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SS Richard Montgomery

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The masts of the ship, seen at the site of the wreck.

The SS Richard Montgomery was an American ship built during World War II. Montgomery was wrecked off the coast of Sheerness, near Kent, England in 1944 with around 1,400 tonnes of explosives on board, which continue to be a hazard to the area.[1]


Montgomery sank in the Thames estuary on August 20, 1944. It was loaded with 15,000 tons of explosive munitions. The Admiralty decided to leave the wreck and its dangerous cargo untouched. The wreck lies just a few hundred yards offshore between an oil refinery and the several towns. Southend-on-Sea is just a couple of miles away on the other side of the Thames estuary. Rumors about the ship and its cargo have spread in these towns ever since. Denials have been issued by ministers in the House of Commons in response to MPs questions about the fact biological, chemical and gas warheads are on board. Nevertheless, rumors continue that the real reason the wreck was not made safe was because of the fact of "dirty weapons" being on board.[1]


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