Naval War College Review


Several years ago I received a phone call from Stephen Johnson asking about my service on the USS Scorpion (SSN 589), my first ship, between the fall of 1961 and the winter of 1962. He explained he was writing a book about its loss in late May 1968 with its entire crew of ninety- nine. I spoke with him at some length and sent some material about the vast “SubSafe” program changes that oc- curred within the Submarine Force af- ter the loss of USS Thresher (SSN 593) in April 1963. Silent Steel is the exqui- sitely researched result of my tiny input and that of more than 230 others— ranging from the widows of Scorpion sailors, submarine design engineers and naval architects, and a list of active- duty and retired personnel that reads like a “who’s who” of the then and now Submarine Force. The bibliography it- self spans two dozen pages of applicable books, journal articles, official reports, memorandums, and other miscella- neous correspondence.