HMS Sidon (P 259)
Submarine of the S class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Cammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.)|
|Ordered||17 Nov 1942|
|Laid down||7 Jul 1943|
|Launched||4 Sep 1944|
|Commissioned||23 Nov 1944|
|Lost||16 Jun 1955|
At 0825 hours on 16 June 1955 HMS Sidon (Lt. H.T. Verry, RN) was lying alongside the depot ship HMS Maidstone at Portland when one of her torpedoes exploded. The torpedoes had no warheads, but did have the new volatile hydrogen peroxide propellant. The crew had just embarked the torpedoes before going to sea for trial firings. A sudden uprush of air and smoke poured through the conning tower hatch. Her captain and others who were on the bridge, and others from Maidstone, entered the boat to assist rescue operations. At 0845 hours the submarine sank without warning by the bows. There were 56 men onboard at the time. Crew, trainees and trials personnel for the trip. Three officers and ten ratings lost their lives but the remainder were saved. The wreck was raised on 23 June 1955 and beached the next day. The 13 bodies were recovered two days later. She was used as A/S target in June 1957. She lies a few miles West of Portland intact and upright. Another explosion of the hydrogen-peroxide torpedo at Arrochar torpedo range caused the development of the Mk12 torpedo to be cancelled.
Commands listed for HMS Sidon (P 259)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Lt. Henry Carty Gowan, RN||Oct 1944||Oct 1945 ?|
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Noteable events involving Sidon include:
20 Jan 1945
While both conducting exercises off Inchmarnock, At 1452 hours (time zone -1) HMS Turpin (A/Lt.Cdr. J.S. Stevens, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Sidon (Lt. H.C. Gowan, RN) collide with each other. Both submarines were at periscope depth and both submarines sustained damage.
18 Jan 2003
Deepquest Sub Sea have announced that they intend to raise HMS Sidon.
16 Jun 2005
On the 16th June 1955 the Submarine HMS Sidon suffered a torpedo explosion whilst alongside HMS Maidstone at Portland Harbour.
The torpedo was an experimental one using High Test Peroxide the same type of fuel used in the torpedo, which is believed to have caused the more recent tragedy aboard the Russian Submarine Kursk
In the Sidon accident 13 men lost their lives, they are buried at the Royal Naval Cemetery at Portland, but apart from their headstones there is no other memorial. There will be a memorial service held on the 50th Anniversary in 2005 at which time it is hoped that a Memorial stone will be unveiled.
Dorset Branch of the Submariners Association would welcome contact from any members of the crew of the Sidon at the time of the accident, their families, or anyone involved in the salvage and rescue operation.
Please contact Brian Hodder at firstname.lastname@example.org or at
15 Rectory Road Broadmayne Dorset DT2 8EG
Obviously things are at an early stage of planning at the present time, but closer to the commemoration date details of time and location will be sent out to those who have been in contact. Please feel free to contact me with any queries.