Why Did the USS Thresher Sink? Finally, the Navy Is Being Forced to Tell Us

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  • A retired U.S. Navy submarine commander sued the Navy to release an official report on the sinking of the USS Thresher—and won.
  • Thresher sank in April 1963, lost with all hands, but there has never been an official explanation as to why. 
  • The loss of Thresher lead to an improved culture of safety in the Navy, and since 1968, the service hasn’t lost a single submarine.

A retired U.S. Navy submarine commander has won a lawsuit forcing the Navy to release its report on what happened to the USS Thresher, a nuclear-powered attack submarine that sank during diving tests in 1963. The loss of the submarine has never been fully explained, and the Navy has never released the report on the sub’s sinking.

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