HMS Kenya (14)
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (June 2008)|
|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.|
|Class & 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
54.1 megawatts (72,500 shp)
|Speed:||33 knots (61 km/h)|
|Range:||6520 nmi at 13 knots|
deck: 51 mm,
turrets: 51 mm,
Director control tower: 102 mm.
|Aircraft carried:||Two Supermarine Walrus aircraft (later removed)|
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.
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.
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.
The Far East
Kenya joined the America and West Indies Station with the 8th Cruiser Squadron in October 1946, but in December of the following year, she returned to the UK and was placed in the reserve. In May 1949 she was reactivated to replace London on the Far East station. London was then paid off and scrapped.
The Korean War
In March she bombarded Choda Island in preparation for landing 200 ROK troops there. Unfortunately the troops never showed up.
After further patrols off Inchon her next action came on 11 April when she was ordered to leave Sasebo to search for a communist aircraft that had been shot down. She was called off the operation early to sail to Kure, Japan where Captain Podger took command of the ship on 22 April. In May she took position off Inchon and spent about 10 days there bombarding the land on several occasions. The patrols and bombardments continued throughout the summer – with a trip to Hong Kong that broke the monotony – until 25 August when she left Sasebo, via Hong Kong, for a refit at Singapore. She slipped the refit jetty on 12 November and rearmed before leaving the Far East Station on 17 November. Kenya docked in Malta on 10 December and at Gibraltar three days later before entering the English Channel on 16 December.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1980). British Cruisers of World War Two. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-922-7.
- Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.
- Whitley, M. J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Cassell. ISBN 1-86019-874-0.
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