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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS OPOSSUM (U 33) - Modified Black Swan-class Sloop

HMS Opossum (Navy Photos/Gerry Wright, click to enlarge)

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Modified BLACK SWAN-Class Sloop ordered from Denny of Dumbarton on 12th August 1942 under the 1941 Build Programme, the ship was laid down on 28th July 1943 and launched by Mrs Trinder on 30th November 1944. She was the 5th RN ship to bear the name, introduced in 1808 and last used by a destroyer sold in 1920. Build was completed on 16th June 1945.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


FATSHAN CREEK 1857 - PEI-HO FORTS  1859 - KOREA 1952-53*

(* Awarded for service with UN)


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

On a Field White, an Opossum suspended by his tail from a tree trunk all Proper.



D e t a i l s  o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search



1 9 4 5


May                        Nominated for service with British Pacific Fleet


June                         Contractors sea trials.


June                         Commissioned for service

                16th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                Took passage to Malta for work-up on completion of trials and storing.


July                          Worked-up for operational service in Malta.


August                   Passage to join British Pacific Fleet.


P o s t   W a r    N o t e s


HMS OPOSSUM joined the 33rd Escort Flotilla, BPF at Hong Kong and went to refit at Sydney, NSW during mid 1946. In 1947 she returned to UK to reduce to Reserve status at Portsmouth. She was brought forward for service in 1951 after the outbreak of war in Korea where she served in the RN element of the UN naval forces as part of the 3rd Frigate Flotilla. She left the Far East in 1957 and was transferred to the 7th Frigate Squadron serving in the South Atlantic. Two years later she again reduced to Reserve and was laid up at Devonport until 1960 when she went on the on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO for demolition by Demmelweek and Redding the ship arrived in tow at the breakers yard  at Plymouth on 26th April that year. The name was again used when given to a submarine launched in 1963 and which served until Paid-off in the 1980ís.


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revised 31/5/11
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