ep 42: The Thresher’s Tale

On April 10, 1963, the USS Thresher, the lead boat of her class of nuclear-powered submarines, went down with all hands 220-miles off the coast of Cape Cod. It was the deadliest submarine disaster in U.S. naval history. The loss of the Thresher was never fully explained and the Navy never released the report on its sinking. That is, until a retired submarine commander sued the Navy, forcing them to come clean! Now we know why she sank…at least what the Navy thinks because analysis of SOSUS data paints a different (and more plausible) picture of events. Still, one thing we do know is the sinking of the Thresher led to sweeping changes in the submarine force that has ensured the safe operating of these vessels ever since.


The Great Courses Plus has hundreds of topics taught by professors and experts, all in one enormous video library. Listen or watch on your computer or mobile device. Visit thedigressionpodcast.com/GCP today to start your special FREE MONTH of unlimited access to their full lecture library…and don’t miss our newest recommendation: American Submarines in the Pacific, 1944-1945, part of the course, World War II: The Pacific Theater.



Navy releases documents from 1963 USS Thresher sinking, deadliest submarine disaster in US history

Why Did the USS Thresher Sink? Finally, the Navy Is Being Forced to Tell Us

What Sank The Thresher by Bruce Rule and Norman Polmer

The U.S. Navy’s Submarine Safety Standards

Wreck of USS Thresher (SSN-593)

Record of Proceedings of a Court of Inquiry (Thresher Report)

Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage by Sontag and Drew

Report of Columbia Accident Investigation Board, Volume I

Chris and Jody are Air Force vets who enjoy military history and folklore. They have a podcast. They tell stories. They digress. A lot.

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