By Kelsie Hoitomt
It was 50 years ago on April 10, 1963 that a submarine, the USS Thresher SSN-593, sank in the Atlantic ocean with 129 men on board. One man aboard the submarine was Samuel J. Dabruzzi, father of area local, Viv (Dabruzzi) Lindstrom.
Lindstrom recently made the trip to Kittery, Maine where she sang the National Anthem, on April 7, in front of several other family members as a flag, 129 feet tall, was raised in honor of the men who lost their lives. The flag pole was new this year and was dedicated along with a Memorial Circle to those men.
Dabruzzi was 26 years old at the time the submarine sank. He left behind his wife, Carrie who was 22 years old and their three young children, Viv, Sam and Carl, who were all under the age of three. After the accident, Carrie left the Naval Base and went back home to be with her family in Minneapolis, MN. Samuel was born and raised not far from Carrie’s family in Hudson, WI.
Samuel had been in the Navy for about six years. He was an Electrical Technician and was the Reactor Control Operator on the USS Thresher. He had received first class honors and was working his way up to being a Petty Officer.
Former USS Thresher Crew members shared with Viv at the memorial service that her father always had a smile on his face.
The USS Thresher sank during a deep-dive test trial in the North Atlantic, roughly 220 miles from Cape Cod. Due to pressure, the submarine exploded. Several remains have been found throughout the years, scattered along the ocean floor.
The USS Thresher SSN-593 was said to be one of the leading submarines of its time as a nuclear-powered attack submarine. This still remains today as one of the worst submarine disasters in the world.
However, shortly after the tragedy, the U.S. Navy implemented a rigorous submarine safety program known then and today as SUBSAFE. Very few, if any, submarines have sunk due to non-combat accidents since this program began all those years ago.