Regiment : H.M.S. Kite Royal Navy
Service number : DJX302157
Conflict : WW2
Date of death : 21st August 1944
Buried : Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England, Panel 85, Column 3.
Relatives : Son of Eva Harriet Bent, of Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire
Memorial : Stourport War Memorial
HMS Kite was launched on 13th October 1942 and commissioned on 1st March 1943. On 20th August 1944 she was on convoy duty in the North Atlantic, escorting the aircraft carriers HMS Keppel and HMS Vindex, which were escorting another convoy, when German U-Boats were detected in the vicinity. The U-Boats were attacked with depth charges and hedgehogs resulting in the destruction of 3 of the U-Boats. Early on the morning of 21st August HMS Kite had slowed down to 6 knots in order to clear equipment that had become tangled. This left her vulnerable to attack and torpedoes fired from U-344 struck the ship on the starboard side causing her to sink beneath the waves. A total of 217 men of HMS Kite’s crew lost their lives. Of the 60 men who survived the sinking, 14 were rescued from the icy waters, 5 of whom died shortly after being rescued, only 9 men survived the attack.
James Bent has no known grave, the photograph available shows his name on Plymouth Naval Memorial.