How The US Lost The Nuclear Submarine USS Scorpion During Peacetime

By Ethan Cole on
 February 22, 2022

In 1960, the Skipjack-class submarine, USS Scorpion, was commissioned. The sub went out on patrol through 1967, and it was updated. Finally, on February 15, 1968, the Scorpion went out on patrol, one that would end up being the last.

Final Patrol

The sub went out into the Mediterranean Sea but went to monitor the Soviets. The sub never returned to Norfolk, where the crew's family was waiting.

The last communication from the vessel was on May 21, 1968. Then, the Navy said the sub was "overdue and presumed lost," words that had not been heard since World War II.

However, the Scorpian was discovered in October 1968. Even though there was an official inquiry, the Navy said they did not know what happened.

Of course, there were many theories. The submarine was equipped with six 21-inch torpedo tubes, and they were able to fire Mk 14s torpedoes as well as the Mk 48.

Forever A Mystery

The sub could move at speeds of more than 30 knots even though it weighed 3,075-tons. One theory is that the torpedo malfunctioned, sinking the sub.

Another theory asserted that the overall was to blame. Either something was not done right, or maintenance was not kept up.

Either way, 99 sailors died after an explosion sank the ship to the bottom of the sea.

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