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Excerpt from the book Taranto, by D. Newton & A. C. Hampshire.

Taranto, by Don Newton & A. Cecil Hampshire, © 1959 William Kimber & Co. Ltd., NEL Books, London 1974.

p. 68
A tall lanky individual in the neat blue uniform of an American naval officer was an interested spectator. He was Lieutenant Commander Opie, US Navy, unofficially attached to the Illustrious so that the "American Navy might learn at first hand how the British were fighting their war at sea.
p. 70-71
In August, while the Illustrious was still in the United Kingdom, a subflight of three of the Eagle's Swordfish was disembarked to Dekheila while the damaged carrier was herself being patched up in the dockyard at Alexandria. The Stringbags were sent at the request of the Air Officer Commanding, Western Desert, who needed torpedo-bombers to attack enemy ships bringing supplies to Libya.
On the evening of August 21st a patrolling RAF Blenheim reported that an Italian submarine depot ship with a submarine moored nearby, was anchored in Bomba Bay, some miles to the west of Tobruk. Reconnaissance next morning confirmed that the enemy vessels were still at Bomba. Armed with torpedoes, the three Swordfish set out from Sidi Barrani to attack these juicy targets.
Commanding the subflight was Captain Oliver ('Ollie') Patch, Royal Marines, Short, slim and wiry, Patch was the only marine in the Eagle's squadrons. He had taken up flying five years after joining the Corps in 1932, and at one time during the dual control period of the Fleet Air Arm by the Admiralty and the Air Ministry he must have set the pundits of nomenclature a problem. For he was a marine holding a RAF commission as a Flying Officer serving in the navy's air arm!
His observer for the flight to Bomba was a young RNVR midshipman named Woodley. The other members of the subflight were Lieutenant John Wellham, RN, with Petty Officer Marsh as his observer; and Lieutenant Norman Cheesman, RN, with Sub-Lieutenant (now Captain) 'Satchmo' Stovin-Bradford, RN, as his observer.
As the three Swordfish entered Bomba Bay, flying in line abreast at a height of only thirty feet, they spotted ahead of them an Italian submarine lying on the surface. The U-boat appeared to be charging her batteries, and the crew had obviously taken advantage of their spell in harbour to catch up on their laundry, for a festoon of drying clothes adorned the submarine's jumping wire above the fore and after casing. Farther in-shore lay the depot ship, with a destroyer and another vessel alongside.
As soon as they saw the three British planes the Italian sailors who had been lounging about the deck of the submarine raced to their machine guns and opened fire. 'Ollie' Patch weaved violently to fox the gunners. Then, pointing his Swordfish directly at the U-boat, he launched his torpedo from a range of three hundred yards, turned in a tight loop and headed out to sea. The torpedo struck the U-boat squarely beneath the conning tower and sent her to the bottom.
Continuing on towards the three remaining enemy vessels, Cheesman torpedoed the outermost craft amidships, which blew up and set fire to the destroyer. Wellham ran in on the other side and scored a bullseye on the depot ship, which at once burst into flames.
Except for slight damage to one of the struts of Wellham's aircraft caused by a machine-gun bullet, all the Swordfish made their getaway unscathed. Subsequent reconnaissance photographs showed that all four enemy vessels had been sunk.
After the war 'Ollie' Patch was to meet two of the survivors from the submarine he had sunk in Bomba Bay in August 1940. 'It was lucky for you that you destroyed our ship,' they told him. 'Otherwise we would probably have sunk all your battleships.'
The submarine, he then learned, was the Iride which carried a crew of frogmen specially trained in underwater sabotage. [...]
Of these Bomba heroes only two were present in the wardroom of the Illustrious on the night of November 11th, Patch and Wellham. With them were nine other Eagle aircrew, all experienced in night flying. Lieutenant David Goodwin, Patch's usual observer, was one of these. Except for the brief period during which Patch had been operating from Dekheila he and Goodwin had flown together for over two years, and 'Ollie' no longer commented on his observer's eccentric habit of taking a chamberpot with him on ops!