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James Franklyn Kingshott

James Franklyn Kingshott was an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy Reserve. His service number was P/SD/X1352.


James was born around 1923 in Newhaven, Sussex, England. He was the son of John & Mercy Ann Kingshott and was one of six siblings and at least an additional two half siblings. John came from Lurgashall, Sussex and lived in Newhaven from at least 1900 onwards.


James fought in the Second World War and served on board the HMS Manistee.

The HMS Manistee (F 104) was a British merchant ship that was  requisitioned by the Admiralty and used as an Ocean Boarding Vessel. It was part of Convoy OB 288 which departed Liverpool on 18th February 1941. It was sunk by the German submarine U-107 on 24th February 1941.


At 22:42 hours on 23 Feb, 1941, U-107 fired a spread of two torpedoes at HMS Manistee, which was under the command of LtCdr Eric Haydn Smith, RNR, south of Iceland and scored a hit in the engine room. The ship had escorted the convoy OB-288 until it was dispersed at 21.00 hours the same day. She was also attacked by the Italian submarine Bianchi which fired a torpedo at 22.56 hours, claimed a hit in the stern from a distance of 600 metres and then continued to chase other ships of the convoy.


At 22:58 hours, U-107 fired two coups de grâce that missed because the ship suddenly continued. Also a stern torpedo fired at 23.42 hours missed because it was a surface-runner. The U-boat began a long chase of the zigzagging ship and fired two torpedoes at 07.58 hours on 24 February. One of them hit in the stern and caused the ship to sink in 58°55N/20°50W. HMS Churchill (I45)  was ordered to search for survivors, but found none. The commander, 18 officers and 122 ratings were lost. 


A contemporary report (Rohwer) states:-


"The first hit from U-107 (at 22:42 Berlin time, 23rd February 1941) slowed the ship down, a second hit reported by the Italian submarine Bianchi is uncertain. The ship sank following a number of attacks by U-107 at 07:58 hrs on 24th February 1941."


James Franklyn Kingshott went down with the ship. He was 18 years old. His body was not recovered but he is commemorated at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.


James was my fifth cousin three times removed.  

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