Deadliest U.S. sub disaster recalled
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) -- Family and friends who lost loved ones when the USS Thresher sank 50 years ago joined in tossing wreaths into the water Saturday in an emotional service in remembrance of the 129 Navy crew members and civilian technicians who lost their lives in the deadliest submarine disaster in U.S. history.
Hundreds gathered for the memorial service at Portsmouth High School that concluded with a small group tossing three wreaths into the Piscataqua River. During the service, a bell tolled 129 times.
The USS Thresher, built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, was out for a routine deep-diving test when it ran into trouble on April 10, 1963.
The Navy believes the failure of a brazed weld allowed sea water to spray onto an electrical panel, causing an emergency shutdown of the sub's nuclear reactor. n