Diesel-Electric Evarts Type Frigate
ordered under the UK/US Lease-Lend
1942 and laid
down on 5th June 1943 by the Boston Navy Yard, Mass. USA.
The ship had been
for US Navy service as DE279 as USS
launched on 17th July 1943.
commissioning and was the first RN ship to
carry this name, commemorating
service of Admiral Sir John Kempthorne
(1620 –1679) who commanded the 2nd MARY
ROSE in 1669.
Build was completed on 23rd October
This ship was not
adopted by a civil
in the 1941-42 National Savings WARSHIP
campaigns. Details of manning
made for commissioning of this Class of
are given in THE CAPTAIN CLASS
WW2 by D Collingwood.
B a t t
l e H o no u r s
H e r a
l d i c D a t a
is recorded in the Official List of
Many ships built during WW2 had an
crest but these were never given
e t a i l s
o f W a
S e r v i c e
Naval History Homepage
type name in Site Search
1 9 4 3
Harbour Trials and Setting to Work.
Build completion and commenced Acceptance
On completion of trials commissioned for
RN Service as HMS KEMPTHORNE.
On completion of training exercises and
Boston area too passage to
to prepare for RN service.
Deployed at Bermuda for exercises including shore training.
Passage to Halifax to join routine HX
Series convoy for passage to UK
1 9 4 4
Joined Convoy HX274 at Halifax with HM
Frigates GOODSON, BLIGH and KEATS.
(Note: These were sister CAPTAIN Class
Frigates recently completed training and
based at Bermuda.)
Sailed from Halifax with HX274.
(Note: The newly completed frigates were
not deployed as part of the escort as they
completely fitted with RN equipment
required for convoy defence and had not
worked-up at the Western Approaches for
suitable training prior to operational
Detached from HX274 and took passage to
On arrival taken in hand by Base Staff at
Pollock Dock to replace unsatisfactory US
equipment , including an Admiralty design
Gyro compass and depth charge
addition the underwater detection
equipment (Sonar/ASDIC) was modified to
and an RN design radio direction finding
outfit was installed.
(Note: For further details of equipment
changes made see above reference and SEEK
STRIKE by W Hackmann.)
Under refit in Belfast.
Nominated for service with 5th Escort
Group in Western Approaches Command.
Carried out sea trials on completion of
Carried out work-up at Tobermory.
On completion of work-up joined 5th Escort
(Note: Other ships in Group were:
Sister-ships HM Frigates AYLMER,
BICKERTON, BLIGH, GRINDALL, KEATS,
TYLER and GOODSON which joined Group
progressively on completion
on work-up and modification
Senior Officer was Commander D MacIntyre
who had already achieved great
renown as a Western Approaches Escort
Commander in the 2nd Escort Group
and is the author of several post war
publications including THE BATTLE OF
THE ATLANTIC and others with graphic description of WW2 operations)
Deployed with Group as escort for
westbound Convoy ONS233 in atrocious
Detached from HX233 to join HM Escort
Aircraft Carrier VINDEX and ships on 9th
Escort Group (RCN) deployed in support of Atlantic convoy s under threat of attacks by
Joined HMS VINDEX and EG9
Turbo-Electric ships of EG5 refuelled from
HMS VINDEX and Canadian Group detached
and returned to refuel at their Canadian
Deployed as close escort for HMS VINDEX
with HM Frigates GOODSON and KEATS
Remained with HMS VINDEX during fourth day
of Anti-submarine search operations by
rest of Group.
(Note: U765 was sunk by SWORDFISH aircraft
of 825 Squadron from HMS VINDEX
after sonar contact HMS BICKERTON during
depth charge attacks with HMS
BLIGH, HMS BICKERTON and HMS AYLMER. See
Submarine was force to surface and engaged
by surface gunfire during which
SWORDFISH V delivered two depth charges
which sank U765.
Further refuelling of BUCKLEY’s from HMS
VINDEX during submarine search operations.
Returned to Clyde with HMS VINDEX close
Passage to Belfast.
Nominated for Home Fleet duties in support
of allied landings in Normandy
(Operation NEPTUNE- For details see LANDINGS IN
NORMANDY, June 1944
(HMSO), THE D DAY SHIPS and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K
Deployed at Moelfre Bay in Clyde area with
Group awaiting commencement of NEPTUNE.
Commenced anti-submarine patrol in South
Western Approaches to intercept any
attempting passage into English Channel
from Atlantic to interfere with Assault or
convoys and also for support of Atlantic
convoys under submarine attack.
(Note: 5th Escort Group remained under
overall command of CinC Home Fleet and was
attached to Naval Commander Expeditionary
Force. See references.)
