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USS THRESHER (SSN-593) - a Thresher-class submarine

In Commission 1961 to Present

SSN-593 Deployments - Major Events

Add a SSN-593 Shellback Initiation Add a SSN-593 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
MAY1958-Keel Date: 28 MAY 1958
at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
JUL1960-Launch Date: 9 JUL 1960
AUG1961-Commissioned: 3 AUG 1961

SSN-593 General Specifications

Class: Thresher-class submarine

Complement: 16 Officers and 96 Enlisted

Displacement: 3540 tons

Length: 279 feet

Beam: 32 feet

Draft: 26 feet

Final Disposition: Sank with all hands during deep diving tests 10 April 196


The second Thresher (SSN-593) was laid down on 28 May 1958 by the Portsmouth (N.H.) Naval Shipyard; launched on 9 July 1960; sponsored by Mrs. Frederick B. Warder; and commissioned on 3 August 1961 Comdr. Dean W. Axene in command.

Following trials the nuclear attack submarine took part in Nuclear submarine Exercise (NUSUBEX) 3-61 off the northeastern coast of the United States from 18 to 24 September.

On 18 October; the submarine headed south along the east coast. After calling at San Juan Puerto Rico she conducted further trials and test-fired her torpedo system before returning to Portsmouth on 29 November. The ship remained in port through the end of the year and spent the first two months of 1962 evaluating her sonar system and her Submarine Rocket (SUBROC) system. In March the submarine participated in NUSUBEX 2-62 an exercise designed to improve the tactical capabilities of nuclear submarines and in antisubmarine warfare training with Task Group ALPHA.

Off Charleston the ship undertook operations observed by the Naval Antisubmarine Warfare Council before she returned briefly to New England waters from whence she proceeded to Florida for SUBROC tests. However while mooring at Port Canaveral the subma rine was accidentally struck by a tug which damaged one of her ballast tanks. After repairs at Groton Conn. by the Electric Boat Company the ship returned south for more tests and trials off Key West. Thresher then returned northward and remaine d in dockyard hands through the early spring of 1963.

In company with Skylark (ASR-20) Thresher put to sea on 10 April 1963 for deep-diving exercises. In addition to her 16 officers and 96 enlisted men the submarine carried 17 civilian technicians to observe her performance during the deep-di ving tests.

Fifteen minutes after reaching her assigned test depth the submarine communicated with Skylark by underwater telephone apprising the submarine rescue ship of difficulties. Garbled transmissions indicated that -far below the surface-things were go ing wrong. Suddenly listeners in Skylark heard a noise "like air rushing into an air tank"-then silence.

Efforts to reestablish eontaet with Thresher failed and a search group was formed in an attempt to locate the submarine. Rescue ship Recovery (ASR-43) subsequently recovered bits of debris including gloves and bits of internal insulation. Photographs taken by bathyseaph Trieste proved that the submarine had broken up taking all hands on board to their deaths in 1 400 fathoms of water some 220 miles east of Boston.

Thresher was officially declared lost in April 1963

[Note: The above USS THRESHER (SSN-593) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS THRESHER (SSN-593) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]