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Kenya HMS 1939

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Kenya HMS 1939

Postby john sefton » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:47 pm

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Name: HMS KENYA
Builder: Alexander Stephen and Sons, Glasgow, Scotland, Laid down: 18 June 1938, Launched: 18 August 1939, Commissioned: 27 September 1940, Out of service: In reserve September 1958, Identification: Pennant number: 14, Fate: Sold for scrapping on 29 October 1962 and was broken up at the Faslane yards of Ship-breaking Industries.
General characteristics:
Class and type: Crown Colony-class light cruiser, Displacement: 8,530 tonnes standard, 10450 tons full load, Length: 169.3 m (555.5 ft), Beam: 18.9 m (62 ft), Draught: 5.0 m (16.5 ft), Propulsion: Four oil fired three-drum Admiralty-type boilers, four-shaft geared turbines, four screws, 54.1 megawatts (72,500 shp), Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h), Range: 6520 nmi at 13 knots, Complement: 730, Armament: 12 × BL 6 inch Mk XXIII naval guns in four triple turrets, 4 × twin 4-inch guns, 4 × twin 40 mm Bofors AA guns, 3 × quadruple QF 2 pounder ("pom-pom") AA mounts, 6 × twin 20 mm AA guns, 2 × triple 21-inch torpedo tube mountings, Armour: 83 mm, deck: 51 mm, turrets: 51 mm, Director control tower: 102 mm., Aircraft carried: Two Supermarine Walrus aircraft (later removed)
Convoy escort
KENYA was launched on 18 August 1939 from the yards of Alexander Stephen and Sons, Glasgow, Scotland, and after a work up period, was commissioned on 27 September 1940. She took part in the hunt for the BISMARCK in May 1941 whilst part of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet, based at Scapa Flow. On 3 June KENYA and AURORA surprised and sank the German supply tanker BELCHEN which was supplying U-93 in the Davis Straits.
Operation Stonewall
During September and October 1941, the Royal Navy devised a plan, titled Operation Stonewall, to intercept U-boats which were escorting outbound blockade runners through the Bay of Biscay, and into the Atlantic. After providing escort to the Malta convoy Halberd on 24 September on 1 October, KENYA and SHEFFIELD made to intercept the blockade runner RIO GRANDE, destined for Japan and escorted by U-204. The RIO GRANDE escaped, but another blockade runner, the KOTA PINANG was sunk on 3 October west of Cape Finisterre.
Arctic operations
She also avoided damage in air attacks by the Germans on the 27th and the 28th. She had by now received the nickname "The Pink Lady", due to her Mountbatten Pink camouflage paint). During the commando raid against installations on Vågsøy Island off the Norwegian coast. This was attributed to her Mountbatten Pink camouflage blending in with the pink marker dye the Germans were using in their shells, preventing German spotters from distinguishing between shell splashes and the ship. The force returned to Scapa Flow in early January 1942. KENYA returned to escorting Arctic convoys between March and May 1942. On 22 March after escorting PQ12 to Murmansk KENYA was loaded with 10 tonnes of Russian bullion and took it back to Britain for safe keeping.
Post war
1946 - Re-commissioned in April for service in the West Indies the ship worked-up in Malta before joining the 8th Cruiser Squadron in Bermuda during December.
1947 - Her first cruise between January and April included British Honduras, Cuba Dominica, Haiti before going to Puerto Rica and ports in Brazil. After return in April she took part in exercises based Acapulco in Mexico, California and Canada followed by Alaska. On her return passage she called in Portland, Oregon an San Francisco and the final visit was to Manzillo, Mexico. On arrival at Bermuda in October she was ordered back to UK to pay off as part of the reductions in Fleet strength due to manning problems. She Paid-off into Reserve in November.
1948 - Deployed in Reserve at Chatham.
1949 - Brought forward to replace HM Cruiser LONDON in the Far East the ship was refitted before commissioning in July. After a brief work-up and docking at Portsmouth she sailed for Foreign service in October. Christmas was spent in Malta and she then continued her journey to join the 5th Cruiser Squadron.. At Suez the Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin embarked for passage to Ceylon where he was to open the Colombo Conference of Commonwealth ministers.
1950 - After arrival at Colombo the ship was sent to assist a disabled mercantile in the Indian Ocean and towed this vessel back to Colombo. She then embarked Buddhist relics which were taken to Rangoon for an exhibition before resuming passage to Hong Kong where she arrived in February having called at Singapore. Exercises at Subic Bay and later at Hong Kong were carried out in March when she went to Singapore The invasion of South Korea precipitated major change RN deployments in the Far East and a planned visit to Japan was cancelled.
Joining the UN naval organisation she sailed from Hong Kong in July with HM Cruisers BELFAST and JAMAICA for operational service based at Sasebo, Japan. Her first patrol was undertaken later that month and she took part in support of landings at Inchon in September followed by patrols off Korea in October. An R&R visit to the Commonwealth base at Sasebo in November brought needed respite and she returned to operation to provide cover for an evacuation by South Korean troops from the Chinnampo Peninsular.
1951 - During January she supported evacuation operations from Inchon before returning to Hong Kong. Further UN duties began in March when she was deployed for support bombardments and patrol in the Yellow Sea. Raiding parties were landed behind enemy lines to obtain information prior to the bombardments. Her second operational tour ended in June when she sailed for Hong Kong. She resumed UN duties in July and carried out patrols with more bombardments including some at Wonsan on the east coast of Korea. The ship sailed for Hong Kong in August having carried out 19 patrols, steamed 63,118 miles and fired 3,386 rounds of 6” ammunition as well as 2,242 rounds of 4” ammunition during bombardments. She arrived at Singapore for refit. in September and on completion in November was transferred to the East Indies Station in exchange for HM Cruiser MAURITIUS in the 4th Cruiser Squadron.
