Wildfire III, Queenborough
M/S Trawler Group 120
Dawn (06.00) 21st November 1940, German aircraft are plotted flying over the Thames Estuary. Their courses are erratic as their pilots look for the best position to drop their mines. Four of the mines are dropped over dry land and explode. Again these mines are fitted with delaying mechanisms. These mines can be set to come alive I, 2, 4, 10 day later. They can be set to allow craft, such as a minesweeper, to pass harmlessly over them only to explode as it senses the second, third, fourth or fifth ship and detonates.
Queenborough Minesweepers are rushed to the area in the Thames Estury and Harwich Minesweepers to the North Sea.
The Minesweeper HMT Xmas Rose detonated a mine and sunk off Walton on the Naze, on the 21 November 1940, with the loss of four of her crew.
The Motor Launch 127, detonated a mine and sunk off Walton on the Naze, on the 21 November 1940, with the loss of eleven of her crew.
The cargo ship Ryal, detonated a mine and sunk in the Thames Estuary, on the 23 November 1940, with the loss of eight of her nine crew.
The cargo vessel Alice Marie detonated a mine and sunk in the Thames Estuary on the 24 November 1940.
The Minesweeper Kennymore detonated a mine and sunk in the Thames Estuary, on the 25 November 1940, with the loss of four of her crew.
When the devastating explosion ripped through the Kennymore killing four of her crew and wounding others, her sister minesweeper the Conquistador also from M/S Trawler Group 120 was on hand to pick up survivors.
Shortly after rescuing the surviving crew from the Kennymore the Conquistador collided with the Capricornus and sank.
Sadly on 7 December 1940 the Capricornus was herself blown up by a mine and sank.
15 April 1919. Served as a minesweeper in World War One. Admiralty Number 1373.
27 Nov 1939. The Kennymore was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a Minesweeper. (Pennant No.FY.857. Hire rate £60.0.0d/month).
15th September 1940, Nore Command, Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.
M/S Trawler Group 120: Artic Hunter, Resolvo, Kennymore and Conquistador.
25 November 1940. The Kennymore (T/Skipper Joseph William Greene, RNR) when minesweeping off the North Foreland detonated a mine and sunk in the Thames Estuary.
KENNYMORE, sunk by mine in Thames Estuary, 25 Nov 1940 (MPK = Missing Presumed Killed)
BARNARD, James E, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 170736, MPK
EMMETT, Harold, Stoker 2c, RNPS, LT/KX 106612, MPK
REID, James, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 109943, MPK
CLARK A, Engineman, Wounded
Skipper R.N.R., J. W. Greene. Wounded.
McKie S. M. Engineman, Wounded.
4 Dec 40. Kennymore, ship loss.
COMBES, Cyril D, Leading Wireman, P/MX 64573, DOW (Died of Wounds)
Skipper J. W. Greene spent several months in Hospital at Sheerness after the sinking of the Kennymore.
To find out more of the Kennymore’s movements go to DRIFTERS AND TRAWLERS.
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST Dec 39
Not on List. Temp. Skipper R.N.R., W. Sibley was on board from the 28 Nov 1939.
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST July 40
Temp. Skipper R.N.R., J. W. Greene, 11 June40.
Temp. Skipper R.N.R., W. Sibley, 28 Nov 39.
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST June 41
Not on List.
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Watch these short minesweeping videos.
A Bad Day in December 1940: https://youtu.be/Lw2pW31qH4s
Type of Vessel: Steam Trawler converted to Minesweeper.
Pennant: FY 857
Fishing Number: GY38, Grimsby.
Year Constructed: March 1914. (Launched14 Jan 1914)
Built by: Cook, Welton & Gemmell ltd
Built at: Beverly.
Owner: Dobson Ship Repairing Co. 1935.
Engine: T 3 Cyl. 67 HP. Triple expansion engine.
Speed: 10.5 knots.
Gross Tons: 225 gross tons, 112 net tons.
Length: 117 feet.
Beam: 22 feet.
Depth: 12.7 feet
Armament: 1-12pdr, 1-7.5” bomb thrower WW1.
Fate: Detonated a mine and sunk in the Thames Estuary with the loss of four of her crew.
S.T. Kennymore GY38