Photograph by J.L. Snell. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

Remembering the USS Thresher Tragedy

Published April 13, 2021

Saturday marked the 58th anniversary of the sinking of submarine USS Thresher. On April 10, 1963, Thresher commenced a deep dive test as part of its sea trials off the coast of New England. At approximately 9:15 a.m., communications with the submarine were lost and all 129 officers, crew and civilians aboard perished.

An investigation concluded the loss of Thresher was in all probability due to a casting, piping or welding failure that flooded the engine room with water, causing electrical and power failures and the eventual loss of the boat. Although Thresher was not built by Newport News Shipbuilding, its somber anniversary is a time to reflect on the importance of first-time quality.

Watch Ron Murray, vice president of Quality, share the story of Thresher on MyNNS.

NNS sounded the shipyard whistle at 9:15 a.m. Friday, April 9, for 58 seconds and observed a moment of silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the tragedy. Shipbuilders were asked to reflect on ways in which they could ensure the first-time quality of all NNS products and processes.