50 Years Ago
Fifty years ago this morning, USS Thresher (SSN 593) got underway for sea trials following a 9 month overhaul. At 0918 the next morning, April 10th, during the deep dive, the accompanying ASR heard garbled communications over the underwater comms channel, then a sound like "air rushing into an air tank", then... silence.
129 souls were lost that day. As tragic as this was, I'm convinced that the loss of these brave men, along with the 99 men lost on USS Scorpion (SSN 589) five years later, saved many more men through the advent of SUBSAFE program. The Russians/Soviets have lost 5 commissioned nuclear boats since the Scorpion went down. Other countries have lost several diesel boats. Through the skill of American submarine crews, builders, and designers, we haven't lost any since 1968.
The men of the Thresher and Scorpion will never be forgotten by those who face the perils of operating under the waves.