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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th February 1917 Born today: Phyllis Calvert, London, actress (Man in Grey)
18th February 1901 Born today: Reginald Sheffield, London England, actor (Second Chance)
18th February 1775 Born today: Thomas Girtin, London, artist/watercolorist
The SS Montgomery Wreck
The site of the visible wreck of the SS Montgomery.
Location: Thames off Sheerness
Description: This is where the American Liberty ship, the SS Richard Montgomery lies after being sunk in 1944. It was built during World War II to be one of the Allied Forces 2,710 cargo vessels.
It remains here because it went down with over 1,400 tonnes (1,500 short tons) of explosives on board:
- 286 2,000 lb (910 kg) high explosive Blockbuster bombs
- 4,439 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs of various types
- 1,925 500 lb (230 kg) bombs
2,815 fragmentation bombs and bomb clusters
- Various explosive booster charges
- Various smoke bombs, including white phosphorus bombs
- Various pyrotechnic signals
In 1973 it became the first wreck in the UK designated as dangerous under section 2 of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, and as such it has an exclusion zone around it monitored visually and by radar.
It is thought that if the cargo exploded that it would cause sever destruction to the surrounding area and flooding from a resulting wave.