PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The release of about 3,000 pages of documents delving into the deadliest submarine disaster in U.S. history has not yielded any sinister effort to hide the truth, a retired Navy skipper said.
Instead, documents show the Navy’s policies and procedures failed to keep pace with fast-moving technological advances during the Cold War, allowing a series of failures that led to the sinking of the USS Thresher on April 10, 1963, said retired Capt. James Bryant, who sued for release of the documents under the Freedom of Information Act.
“There’s no coverup. No smoking gun,” he said.
That doesn’t make it any less tragic, though.
The loss of the nuclear-powered submarine and all 129 sailors and civilians aboard during a test dive in the Atlantic Ocean was both a tragedy for the families and a blow to national pride during the Cold War.
The Thresher was the first of a new class of attack submarines that could travel farther and dive deeper than any previous sub.