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Naval Theater is dedicated to the ships upon and under the waves, and the people who crewed them. A new piece of maritime history is posted every day at 11:00 AM EST.

USS Scorpion (SSN-589)

Scorpion, c.August, 1960, shortly before heading to Europe. Photo in the collection of the US Naval Historical Center.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1958
Launched
1959
Commissioned
1960
AD/BC
AD
History

The Skipjack-class submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was commissioned on 29 July, 1960. Scorpion operated in the Atlantic for most of her career, and played a major role in developing nuclear submarine combat tactics. Scorpion underwent overhauls in 1963-64, and 1967, in the latter, she did not receive the modifications to fix the problems that caused the loss of the Thresher in 1963. Deployed to the Mediterranean in February, 1968, Scorpion disappeared on her way back to the US while under orders to investigate a Soviet task group operating near the Azores. The date of her sinking was later confirmed as 22 May by acoustic detection records, but the cause of her loss remains controversial. The majority of the damage to the sub was done by sinking below crush depth, but what caused her to end up there in the first place is unknown.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: There have been six ships of the US Navy named Scorpion, the last two of which were submarines lost with all hands.