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HMS Sidon was built by Cammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.), pennant P 259, laid down 7th July 19143, launched 4th September 1944, and commissioned 23rd November 1944. She was 814-872 tones surfaced and 990 tons submerged, 217 feet, 23 feet 6inches beam and 11ft draught. She was one of the third group of S-class submarines built by Cammell Laird. At 0825 hours on 16th June 1955 she 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 23rd 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.

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Last updated 28 November, 2008

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