#RedFriday: Loss of Submarine USS Thresher (SSN 593)

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Red Friday honors and stands behind the members of the United States Military and wishes for their safe return home.

The loss of the Submarine USS Thresher was a time of tragedy and mourning that brought our US Navy family  and Armed Forces cousins together.

On 10 April 1963, tragedy struck during diving tests when the nuclear powered USS Thresher (SSN 593) was lost with all hands east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Note, Thresher was commissioned in April 1961. At the time of her loss, Thresher was commanded by Lieutenant Commander John W. Harvey.

USS Thresher (SSN-593) Stern-on view, taken at sea on 24 July 1961. Note upper rudder in the foreground, with draft markings painted on its side and navigation light at its top. Official U.S. Navy Photograph,  from the collections of the NHHC.

USS Thresher (SSN-593)
Stern-on view, taken at sea on 24 July 1961.
Note upper rudder in the foreground, with draft markings painted on its side and navigation light at its top.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph,
from the collections of the NHHC.

Insignia: USS Thresher (SSN-593). Emblem adopted in 1960 and received in October of that year. It was accompanied with this description: "The fish depicted in the subject insignia is a THRESHER shark, which is characterized by a tail that is approximately one-half of its total length. The THRESHER shark reportedly attacks its prey by flailing the long tail. The horizontal lines signify the deep diving capability of THRESHER. The circles represent her sonar capability. The motto, 'Vis Tacita', describes the overall characteristics of the ship, 'Silent strength'." U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph, NH 91424-KN (Color).

Insignia: USS Thresher (SSN-593). Emblem adopted in 1960 and received in October of that year. It was accompanied with this description: “The fish depicted in the subject insignia is a THRESHER shark, which is characterized by a tail that is approximately one-half of its total length. The THRESHER shark reportedly attacks its prey by flailing the long tail. The horizontal lines signify the deep diving capability of THRESHER. The circles represent her sonar capability. The motto, ‘Vis Tacita’, describes the overall characteristics of the ship, ‘Silent strength’.” U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph, NH 91424-KN (Color).

USS Thresher (SSN-593). Starboard bow view, taken at sea on 24 July 1961. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command, NH 97544.

USS Thresher (SSN-593). Starboard bow view, taken at sea on 24 July 1961. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command, NH 97544.

Lieutenant John Wesley Harvey, USN. Photo taken 14 November 1955 by Farber. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command, NH 97571.

Lieutenant John Wesley Harvey, USN. Photo taken 14 November 1955 by Farber. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command, NH 97571.

Accession: 64-113-A Philatelic Cover, USS Thresher SSN-593, “In Memoriam” 6 ½” 3 ¾”  Photographed by Museum Technician Julie Kowalsky.

Accession: 64-113-A
Philatelic Cover, USS Thresher SSN-593, “In Memoriam”
6 ½” 3 ¾”
Photographed by Museum Technician Julie Kowalsky.

Loss of USS Thresher (SSN-593), April 1963. Navy ships circle in the vicinity of the site of Thresher's sinking, 15 April 1963, five days after her loss. Ships are (left to right): USS Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618); USS Sunbird (ASR-15); USS Warrington (DD-843), group flagship; and USS Redfin (SS-272). Photographed by PHCS Parker. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command, NH 97555.

Loss of USS Thresher (SSN-593), April 1963. Navy ships circle in the vicinity of the site of Thresher’s sinking, 15 April 1963, five days after her loss. Ships are (left to right): USS Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618); USS Sunbird (ASR-15); USS Warrington (DD-843), group flagship; and USS Redfin (SS-272). Photographed by PHCS Parker. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command, NH 97555.

Wreck of USS Thresher (SSN-593). "Mosaic of the sail. The conning station is at Arrow (1), upside down with the leading edge to the left in this photograph. The sail planes (2) are completely reversed. Below the sail is a torpedo shutter door (3). An air bottle is at (4) ... . Actuating gear for torpedo shutter door (5)." Quoted text is from the caption released with the original image, which was received by the Naval Photographic Center in December 1966. View shows the starboard side of the sail. See Photo # NH 97544 for a view of this side of the sail taken prior to Thresher's loss. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph, NH 97560.

Wreck of USS Thresher (SSN-593). “Mosaic of the sail. The conning station is at Arrow (1), upside down with the leading edge to the left in this photograph. The sail planes (2) are completely reversed. Below the sail is a torpedo shutter door (3). An air bottle is at (4) … . Actuating gear for torpedo shutter door (5).” Quoted text is from the caption released with the original image, which was received by the Naval Photographic Center in December 1966. View shows the starboard side of the sail. See Photo # NH 97544 for a view of this side of the sail taken prior to Thresher’s loss. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph, NH 97560.

Accession 63-364-B Resolution, City of New London Connecticut, USS Thresher SSN-593 10 ¾ x 8 3/8

Accession 63-364-B
Resolution, City of New London Connecticut, USS Thresher SSN-593
10 ¾ x 8 3/8

Lt. Cmdr. John W. Harvey was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in 1950. He then commenced Atomic Energy Commission training for duty aboard the U.S. Navy's USS Nautilus. He then became the Commanding Officer of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) which was lost in April of 1963. Red Friday on Crash Course honors him and his crew for their sacrifice.

Lt. Cmdr. John W. Harvey was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in 1950. He then commenced Atomic Energy Commission training for duty aboard the U.S. Navy’s USS Nautilus. He then became the Commanding Officer of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) which was lost in April of 1963. Red Friday on Crash Course honors him and his crew for their sacrifice.

A beautiful rendering of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) that memorializes the 16 officers, 96 enlisted men, and the 17 civilian technicians that were onboard.

A beautiful rendering of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) that memorializes the 16 officers, 96 enlisted men, and the 17 civilian technicians that were onboard.

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On the Web: The loss of the USS Thresher

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