Lead: Just after 9:00 AM on the morning of April 10, 1963, a pipe burst in the engine room of the nuclear submarine USS Thresher floating 1000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic off Cape Cod. Within minutes the vessel had been transformed into a twisted metallic tomb for 129 men.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Thresher was a new type of submarine, one designed specifically to hunt, attack, and destroy Soviet atomic-powered submarines. The need for such a vessel was demonstrated by USS Nautilus, launched in 1954, it was the world’s first nuclear submarine. Nautilus was so quiet and powerful and so good at making kills and getting away without detection that the Navy was forced to change its strategy. Convinced that the Soviets would soon have the same deadly capability, designers came up with a killer submarine specifically to hunt other subs.