KITTERY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- At precisely 9:17 Wednesday morning, people will pause and take a moment to recognize what happened at that exact time 50 years ago.
It was the day the worst submarine accident in history occurred onboard USS Thresher; 129 lives were lost that day. To recognize each person, a ship's bell will toll 129 times at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. USS Thresher, which was built at the shipyard, lost communication with the submarine rescue vessel, USS Skylark, while conducting sea trials off the coast of Cape Cod on April 10, 1963. The ship sank after a leaky pipe sprayed water onto the ship's electrical grid, forcing the reactor to shut down.
As a way to honor those who were lost, post offices in Kittery and Portsmouth, NH will be offering special postmarks Wednesday. Letters and postcards can be marked with a unique postmark to document the anniversary at either post office. You can also request the special postmark by mail any time within the next 30 days.
Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope containing the letter or envelope you would like marked to:
Postmaster, 80 Daniel Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801-9998 or Postmaster, 10 Shapleigh Road, Kittery, ME 03904.
For more information, you may also call Portsmouth Postmaster Richard Provenchar at (603) 427-6250 or Kittery Postmaster John Wickman at (207) 439-2018.