Sailors of the 'Thresher'

By Alan Weeks

June 6, 1931 - October 18, 2002

Atlantic News, Thursday, April 17, 2003

[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News]
Eight thousand feet deep
Sailors of the "Thresher"
Lie in peaceful sleep
Beyond mortal pressure,
Dreaming of those who weep.

From Portsmouth she sailed
That fateful day
With crew of frail
Men and hull from arms play,
To fate's sudden hail.

Mother tender called,
Crushing heard beneath
Echoed the last fall;
The "Thresher" had met death.

Champion of subs that live
In frigid blue-green
Depths where shark and whale thrive,
Strange realms few had been,
But 'twas their last dive.

Quiet nuclear force
And skilled men; metal fish
On guard in hidden course
Mid dreams we would wish
Fulfilled 'fore our last hour,

What failed, what went wrong,
A man, valve, a fitting?
Years used had proved her strong;
Who knew from board's sitting

Flooded quick, lost her trim
Mid acts of brave, stout men,
No panic tho' hope dimmed;
Nerve and faith ne'er did bend
Down near continent's rim.

To abrupt end she raced
In awful haste, filling
With sea's impartial face;
Young lives, their future spilling
Fast in their resting place.

The sea shall give up her dead;
These heroic souls
Will rise from buoy-marked bed
To life, love, pure and whole.

[USS Thresher launched at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard July 9, 1960 -- Sunk April 10, 1963]