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  #451  
Old 16-02-2017, 20:52
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Old Salt Old Salt is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

See that I have lost the five stars !? Been a good boy too !

Brian
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  #452  
Old 17-02-2017, 00:06
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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See that I have lost the five stars !? Been a good boy too !

Brian
Not to worry Brian - you'll always be the number one star among the fans of this thread!!!
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  #453  
Old 17-02-2017, 01:56
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Brian
I continue to be fascinated by your reports.
Here's one that has very good and comprehensive information about the aftermath - the grounding of Missouri in Jan 1950.

The incident: https://disasteroushistory.blogspot....-missouri.html

the recovery: http://www.hnsa.org/resources/manual...alvage-report/

I'm sure we have all encountered captains like Brown! Thankfully ship & bridge management practices have improved somewhat over the years!

Tony
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  #454  
Old 18-02-2017, 11:40
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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Brian
I continue to be fascinated by your reports.
Here's one that has very good and comprehensive information about the aftermath - the grounding of Missouri in Jan 1950.

The incident: https://disasteroushistory.blogspot....-missouri.html

the recovery: http://www.hnsa.org/resources/manual...alvage-report/

I'm sure we have all encountered captains like Brown! Thankfully ship & bridge management practices have improved somewhat over the years!

Tony

Thanks Tony.... looking forward to reading them. My favourite Captain counts the strawberries !

Brian
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  #455  
Old 18-02-2017, 11:44
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Ooops gentlemen, the five stars are in the dark blue line at the top of the thread. My optician is The Warehouse !

Brian
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  #456  
Old 18-02-2017, 14:29
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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Ooops gentlemen, the five stars are in the dark blue line at the top of the thread. My optician is The Warehouse !

Brian
Now I really am confused Brian

When I added my contribution to your thread rating the other day, the rating stars were gold/yellow on a blue background, within a box (2nd in from the right) ..... just as they are as I type this post today !!

Got me to wondering; if the screen appearance settings have anything to do with the colours on the forum?

Little h
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Last edited by harry.gibbon : 18-02-2017 at 14:42.
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  #457  
Old 18-02-2017, 16:05
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

It had 5 stars after I read Brian's post and still had 5 stars when I added my two penny worth of *****

Jim
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  #458  
Old 19-02-2017, 02:27
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

HMS KITE - (U-87) - LOSS

HMS Kite (U87) was a Modified Black Swan-class sloop of the Royal Navy once commanded by the famous U-boat hunter Captain Frederic John Walker. She was one of several ships of that class that took part in the famous patrol in 1944 in which six U-boats were sunk.

Sloops were originally distinguished by their sail pattern but the name had been adopted for warships smaller than a destroyer. HMS Kite was first of the Modified Black Swan class, specially designed to escort convoys..

On 15 August1944 Kite joined escort for Russian Convoy JW59 with destroyer HMS Keppel and sloops HMS Mermaid and HMS Peacock. Some sources record that Kite’s CO was a submariner in temporary command. It was in fact a normal transfer of command from HM Submarine Severn in May 1944.

The convoy was sighted by German reconnaissance planes on 20 August in the Barents Sea off the northern coast of Nazi occupied Norway. At this time Kite was escorting aircraft carriers HMS Vindex and Striker who were escorting the convoy.

On 21 August alerted U-boats found the convoy. Both Kite and Keppel were towing noisemakers astern. Kite’s was drowning out Keppel’s Asdic and she was asked to recover it. There was some difficulty doing this and the ship’s speed was reduced to assist. At this time (0640) a torpedo fired by U344 hit Kite in he starboard side amidships causing a huge explosion. A second torpedo followed immediately, exploding at the stern near the depth charges.

Most of the ship’s company were asleep in their hammocks in various stages of undress. The ship listed immediately and sank within 1-2 minutes. In that time about 60-70 of ship's company made it into the sea. One of the lookouts in Keppel reported an object in the water near HMS Kite but nothing was seen from the bridge. Keppell swept over the area without success and when HMS Mermaid and HMS Peacock arrived, she could commence recovery of survivors.

Time in oily Artic waters took its toll, hypothermia set in within minutes : only nine survivors were rescued by Keppel, the remainder being killed within the ship or had died from hypothermia.

At the subsequent board of inquiry all nine survivors were questioned. It had all happened within 1-2 minutes and there was little the survivors could recall other than how they escaped. Two of them reported seeing a conning tower briefly as the ship sank.

