Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the loss of the nuclear attack submarine U.S.S. Thresher, with all 129 people aboard. I’m old enough, alas, to remember the incident distinctly. My parents and I were camping with friends at a place in southern California called O’Neill Park, in Trabuco Canyon, when the news broke, and I was mesmerized. I had, for quite some time, been absolutely fascinated by submarines. (It may be genetic; my oldest son served for a time as a nuclear officer on a Trident missile submarine.) I read and watched absolutely everything about them that I could, and this story really hit me hard. My memories of early childhood are not especially distinct, but this particular one is. (Another very sharp early memory, of hearing the news of President Kennedy’s assassination, will see its fiftieth anniversary in late November of this year.)
There is a photo essay on Thresher here. (See the middle column, a short distance down.) To me, at least, the tragedy is still very poignant.