HMS Opossum (S19)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other ships of the same name, see HMS Opossum.
HMS Opossum returning to RN submarine base HMS Dolphin, Gosport, following combat operations in the Gulf War (1990–91)
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Opossum
Builder: Cammell Laird, Birkenhead
Laid down: 21 December 1961
Launched: 23 May 1963
Commissioned: 5 June 1964
Decommissioned: August 1993
Fate: Paid off for disposal
General characteristics
Class and type: Oberon-class submarine
Displacement: 2,030 long tons (2,063 t) surfaced
2,400 long tons (2,439 t) submerged
Length: 295 ft 3 in (89.99 m)
Beam: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
Draught: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Propulsion: 2 diesels 3,680 bhp (2,744 kW)
2 electric motors of 6,000 shp
2 shafts
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h) surfaced
17 knots (31 km/h) submerged
Range: 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
Complement: 68 (6 officers, 62 petty officers and ratings)
Armament: 8 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes (6 bow, 2 stern)

HMS Opossum (S19) was an Oberon-class submarine in service with the Royal Navy from 1964 to 1993.

Design and construction[edit]

Opossum was the eleventh Oberon-class boat commissioned by the Royal Navy. She was built by Cammell Laird shipbuilder at Birkenhead and launched on 23 May 1963. She was commissioned on 5 June 1964.

Opossum was originally armed with Mk. 8 torpedoes and later with Mark 24 Tigerfish torpedoes. The class was also capable of firing the Harpoon anti-ship missile.

Operational history[edit]

In 1990, Opossum took part in the bicentennial celebrations at Pitcairn Island, marking the occasion with a two-day visit in September.[1]

Otus was deployed to the Persian Gulf during the 1991 Gulf War under Operation Granby.[2] On her return to Gosport, she was flying a Jolly Roger;[3] the only indication that the submarine had been involved in deploying and recovering Special Air Service and Special Boat Service personnel.[4][5]

On 14 July 1993, Opossum (which was travelling on the surface at the time) collided with the fishing vessel Amber Rose off the coast of Scotland.[6]


On paying off in 1993, the nameplate from HMS Opossum was given to St Edmundsbury council in commemoration of the submarine's association with the town of Bury St. Edmunds.[7]

The HMS Opossum Association is the veterans association for those who served on HMS Opossum. The association's members include submariners, and earlier veterans who served on the sloop/frigate HMS Opossum (U33).


  1. ^ "Bicentenary Celebrations". Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau. 2004. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "British Forces involved in Operation Granby". 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Hillbeck, Ian W. (2015). "Submarine Camouflage Schemes". Submariners Association, Barrow-in-Furness Branch. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Richards, Bill; Smith, Peter (December 2006). "Onslow's Jolly Roger". Signals (Australian National Maritime Museum) (77): 11. ISSN 1033-4688. 
  5. ^ Oliver, Sarah (2 April 2011). "Return of the Triumph: With the skull and crossbones flying defiantly at its mast, submarine that launched attack on Gaddafi comes home". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Jeremy HanleyMinister of State for the Armed Forces (18 January 1994). "Submarines (Fishing Vessels)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Commons. col. 506. 
  7. ^ Nicholas Soames, Minister of State for the Armed Forces (27 October 1994). "Appropriation Accounts". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Commons. col. 739–740. 


External links[edit]