4" means that they have to use AP, that is less damaging than HE shells used normally against unarmored vessels, and that goes for the secondary armaments as well.The delay would be no greater than the Jervis Bay ( which had 7 6" guns ) managed , 4" of armour vs 11" guns is pointless, its penetrated at any range. As for the planes, the CAM ships did not have standard catapults , they were special rocket powered ones to get the launch speed.
Erie had regular catapult, so better than the CAM ships, so that's a large advantage over AMC Jervis Bay in spotting, as well as being a smaller, armored target.
And she still did her job, the convoy scattered. 33 merchantmen escaped, while 5 did not.