During patrol deployment with Group and HM
Frigate MOURNE, SW of Lizard Head under
attack by U767 which torpedoed and sank
During patrol deployment with Group, SE of
Start Point present at sinking of U269 by
(Note: HMS BICKERTON detached and returned
to Plymouth with survivors rescued from
U767 and HMS GOODSON assumed role as
Senior Officer’s ship.)
Under attack by U984 during same patrol SE
of Start Point during which HMS GOODSON
was hit by Homing Torpedo (T5) which
seriously damaged ship.
(Note: HMS GOODSON was taken in tow to
Portsmouth by HMS BLIGH of Group
on survey ship was found beyond economic
repair and never returned to service.)
Returned to Belfast on release from
service in SW Approaches.
Nominated for Home Fleet screening duties.
After completion of essential repairs too
passage from Belfast to Scapa flow for
(Note: On passage all ships in Group were
ordered to paint ship prior to arrival.)
Deployed with Group as screen for HM
Escort Aircraft Carriers NABOB and
during planned air attacks on German
battleship TIRPITZ lying in Altenfjord, Norway
GOODWOOD aborted due to adverse weather
Remained in Operation area
(Note: Past experience off
Norway had determined that U-Boat threat was always present
and a high state of alert was maintained
with constant ant-submarine measures
Under attack by U354 which fired torpedoes
at HMS NABOB and HMS BICKERTON.
(Note: HMS NABOB was able to return to
Scapa Flow under own steam but on later
survey was declared beyond economic repair
U34 was sunk on 24th July. See U-BOATS
DESTROYED by P Kemp.)
Took off casualties and non essential
personnel from HMS BICKERTON.
(Note: HMS BICKERTON was sunk by own
forces three hours after being damaged.
This decided in order to expedite the
return passage of HMS NABOB and in order
to reduce chance of further attacks on
remaining ships of Force.
After return to Clyde, Commander MacIntyre was
relieved by Commander BW Taylor as
he was overdue for shore appointment after
continuous sea service for several years.
Resumed Atlantic Convoy Escort duties in
Western Approaches Command.
Deployed with Group for escort of military
convoy in KMF series during passage to
On return from Naples deployed with Group
for anti-submarine operations in NW
to intercept U-Boats in transit too and
from Atlantic convoy routes.
(Note: Following the advance of allied
armies in western Europe all U-Boats had
northerly passage to bases in Norway and
Germany. See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR
by C Blair and U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC
1 9 4 5
Deployed with Group for anti-submarine
search operations in
Irish Sea and SW Approaches.
(Note: SCHNORKEL fitted U-Boats were
concentrating attacks in UK Coastal waters
coastal convoys and focal points for
Inward and outward Atlantic convoys.
See above references. Air threat from
bases in France had been removed.)
During operations in Irish Sea with Group, diverted to assist 4th Escort Group in attacks on
U1172 which had been forced to surface
after sustained depth charge attacks by
After arrival carried out surface gun
attacks with ships of both Groups during
AYLMER rammed and sank the damaged
submarine. See U-BOATS DESTROYED.
(Note: One source suggests that this ram
was due to misunderstanding of an order
surface action and that U1172 would have
sunk in any case due to the extensive
damage by earlier depth charge attacks.
Deployed with ships of 5th Group for
another submarine known to be in the area
and a threat
HX332 on passage in Irish Sea to
U1051 sunk by HM Frigates BLIGH, KEATS and
TYLER of Group after sonar contact by
HMS KEATS. See U-BOATS DESTROYED.
(Note: Participation in search by Group
for this submarine is to be confirmed.
Unless ships had been detached it is most
likely she was deployed in the area but
possibly not with attacking ships came
under attack by U1051 which
Group deployment in continuation with
anti-submarine patrols in NW Approaches
interception of U-Boats on passage to and
from bases in Norway and and Germany.
Group deployment continued in areas west
of Ireland and NW of Scotland.
After VJ Day nominated for early return to
USA and Paid-off.
Passage to USA manned by Steaming Party.
Returned to US Navy
o s t W a
r N o t e s
taking part in most anti-submarine
operations, which resulted in sinking of a
U-Boat, did not share in the Credits
awarded to ships taking part in the final
attacks resulting in the final destruction
scuttling. She was only deployed with the
Group which had a most outstanding record
of availability and successful
defence of Atlantic convoys in a
period of operational service. This ship
re-deployed in the US Navy and was sold
for scrap in May 1946. If the Ship’s
Monthly Deck Logs for her period under RN
Command survived the post war
destruction of wartime records it will be
at the Public Record Office at Kew.
This is to be confirmed.
ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS KEMPTHORNE
convoy lists have not been cross-checked
with the text above
convoy as escort