Doug Davies RN

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Yes, there was another Doug Davies ! His name was William Douglas Davies and he was the son of Uncle Will and Auntie Doris - Uncle Will was one of 4  brothers of Barrie's Grandmother Evelyn Jones - in other words, second cousin.


Doug joined the navy in 1942 when aged 18 and was an able seaman. In 1944, on August 21 he was one of 217 Sailors on board HMS Kite, a Black Swan class, 1350 ton Sloop ordered from and built by Cammel Laird Shipyard on Merseyside and commissioned March 1943.


William Douglas Davies R.N.

HMS Kite


HMS Kite Memorial in Braintree Essex

The following is a brief history of HMS Kite.


Kite took part in the sinking of five U-boats together with several sister ships:

On 20 August 1944 Kite was escorting the aircraft carriers Vindex and Striker, which in turn were escorting convoy JW 59 to Northern Russia when the convoy was sighted in the Barents Sea by German aircraft. Soon a pack of U-boats attacked the convoy and one U-boat was sunk by Fairey Swordfish aircraft from one of the carriers. Two more were sunk by other destroyers.

At 06:30 on 21 August, Kite slowed to 6 knots (11 km/h) to untangle her "foxers" (anti acoustic torpedo noise makers, towed astern). The decision to do so, rather than severing the foxers' cables and abandoning them, was made by her temporary commander, Lt Cdr Campbell, a submariner. At that speed Kite was a sitting duck, and she was hit by two torpedoes from U-344 (commanded by Oberleutnant Ulrich Pietsch) and sank.  U-344 was sunk the next day by a single patrolling Swordfish from Vindex, piloted by Gordon Bennett, which dropped out of the cloud, surprising the U-boat on the surface, a single depth charge exploded beneath the U-boat, sinking her with all hands


Of 210 Ratings and 10 officers on HMS Kite, just 60 were plucked from the freezing Arctic waters by HMS Keppel and of those, just 5 survived. Able Seaman William Douglas Davies was one of the unlucky ones.


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