Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In Memory of the Loss of USS Scorpion (SSN-589)

Forty-five years ago today, on May 22nd, 1968, the 99 officers and crew of USS Scorpion (SSN-589) lost their lives.

Scorpion was one of only two United States Navy nuclear-powered submarines to ever be lost.

Scorpion was a Skipjack-class nuclear-powered attack submarine.  Designed during the 1950s, she incorporated the virtually unlimited underwater endurance of nuclear power along with the best submarine warfare knowledge and all the technological advances gained during World War II.

Scorpion's wreck lies in approximately 9,800 feet of water, approximately 400 miles southwest of the Azores Islands.  She is in four major pieces:
  • Forward hull section (including torpedo room and part of the operations section)
  • After hull section (the aft section of the engine room has "telescoped" into the forward part)
  • The sail
  • The propeller and shaft

The cause of her loss has never been definitively established.

There are several books about Scorpion's loss in the AIMM library.

Image courtesy of the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command, which holds a large collection of images related to Scorpion.


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