22
May
11

USS Scorpion, On Eternal Patrol

43 years ago today, USS Scorpion, SSN-589 was lost with all hands.  Today, we remember her and all who perished, our shipmates who remain on eternal patrol.

Here is my post from last year.

God Bless our shipmates, and all their families left behind.  Freedom is never free, and the costs of maintaining the eternal vigilance required can be difficult to bear.  I often think about all those wives and children waiting patiently through a cold rainy day for a reunion that would never come. They stood there on that pier for hours. How hard it must be to wait, not knowing, but actually knowing in your heart that the future you had planned was forever lost.

It’s cold and rainy here as I type this, and I can look out my window and see the cold deep waters of the Kennebec river glide by.  It’s quiet for a Sunday, with the stillness broken only by the mournful cry of Seagulls circling over the water, and the patter of rain on the side of my house.  Time goes on, the waters glide in and out with the tide, children grow up and some will take their father’s places in new boats, to go to sea as those before them did.  Brave men in a silent service, helping to keep the beacon of liberty alight in a world of darkness.

God Bless them all.

USS Scorpion, SSN 589. On Eternal Patrol

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5 Responses to “USS Scorpion, On Eternal Patrol”


  1. 1 virgil xenophon
    May 23, 2011 at 15:02

    Tim, did they ever ascertain the cause?

  2. May 23, 2011 at 19:33

    The Navy still considers the likely culprit to be a failure of the trash compacting/ejection system. There are many other theories, however, and the interntubes are rife with conspiracy nuts.

    Is it possible she was sunk by a torpedo or another sub? Sure. It’s also possible she was rammed while surfaced, or a victim of aliens or the Lost Avatar’s of Atlantis. 🙂 Take your pick.

    The other serious theory put forward is an explosion in the battery compartment of hydrogen gas. That is altogether quite possible.

    What hasn’t helped the Navy’s case is the suppression of most of the wreckage images. There are extensive images of her, but only a dozen or so have ever been released. I can’t understand what classified material would be compromised at this late date by those images.

  3. 3 Randy Beck
    May 24, 2011 at 03:21

    It isn’t just the intertubes. Coincidentally, my neighbor recommended this book to me just this morning:

    SCORPION DOWN: Sunk by the Soviets, Buried by the Pentagon: The Untold Story of the USS Scorpion
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001C309E6/

    I don’t think releasing the pictures will end the conspiracies. As for why they’re still secret, I’m guessing the pictures may still be relevant to some of our older boats.

  4. May 24, 2011 at 08:48

    This, as well as the loss of Thresher, had a marked effect on me as a young guy on the cusp of entering the Navy. These tragedies and the sacrifices are remembered over here in the UK, too. An old companion, an ex PO on HMS Dreadnought (our first nuke) made my blood run cold with tales of crazy encounters with crazy Soviets, with hard contact, in the seas off the North Cape. Photo’s of the damage were hidden and highly classified. My respects to all.

    • May 24, 2011 at 14:02

      Thanks for posting!

      The Cold War was a lot warmer than many people realize. The Navy Times used to run a section entitled “Sea Service Obituaries” which seemed to always have a couple dozen names or more in every issue.

      I was fortunate to be able to interact with several Nimrod crews, both during Nato exercises when were were flying together, and later briefing and debriefing them at the ASWOC (ASW Operation Center). Great men and a great platform.


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