Shaheen Statement on Release of Declassified USS Thresher Documents

September 23, 2020

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on the U.S. Navy’s release of approximately 4,000 pages of declassified documents on the sinking of the USS Thresher. The USS Thresher was a submarine built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. It tragically sank off the coast of New England on April 10, 1963, taking with it all the 129 men aboard. The documents were released in compliance with a Freedom of Information Act ruling made earlier this year.

“Family members of the brave men lost aboard the USS Thresher have lived with unanswered questions about the loss of their loved ones for more than 50 years. I hope that these documents help bring closure,” said Shaheen. “The pain of the Thresher tragedy is still felt today by the children and relatives who were left behind. While nothing can make up for their loss, it’s my hope that this new information sheds some light and helps families heal as we continue to honor and remember the brave 129 of the USS Thresher.”

Shaheen successfully led bipartisan efforts in Congress to establish a memorial for the men lost aboard the USS Thresher at Arlington National Cemetery. Last year, Senator Shaheen delivered the keynote address at the dedication for the memorial. Shaheen continuously pushed administration officials to consider the USS Thresher Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Project’s submission to establish a monument, including letters and calls to then-Secretary of the Army Mark Esper. Senator Shaheen previously led the bipartisan Senate resolution that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Thresher tragedy, and has consistently worked to honor the memory of those lost aboard the Thresher. Last July, Shaheen was honored by the USS Thresher Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Foundation for her advocacy on behalf of the memorial. 

The documents can be accessed here.