Lest We Forget

1939 - 1945

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

Mitchell, George

Able Seaman, Royal Navy, HMS Kite
Service Number
D/JX 369732
about 1924
William and Marjory Mitchell, North Queensferry
Date of death
21 August 1944 (Aged 20)
Barents Sea
Other Memorials
Panel 87, Column 1, Plymouth Naval Memorial.
Scottish National War Memorial (Edinburgh Castle)

Other Information

HMS Kite was a modified “Black Swan” class sloop.

On 20 August 1944 HMS Kite was escorting the aircraft carriers HMS Vindex and HMS 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 Swordfish aircraft from one of the carriers. Two more were sunk by other destroyers.

At 06:30 on 21 August, HMS Kite slowed to 6 knots to untangle her "foxers" (anti acoustic torpedo noise makers, towed astern). She was hit by two torpedoes from U-344 and sank.

Of HMS Kite's crew of 10 officers and 207 ratings, 60 survived the attack, but only 14 men were picked up alive by HMS Keppel from the freezing Arctic water.

Five of the rescued died on board leaving only nine to make it to shore

U-344 was sunk the next day by depth charges from a single Swordfish plane.

HMS Kite
HMS Kite


Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Here dead we lie, Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land, From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure, Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is, And we were young.

[A.E. Housman]

When You Go Home,
Tell Them Of Us And Say,

For Your Tomorrow,
We gave our Today

[Kohima, attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds]

Poppy Poppy

If you have been interested by this material,
we ask that you make a donation to the Poppy Appeal