Class overview, Builders: Thornycroft, Built: 1916–1925, In commission: 1917–1945, Planned: 7, Completed: 5, Cancelled: 2, Lost: 1
Displacement: 1,480 tons standard, 2,009 tons full load, Length: 329 ft (100 m) o/a, Beam: 31 ft 6 in (9.60 m), Draught: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m), Propulsion: 4 × Yarrow-type boilers, Brown-Curtis single reduction turbines, 2 shafts, 40,000 shp, Speed: 38 kn (70 km/h) (trials), 36 kn (67 km/h) (service), Range: 500 tons oil, Complement: 164, Armament: 5 × BL 4.7 in (120mm) Mark I guns, 1 × 12 pdr (3 in) HA Mark VIII, 2 × triple 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes
SHAKESPEARE-Class Flotilla Leader ordered from John I Thornycroft at Woolston in April 1918 under the 1917-18 Programme to their own design and laid down as Yard No 982 in October 1918. Work was stopped after the armistice in November that year and resumed later. This delayed launch until 23rd April 1920 after which the hull was towed to HM Dockyard at Portsmouth for completion.
She was the 2nd RN warship to carry this name which dates from 1778 when given to a Brig Sloop captured from the American and sold in 1783. In February 1923 the incomplete ship was taken to HM Dockyard at Pembroke Dock, Wales and work was finished on 15th April 1925. First peace time deployment was in the Mediterranean but the ship was transferred to the China Station in September 1926. Returning to UK in 1931 she was refitted before being commissioned for further service in the Far East.
In 1935 this destroyer transferred to the Mediterranean and the next year again transferred to Home waters before paying-off into Reserve in October 1937. The ship was brought forward from Reserve in 1939 and remained in service until June 1945 when she was placed on the Disposal List. During WW2 the ship was adopted by the civil community of Rugby, Warwickshire after a successful National Savings WARSHIP WEEK campaign in March 1942. She served with significant distinction in the defence of convoys in the Atlantic and also during escort of convoys to Russia.
24 Oct 1939 - HMS KEPPEL picks up 32 survivors from the British merchant TAFNA that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-37 100 miles west-southwest of Gibraltar in position 35.44'N, 07.23'W.
13 Jul 1941 - HMS KEPPEL picks up 7 survivors in position 60.38'N, 23.15'W from the Norwegian merchant VIGRID that was torpedoed and sunk on 24 June 1941 about 400 nautical miles south-east of Cape Farewell in position 54.30'N, 41.30'W by German U-boat U-371.
27 Mar 1942 - On 27 March 1942 German U-boat U-587 was sunk in position 47.21'N, 21.39'W by depth charges by the British escort destroyers HMS GROVE and HMS ALDENHAM and the destroyers HMS VOLUNTEER and HMS LEAMINGTON of the 2nd Escort Group, escorting the troop convoy WS-17. The U-boat was found after a HF/DF fix by the British destroyer HMS KEPPEL.
22 Sep 1943 - German U-boat U-229 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-east of Cape Farewell, Greenland, in position 54.36'N, 36.25'W, by depth charges, gunfire and ramming from HMS KEPPEL. HMS KEPPEL then struggled to Newfoundland for repairs to her bows.
24 Feb 1944 - German U-boat U-713 was sunk in the Arctic north-west of Narvik, Norway, in position 69.27'N, 04.53'E, by depth charges from HMS KEPPEL.
2 Apr 1944 - German U-boat U-360 was sunk in the Norwegian Sea south-west of Bear Island, in position 72.28'N, 13.04'E, by HMS KEPPEL.
24 Aug 1944 - German U-boat U-354 was sunk in the Barents Sea north-east of North Cape, in position 72°49'N, 30°41'E, by depth charges from the sloops HMS MERMAID and HMS PEACOCK, the frigate HMS LOCH DUNVEGAN and HMS KEPPEL.
2 Sep 1944 - German U-boat U-394 was sunk in the Norwegian Sea some nautical miles south-east of Jan Mayen island, Norway, in position 69.47'N, 04.10'E, by rockets and depth charges from a Swordfish aircraft (Sqdn. 825) from the escort carrier HMS VINDEX and the destroyers HMS KEPPEL and HMS WHITEHALL and the sloops HMS MERMAID and HMS PEACOCK.
In June 1945 KEPPEL was nominated for reduction to Reserve status and took passage to Barrow. On 24th June she paid-off and de-stored prior to reduction procedures.
HMS KEPPEL was placed on the Sales List later in June and sold to BISCO for breaking-up on 25th July 1945. The ship remained at Barrow and was demolished by T W Ward.
Sources: Wikipedia. http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono ... KEPPEL.htm. http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/4278.html.
Mr P Crichton
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The stamp issued by the Marshall Islands in 1992 shows the "Convoy PQ-17" in the right of the stamp is according Watercraft Philately depict the British destroyer HMS KEPPEL and I agree.
Marshall Island 1992 29c sg318, Scott 318.
Marshall Island 1992 29c sg318, Scott 318.