The board made a point of asking each one whether he was wearing a lifebelt and a piece of rope and whether they were requred by Standing Orders. There was no time to locate and put on lifejackets, and most were still undressed having been awoken from their sleep in the messdecks below . None had heared an order to abandon ship. She had listed immediately and began to sink, the ship’s company having only one minute to climb to the upper deck and enter the water. Two attempted to lower the port whaler, but the ship had listed too far making it impossible to launch.

About 60 men had made it into the water, most swimming but some clinging to Carley floats. Five underwater explosions (Kite’s depth charges) were heard as the ship sank and oil appeared on the sea surface. Some of the men remained within the oil because they found it to be warming but most suffered in the oil and died from suffocation

Two sailors on Carley floats reported seeing the conning tower of a submarine.

A sailor on watch on the bridge heard the two explosions and then saw depth charge racks and debris coming through the air from aft. He ducked down for safety and saw the OOW crouched down as well. The Captain arrived on the bridge and said "Have you sounded action stations yet?" but by that time the OOW had left and was in the water. Then the Captain used some foul language about Germans and went inside again.

One of Keppel’s officers said that they were not expecting U-boats within 30 miles? When they closed the survivors there were about 20-30 men floating in the water. There was great difficulty getting them out of the water and into the whaler. They were covered in thick oil, making them very slippery to grasp. It would have helped if they had been wearing ropes ends round themselves. . 14 men were rescued, of which 5 died within a few minutes.


The Findings

1. We have the honour to report that in accordance with instructions a Board of Inquiry consisting of the undersigned met at 1000 hours to-day, 9th September, 1944, at Navy House, Clarence Street, Greenock, to investigate the circumstances attending the loss of HMS Kite. We have considered the evidence given by the several witnesses and our opinion of the occurrence is as follows:-

2. At 2230 on the 20th August, 1944, HMS Keppel and HMS Kite were ordered to take station in the Starboard Quarter Sector of the Escort Squadron No.2. About midnight they investigated and depth charged a suspicious contact, but there was no result. HMS Kite was stationed 5,000 yards on the starboard bow of HMS Keppel .

3. Noisemakers were streamed in both ships. Keppel had hers tripped whilst those in Kite were in the rattling position.

4. About 0500/21 August Keppel requested Kite to trip her noisemakers which were causing interference with their Asdics.

5. About 0600 HMS Kite reduced to 6 knots to clear her port noisemaker which was wound round the towing wire. During this time the starboard unit was still in the rattling position.

6. From HFDF bearings, U-boats were known to be in the vicinity, but were not thought to be in the immediate vicinity. HMS Kite had one cruising watch closed up.

7. Wind was West by North, Force 3; weather, overcast; visibility, 7’ sea and swell, 22; course and speed, 050, 6 knots; Asdic conditions fair to poor. Temp Air 39 F, Sea 45 F.

8. About 0640 in position 73 01’ N 03 57’ E, HMS Kite was struck on the starboard side by two torpedoes; there was an interval of a few seconds between each one hitting. The first struck in the region of the break of the boat deck, and the second further aft in the vicinity of the depth charge throwers. The ship broke in two, and the fore part listed heavily to starboard whilst the stern floated away.

9. No Asdic warning of any sort was received on the Bridge prior to the explosions.

10. The actual time the ship floated cannot be accurately assessed, but it was undoubtedly for a very short period, of one to two minutes. One result of these explosions was that depth charges and throwers were hurled into the water, amongst other debris.

11. No orders were given to abandon ship, but those officers and ratings who could get up on deck took to the water almost at once. An attempt was made lto ower the port whaler, but this quickly proved impracticable. However, a certain amount of life-saving equipment, such as a Carley raft, Flotanets, timber and a life buoy floated off onto the water.

12. Shortly after abandoning ship there were four to five under-water explosions,

13. Two seamen both state that after taking to the water they saw a U-boat conning tower break surface for a very short period, about 150 to 200 yards on the starboard bow of the fore portion of their ship. This was not corroborated by any other survivors, though HMS Keppel's look-out reported an object in the vicinity of Kite at about this time which he thought was the conning tower of a U-boat. This was not seen by anyone else in HMS Keppel. From all the available evidence, it seems that about 70 to 80 of the Ship’s Company got out of the ship and into the water.

14. After the explosion the Captain appeared on the Bridge for a short period but was not afterwards seen in the water. The XO, Lt. X , and Sub Lieutenant Y. were seen to get into the water. Lieutenant Z., was picked up and died onboard HMS Keppel.

