By Jim Dunne,
Sun Contributing Writer
Fifty years ago, on April 10, 1963, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher (SSN-593) sank in the Atlantic, killing the 129 men on board. Among them was a Norwich man, 26-year-old Maurice Frank Jaquay. When the 1952 undefeated Norwich football team gathers next week to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, the men who were seniors on that team will pause to remember their classmate and friend.
Ceremonies were held in several locations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the US Navy’s worst submarine disaster. In nearby Endicott, the American Legion held a ceremony at the monument which was erected shortly after the accident to honor Joseph Fusco, an electrician’s mate second class who went down with the boat. In Ballston Spa, near the Navy’s nuclear training facility, an annual observance was held. In other locations, from Kittery, Maine, to Eureka, Missouri, to Nutley, N.J., monuments have been established to honor men who went down in the Thresher. The largest event was held at the Portsmouth, N.H., Naval Shipyard, where the Thresher was built and commissioned on August 3, 1961, and where she underwent 9 months of repair and overhaul just before her fatal voyage. Norwich should at least take note of the occasion to honor one of her best, who went to rest over 8,400 feet below the surface of the Atlantic.