Allied Warships

HMS Kite (U 87)

Sloop of the Modified Black Swan class


HMS Kite as completed

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassModified Black Swan 
PennantU 87 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered27 Mar 1941 
Laid down25 Sep 1941 
Launched13 Oct 1942 
Commissioned1 Mar 1943 
Lost21 Aug 1944 
Loss position73° 01'N, 3° 57'E
History

At 20.45 hours on 20 Aug, 1944, the British destroyer HMS Keppel got a contact on her starboard quarter, while escorting the convoy JW-59 in position 73º01'N, 03º57'E - Grid AB 5456. Together with HMS Kite (U 87) and a Swordfish aircraft from the British escort carrier HMS Vindex the U-boat was attacked with hedgehogs and depth charges. They hunted the U-boat throughout the night with their foxers (Anti Gnat devices) streamed, but the hunt was fruitless.

At 06.40 hours on 21 August, HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. Andrew Neil Gillespie Campbell, RN) had slowed down to 6 knots to clear her foxers, which had become twisted around one another. At this vulnerable moment, U-344 fired a spread of three FAT torpedoes at the sloop, misidentified as Dido-class light cruiser by Pietsch. The ship was struck by two torpedoes on the starboard side and heeled over to that side immediately. The stern broke off, floated for a few seconds, then sank in position 73º01'N, 03º57'E. The bow remained afloat for a minute and then sank at a steep angle. At 07.30 hours, HMS Keppel stopped to pick up survivors, while the British sloops HMS Peacock and HMS Mermaid screened the rescue operation. Only 14 of the about 60 survivors in the water could be rescued from the ice cold water, five of them died on board and were later buried at sea.

 

Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 21 Aug 1944 by U-344 (Pietsch).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Kite

Commands listed for HMS Kite (U 87)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. William Francis Roderick Segrave, RN7 Jan 1943May 1944
2Lt.Cdr. Andrew Neil Gillespie Campbell, RNMay 1944 ?21 Aug 1944 (+)

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Notable events involving Kite include:


24 Jun 1943
German U-boat U-449 was sunk at 1600hrs on 24 June 1943 in the North Atlantic, north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 45°00'N, 11°59'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Wren (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN), HMS Woodpecker (Lt.Cdr. R.E.S. Hugonin, DSC, RN), HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) and HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, RN).

30 Jul 1943
German U-boat U-504 was sunk at 1543hrs on 30 July 1943 in the North Atlantic north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 45°33'N, 10°56'W, by depth charges from the British Sloops HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN), HMS Woodpecker (Lt.Cdr. R.E.S. Hugonin, DSC, RN), HMS Wren (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN) and HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, RN).

30 Jul 1943
German U-boat U-462 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay at position 45°33'N, 10°58'W.by a British Handley Page Halifax aircraft (Sqdn 502/S) and gunfire from the British sloops HMS Wren (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN), HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN), HMS Woodpecker (Lt.Cdr. R.E.S. Hugonin, DSC, RN), HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, RN) and HMS Woodcock (Lt.Cdr. C. Gwinner, DSO, RN).

6 Nov 1943
German U-boat U-226 was sunk at 0700hrs on 6 November 1943 in the North Atlantic east of Newfoundland, in position 44°49'N, 41°13'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Woodcock (Lt.Cdr. C. Gwinner, DSO, RN) and HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, DSC, RN).

9 Feb 1944
German U-boat U-238 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 49°45'N, 16°07'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN), HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN) and HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN).

Media links


U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor


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