‘Navy Has Done Itself a Major Favor’ in Releasing Thresher Investigation

The rolling release of a previously secret report and investigation of the 1963 loss of USS Thresher (SSN-593), the Navy’s worst submarine disaster, is providing new lessons for today’s sailors and shipbuilders, said the former submarine commander who brought suit to declassify the documents.

Now that the documents are declassified, submarine safety instructors, “can take it home, read it and take it into the classroom,” James Bryant, a retired Navy captain who served on three Thresher class submarines, said on Saturday. The former commander of USS Guardfish (SSN-612) added that graduate engineering students can also glean the material that has been declassified to better understand how to prevent future accidents from becoming disasters that sank Thresher.

On April 10, 1963, 129 sailors died when Thresher was lost during a deep dive test off the East Coast.

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