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.

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Notes:

Navy releases documents from 1963 USS Thresher sinking, deadliest submarine disaster in US history
https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2020/09/24/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
https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a31351061/why-did-uss-thresher-submarine-sink/

What Sank The Thresher by Bruce Rule and Norman Polmer
http://www.designed4submariners.com/uploads/Thresher_Report.pdf

The U.S. Navy’s Submarine Safety Standards
https://www.bsee.gov/sites/bsee.gov/files/technical-presentations/safety/schaffer-navy.pdf

Wreck of USS Thresher (SSN-593)
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-t/ssn593-l.htm

Record of Proceedings of a Court of Inquiry (Thresher Report)
https://www.secnav.navy.mil/foia/readingroom/HotTopics/Forms/AllItems.aspx#InplviewHashd386c8f1-7737-4e22-9cd0-950262d288e7=

Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage by Sontag and Drew
https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Mans-Bluff-Submarine-Espionage/dp/1610393589

Report of Columbia Accident Investigation Board, Volume I
https://www.nasa.gov/columbia/home/CAIB_Vol1.html

Author: The Digression Podcast Guys

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