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50 Years After Tragedy, Crew Of USS Thresher Submarine Recognized

From the collections of the Naval Historical Center. USNHC # NH 97551.

Governor Maggie Hassan is ordering flags at half-staff Wednesday to recognize the 50th anniversary of the loss of the USS Thresher.

All 129 crew members aboard the nuclear submarine were killed on April 10, 1963 when it sank roughly 200 miles east of Cape Cod.

The USS Thresher was based at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

D. Allen Kerr wrote a series of articles last year about the ship’s history for Seacoast Online. He says it went out to sea to make deep water test dives.

But because there were no survivors, what happened next is only conjecture.

“The thinking is it was a piping failure which caused the nuclear reactor to shut down which caused the submarine to sink and it got down below crest depth the overwhelming water pressure just kind of crushed it like a tin can.”

A ceremony will take place at the Shipyard Mall Wednesday morning to remember those lost. It is scheduled for 9:17 a.m., which is the exact time when communications with the ship were lost 50 years ago.

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