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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
SSN -593
Date Lost: 
Wednesday, April 10, 1963
Lost at Sea

USS Thresher, lead ship of a class of 3700-ton nuclear-powered attack submarines, was built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. Commissioned in August 1961, she conducted lengthy trails in the western Atlantic and Caribbean areas in 1961 and 1962, providing a thorough evaluation of her many new technological features and weapons. After the completion of these test operations Thresher returned to her builders for overhaul. On 10 April 1963, after the completion of the work, Thresher began post-overhaul trials. Accompanied by the submarine rescue ship Skylark ASR-20 she transited to an area some 220 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and started deep diving tests. As these proceeded garbled communications were received by Skylark indicating trouble aboard the submarine. It gradually became apparent that she had sunk taking the lives of 129 officers, crewmen and civilian technicians. After an extensive underwater search utilizing the bathyscaph Trieste, oceanographic ship Mizar, and other ships Thresher's shattered remains were located on the sea floor some 8400 feet below the surface. Deep sea photography recovered artifacts and an evaluation of her design and operations permitted a Court of Inquiry to determine that she had probably sunk due to a piping failure, subsequent loss of power and inability to blow ballast tanks rapidly enough to avoid sinking.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 129

Namesort ascending Service Branch
EM2 Jay Zweifel USN
QMSN Ronald Wolfe USN
MMCA Donald Wise USN
LTJG John Wiley USN
FTG1 Charles Wiggins USN
Laurence Whitten
RMSN David Wasel USN
RM1 Joseph Walski USN
IC1 Roger Van Pelt USN
SO1 Robert Steinel USN
Donald Stadtmuller
EM1 Ronald Solomon USN
MM1 James Snider USN
BT1 William Smith USN
LT John Smarz USN
FTG2 Alan Sinnett USN
ETRSN Burnett Shotwell USN
MM1 Joseph Shimko USN
EMCM Benjamin Shafer USN
EMCS John Shafer USN