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50th Observance of Thresher's Loss

The weekend of 6-7 April 2013 saw a number of ceremonies marking the loss of the USS THRESHER (SSN 593). As originally planned by the members of USSVI Thresher Base, and with the support of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the main ceremony would be conducted in an auditorium located at the Yard on Saturday, 6 April. The laying of wreaths on the water would also be conducted at the Yard.

These plans were disrupted by the advent of sequestration that forced the Navy (shipyard) to withdraw its support.  Thresher Base quickly regrouped and relocated its main ceremony to the auditorium of the Portsmouth High School. Following that ceremony, three wreaths were sent out to sea from the partially constructed Memorial Bridge to honor the 129 officers, enlisted men and civilians lost with Thresher.

On Sunday, the THRESHER Memorial Flag Pole was dedicated at Memorial Circle in Kittery. The pole, 129 feet tall, was dedicated to the 129 men lost when Thresher failed to surface while conducting post overhaul trials on 10 April 1963.

The three photos below are of the USS ALBACORE showing the special banners being mounted on either side of her sail to honor the THRESHER.

 

Shown above is ALBACORE Chief of the Boat Norm Bower assisting in the tie-down of the banners.

 

Shown above are George Milliken (Park staff member in the green jacket), COB Norm Bower behind George, and PPMMA Board Member Jim Wakefield.

 

The finished product.

 

This final picture shows the dedication of the THRESHER Memorial Flag Pole and the initial raising of the 20 by 38 foot flag.