1952 - A visit were paid to Calcutta, Pakistan in January before sailing to Mombasa, KENYA to escort SS GOTHIC taking HM King George VI for a Commonwealth Tour. This was cancelled on the death of HM the King and the ship returned to Trincomalee. During March the ship took part in a cruiser to the Nicobars and Port Blair in the Andamans followed by a visit to Madras before return to Trincomalee for a SEATO exercise including Commonwealth navies and HMS GAMBIA. After routine docking in Colombo a second cruise was carried out to ports in East Africa and the Seychelles. This was followed by Series of exercises with RN ships of the East Indies Station and RIN warships. In October she went to Mombasa before taking passage to Malta where she arrived at the end of October. During service with the Mediterranean Fleet the ship was involved in exercises in the eastern Mediterranean and on 22nd December took part in rescue personnel from the French mercantile, SS CHAMPOLLION aground south of Beirut. On return to Port Said she was immediately sent to assist in salvage of another mercantile, SS BURICA which was towed to Port Said
1953 - Before sailing back to UK in February she continued service in the Mediterranean and returned to Malta after Fleet exercises. The ship arrived at Portsmouth on the 23rd February and was visited by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester before being Paid-0ff into Reserve and later laid-up at Rosyth.
1954 - Laid-up at Rosyth.
1955 - HMS KENYA re-commissioned for service on 15th August after a refit and sailed via the Azores to Bermuda in October as relief for HM Cruiser SWIFTSURE. She took part in exercises with US Navy ships based in Cuba during the next few weeks and returned to Bermuda in December. Parties from the ship gave aid to the civil power in Hamilton after unrest.
1956 - In January she paid visits to ports on the east coast of the USA including Miami, Houston and New Orleans with return to Bermuda in April after calls in the Caribbean. Transferred to the South Atlantic Station she took passage via the Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe and Porto do Salvador, followed by Rio de Janeiro where she arrived on 12th May for a six day visit. Before arrival at Simons Town on 28th May she briefly called at Tristan da Cuhna. With CinC embarked the ship visited Lorenco Marques, Mozambique and then went to Diego Suarez for routine docking when the Admiral left the ship. The Admiral rejoined at Tulear, Madagascar and then went to Durban before going to Mombasa for another visit to KENYA. She was nominated to relive HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM as Flagship, Mediterranean Fleet and took passage from Killindini on 20th July. During passage from Aden she was ordered to remain in the Red Sea after the nationalisation of the Suez Canal by the Egyptian government and remained Aden to deal with any emergency requiring action by Great Britain. During August the ship visited Kameran Island a British dependency in the Red Sea where there was an accident on board during a fireworks display with three casualties one of whom died later. After return to Aden she was deployed in the Persian Gulf and took British troops of the Gloucester Regiment to reinforce detachments at Dubai and Bahrain. In September she returned to Aden for stores and delivered these to the military at Dubai and Bahrain. Despite the planned landings at Suez the ship was ordered to return to UK on 16th October and took passage to Portsmouth via Durban, Simons Town and Freetown. Instead of serving in the Mediterranean the ship was transferred to the Home Fleet on 19th November. Her refit at Portsmouth began after another visit by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester.
1957 - First duty as Flagship of Flag Officer Flotillas was to take part in joint exercises by Home and Mediterranean Fleet ships at Gibraltar for which she sailed on 26th January, In March she visited Lisbon and then returned to Portsmouth with HM Submarine Depot Ship MAIDSTONE. Recommissioned for General Service Home/Mediterranean she arrived in Malta as replacement for HM Cruiser JAMAICA early in May. The first Summer Cruise in which she took part included exercises in the eastern Mediterranean followed by visits to Istanbul and Samsun Turkey with more Fleet and NATO exercises before returning to Malta at the end of July. The ship went with other RN vessels to visit Augusta, Sicily and ports in the Adriatic during August and September. Later that month following a visit to Tripoli she had a refit in Malta which lasted for the rest of the year.
1958 - On completion of post refit trials the ship took passage with other Fleet units for exercises in the central Mediterranean followed by a NATO exercise including US Navy warships. During March after the NATO exercises she visited Naples and Livorno, Italy. This terminated the Mediterranean leg of the commission and she sailed for Portsmouth on 26th March, arriving there a week later. Home Fleet service began on 13th April and comprised exercises in the North Sea with for an Official visit by CinC Home Fleet to Stockholm. Further exercises followed in the Baltic before returning to the North Sea to visit Hull. Her final phase of post war service included the NATO EXERCISE FRESHWIND and visits to Ullapool, Bournemouth and Torbay. With Paying-Off Pendant flying on arrival at Portsmouth on 24th July HMS KENYA was paid-off for the last time in September and began the procedures for reverting to Reserve status.
1959 to 1961 - Placed on the Disposal List in February the ship remained at Portsmouth and was de-equipped by removal of items likely to needed by others ships which could be re-furbished for future use.
1962 - Sold to BISCO for scrap the ship was allocated for demolition by Shipbreaking Industries, Faslane and taken in tow to the Clyde where she arrived on 27th October. Before entry to breakers yard the ship broke adrift and had to be boarded by tugs to prevent her going ashore. She was then anchored off Kilcreggan and taken alongside for demolition on 29th October.
Sources: Wilipedia. http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-06CL-KENYA.htm.
Mr P Crichton
john sefton
 
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