15. On observing the explosions HMS Keppel closed Kite’s position and carried out an A/S search, which, however, proved fruitless.

16. At 0736 Keppel stopped to pick up survivors whilst HMS Mermaid and HMS Peacock carried out operation observant round her. Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting survivors out of the water owing to the large quantity of oil about and the fact that few were wearing life belts, and none had lengths of rope secured round them. When the rescue work commenced there were about 30 men in the water, but these rapidly diminished, and only 14 were picked up, of whom 5 died within a few minutes.

17. FINDINGS We find that :-
(1) HMS KITE was sunk by two torpedoes fired from a U-boat on the starboard side at short range.
(2) There is no evidence to show that the magazine exploded.
(3) Although the second torpedo hit in the vicinity of the Starboard propeller, it is not considered that this torpedo was a ‘Gnat’ (noise seeker), as the ship’s speed of 6 knots was below the critical speed.

(4) Despite the poor Asdic conditions it is nevertheless considered that some warning should have been obtained from the Asdic Set. The loss of HMS Kite must, in some measure, be attributed to the unsatisfactory performance of the Foxer gear, which necessitated the ship steaming on a steady course at 6 knots.

(5) The explosions heard and felt by survivors in the water subsequent to the ship breaking in two, are considered to have been caused by depth charges separated from the throwers by the force of the second torpedo explosion. These charges were set to safe, but due to being separated from the throwers the primer ‘placer ‘gear would have come into action and the charges exploded at a considerable depth.

(7) No alarm was passed or orders given to abandon ship, but we do not consider that there was, in fact, time to do so.

(8) 217 men here lost their lives. The large loss of life must be attributed to the amount of oil fuel about, the low temperature of the water, and the fact that few of the Ship’s Company were wearing lifebelts. The orders regarding the wearing of lifebelts on deck seem to have been rigidly enforced, but the necessity for wearing them when below does not appear to have been fully brought home. Further, very few were wearing ropes ends secured round them.
RECOMMENDATIONS -

(a.) That once again attention be drawn to the necessity of wearing lifebelts and ropes ends secured round the body at all times. This also applies to the wearing of identity discs, which were not being worn by all survivors.

(b) That additional spare Foxer Gear be allowed to ships, so that when operating in positions where the risk is above normal and the escorts are likely to be the main target, they can cut away their Foxers, when they run foul, in preference to reducing to a low speed for considerable periods in order to disentangle them. It is considered that one additional spare set above the present allowance would be a reasonable increase.

Signed by the officers of the Board.

Notes:
1. Post World War II analysis of survivors showed that a life preserver is very little help to keep afloat. It was only in the late 1940’s and into the 1950’s that hypothermia was recognized as the real killer of many in-water survivors during World War II. Time staying conscious in Arctic water is considered 30-45 seconds – then http://www.hmskite.com/kiteboard1.html you cannot help yourself. Many didn’t remember being picked up. Not surprising – they were slipping into unconsciousness and were about to die. 5 did on deck on the Keppel.

2. HMS Kite Memorial
On 21 August 2004 - the 60th anniversary of Kite’s sinking - a memorial stone was unveiled in the Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens. Braintree District Council have also produced an Information Sheet on HMS Kite.

Reference: http://www.hmskite.com/kiteboard1.html
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HMS Kite.jpg (13.9 KB, 8 views)
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  #459  
Old 19-02-2017, 11:06
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Many thanks for the submission on HMS Kite Brian. She has her own thread on the Forums here.

Jim
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  #460  
Old 19-02-2017, 17:09
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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HMS KITE - (U-87) - LOSS

Another great post Brian - many thanks.
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  #461  
Old Yesterday, 09:23
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Old Salt Old Salt is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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Many thanks for the submission on HMS Kite Brian. She has her own thread on the Forums here.

Jim
Thank you Jim,a rare treasure which I had not seen. I read the report of the board of inquiry and became quite emotional imagining the scenes. Those poor young men did not stand a chance and I felt for them. I thought that the board concentrated too much on the absence of life jackets and a length of rope.There are of course many 'What Ifs' but I won't go there. I thought 'everyone should know their story' and wrote my article.

Now I am so pleased to know that they were not forgotten, that they have been honoured,and that their story is permanently on show for all to see.

'They did not grow old ... but we will remember them'

Brian
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