Thresher submarine tragedy to be recalled 50 years later

Paul Feely
New Hampshire Union Leader

PORTSMOUTH – Fifty years have passed since the attack submarine USS Thresher sank in the Atlantic with a crew of 129, but the organizer of this year’s historic memorial service says lessons continue to be learned from the tragedy.

“In terms of safety, anyone who has served on a sub owes so much to the crew of the Thresher,” said Kevin Galeaz, commander of USSVI Thresher Base in Portsmouth and chairman of the committee planning the 50th annual USS Thresher Memorial Service, to be held April 6. ” . We haven’t lost a SUBSAFE-certified submarine in an accident since 1963, and it’s because of what was learned from the Thresher. The men lost that day, their deaths had meaning, and the families appreciate that.”

The invitation-only memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. in the Portsmouth High School Auditorium. Galeaz said about 1,200 are expected to attend, including 612 relatives of crew members killed when the submarine sank April 10, 1963, during a sea trial about 225 miles off the New England coast…

…The Thresher, one of the newest and most modern subs in the U.S. fleet in 1963, was on a training dive when the Navy lost all contact with it. At first, the Navy reported the Thresher was overdue and presumed missing, but changed the report to “appears to be lost” after an oil slick was sighted. The $45 million Thresher, built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, had been commissioned less than two years earlier…

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