, we again
left Gibraltar with Eagle, Argus, Malaya, Hermione and eight other destroyers
to fly off aircraft to the island of Malta.
On March 14th we were taking part in an anti submarine ASDIC sweep in the
Gibraltar Straits when our rudder was badly damaged when one of our depth
charges exploded underneath us prematurely. We had to return to Gibraltar
for repairs in number two dry dock. Whilst there one of our men, I believe
to be Clarke, fell into number one dry dock and was seriously injured.
And so we come to the end of March 1942, our rudder repaired, we were unknowingly
getting ready for what was to be the only set-piece battle of Lightning's
war, one in which she would receive battle honours.