Skip to main content

1963 Twenty-five Years Ago

November 2023
1min read

The Navy suffered its worst peacetime disaster on April 9, when the nuclear attack submarine Thresher sank off the New Hampshire coast during routine sea trials. Diving to a thousand feet, the sub developed a small leak in her hull. The leak triggered a short circuit, shutting down the submarine’s nuclear reactor. Powerless and unable to blow her ballast tanks, the Thresher plunged into an eighty-four-hundred-foot ocean abyss called the Wilkenson Deep. Mounting pressure crushed her hull, killing all 129 crew members.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.