HMS Kos XXI 27th May 1941

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Steve49, Oct 18, 2021.

  1. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    27th May 1941

    HMT Kos XXI operating in the Mediterranean on this date has the following casualties.

    BRUVIK, Erling M J, Seaman Cook, RNPS, LT/JX 265200, killed [LowM]
    IMRAY, Kenneth J, Able Seaman, D/JX 153740, killed [PlyM] [CWGC says HMS 'Cos 21']

    I've not been able confirm whether ship was damaged in an air attack or if the sailors were lost in separate event during operations around Crete. Any ideas?


  2. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    27 May 1941
    Kos XXI, bombing.

    BRUVIK, Erling M J, Seaman Cook, RNPS, LT/JX 265200, killed
    IMRAY, Kenneth J, Able Seaman, D/JX 153740, killed

    ADM 104/128
    ADM 104/132


    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
    Tricky Dicky, timuk and Steve49 like this.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    British naval vessels lost at sea in World War 2 - 1939-1941
    May 1941
    May 23 - Whaler KOS XXIII (R, 353t, 1937) Total loss, Suda Bay, Crete
    June 2 - Whaler KOS XXII (R, 353t, 1937), sunk on passage from Crete area

    So it would appear that they came under air attack at Crete or departing from there, so the possibility that Kos XXI was attacked by aircraft in and around Crete would be high in my estimation

    It obviously survived the bombing (near Crete) as it was renamed later and finally sunk
    Allied Warships of WWII - ASW Whaler HMS Kos XXI -
    Renamed Whippet in September 1941.
    HMS Whippet (Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, RNR) was bombed and sunk by German aircraft north-north-east of Bardia, Libya in position 32º09'N, 25º17'E.
    timuk, Hugh MacLean and Steve49 like this.
  4. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for that. I wasn't aware ADM104/128 was available for download. Now I am, it's in my TNA basket!


  5. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi TD,

    Yes with the two casualties it is my assumption that Kos XXI was damaged during operations around Crete, but I've yet to confirm this yet.

    I had identified its final fate as HMS Whippet. HODGSON, Archibald, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (E), RNVR, was the only death from the sinking.


  6. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    All of the ADM Series, 104/127 - 104/132 (REGISTERS OF REPORTS OF DEATHS: NAVAL RATINGS 1939-1948) Can be downloaded for free from TNA.
    timuk and Steve49 like this.
  7. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Thanks yes, I'm just working my way through the download process as I type this.


    Hugh MacLean likes this.
  8. Rattler

    Rattler Junior Member

    Hello Steve et al.

    Regarding the action of the anti-submarine whaler HMS Kos XXI on the 27th May 1941 I hope the following is of use in your research.

    AB Seaman Eric Sydney Bowen Dent C/SSX 17873 was manning a Hotchkiss deck gun on Kos XX1 and dutifully took on three attacking Stukas who were hell bent in trying to finish the participation of this little ship in the Battle of Crete.

    I'll cut to the chase. AB Eric Dent was awarded the DSM for his role that day.

    Distinguished Service Medal, London Gazette: 8 January 1942.

    “For outstanding gallantry, fortitude and resolution during the Battle of Crete.”

    The following account of the action for which the award was made is taken from the book “Under Cunningham’s Command 1940-43”, by Commander George Stitt , R.N., published London 1944:

    On the evening of the 26th [May 1941] Captain Morse gave orders for all small craft to make their way to Alexandria,…Kos 21 ….received the order to sail and by 6.00 a.m. on 27th May was off to the south-west coast of Crete - but not far enough away to escape the vigilance of the German Air
    Force. Shortly afterwards, three Junkers 87 made a concentrated machine gun attack, but Kos 21 replied, Able-Seaman Dent, though seriously wounded, manning one gun most heroically until the enemy had been beaten off. There were two casualties - one killed and one wounded.”

    Eric Dent, who Crossed the Bar' in 2017 at the age of 97 years was a good friend of mine. Several years earlier I asked him to describe the above incident. He said that he saw '3 Jerries' in the air and the first one came in low in a straight line towards the ship. He (Eric) had him in his sights clearly and kept firing till it passed over his ship. The second one followed and Eric also had him clearly marked and he fired continuously and he felt, as accurately as possible. He was disappointed that he didn't down the aircraft. He said that the third aircraft suddenly broke off its attack and all three escaped. Eric confirmed that one of his shipmates was killed and another was dying. He made light of his own injured leg.

    He later transferred to the destroyer HMS Encounter which joined the Eastern Fleet and then moved from Singapore to the ABDA Squadron off Java where he participated in the forlorn and forgotten defence of that naval theatre before 'becoming an unwelcome guest of the Japanese'.

    Hugh MacLean, timuk and Steve49 like this.
  9. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that information which confirms that the ship was attacked by German aircraft south of Crete. Very lucky to survive being attacked by three Ju87's, I guess AB Dent's gunfire was enough to put them off their aim.



Share This Page