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HMS Opossum (S19)
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 & type: Oberon-class submarine
Displacement: 2,030 tons surfaced
2,400 tons 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 inch torpedo tubes (6 bow, 2 stern)

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


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.

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

Opossum served during the Gulf War and inserted SBS special forces teams into Iraq and occupied Kuwait. In May 1991 she returned to HMS Dolphin in traditional Far East camouflage colours (black and duck egg blue). She was seen to be flying the Jolly Roger, the RN submariner's symbol of a successful war patrol.[2][3]

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.[4]

HMS Opossum Association

The HMS Opossum Association is the veterans association for those who served on HMS Opossum. The association's members include submariners from the S19, and earlier veterans who served on the sloop/frigate HMS Opossum (1943–1960).

Commanding Officers

From To Captain
1974 1976 Lieutenant Commander Michael Boyce RN
1977 1977 Lieutenant Commander Chris Wreford-Brown RN
1979 1979

See also


External links

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