Memoratus in aeternum, Thresher
USS Thresher (SSN-593), commissioned in August 1961, was the lead ship of a new class of nuclear-powered, fast-attack submarines and was the most technically advanced ship in the world.
On April 10, 1963, she sank approximately 200 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. All souls aboard were lost that day; 129 U.S. Navy Sailors and civilian workers. Thresher was the first nuclear-powered submarine lost at sea, and the largest loss of life in the submarine force’s history.
As a result of this, the Navy immediately restricted all submarines in depth until the causes of this tragic loss could be fully understood, leading to SUBSAFE.
This week, 53 years on, she is still remembered. This week the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum added to their permanent Thresher display the ceremonial dress sword of LCDR Pat Garner, Thresher‘s Executive Officer when she sank. This is the first time the sword, on special loan to the museum, has ever been exhibited.
“It’s been 53 years since we lost Thresher and out of the loss came the SUBSAFE program,” said Rear Adm. Moises DelToro, deputy commander, Undersea Warfare in a statement. “Our challenge today, 53 years after the loss of Thresher, is to maintain our vigilance, intensity and integrity in all matters involving the SUBSAFE program and to avoid ignorance, arrogance and complacency.”