Keith Johnson was a Torpedoman Third Class, Silent Service and a member of the crew of USS Thresher until his wife convinced him not to reenlist when his enlistment was up. Shortly after he left the ship, it was lost in the Atlantic Ocean while performing deep sea diving tests. After the accident, extensive searching was undertaken by the bathyscaphe Trieste, the oceanographic ship Mizar and other ships. The remains of the vessel were finally located some 8400 feet below the surface.
The second USS Thresher (SSN-593) was the lead ship of her class of nuclear-powered attack submarines in the United States Navy. Her loss at sea during deep-diving tests in 1963 is often considered a watershed event in the implementation of the rigorous submarine safety program SUBSAFE. The contract to build Thresher was awarded to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on 15 January 1958, and her keel was laid on 28 May 1958. She was launched on 9 July 1960, was sponsored by Mrs. Frederick B. Warder (wife of the famous Pacific War skipper), and was commissioned on 3 August 1961, with Commander Dean L. Axene in command.
Disbound scrapbook of clippings on the nuclear submarine Thresher, including articles about its commissioning, sea trials, and its sinking in 1963 and the resulting search efforts. The bulk of the items in the collection are newspaper clippings. There are also clippings from magazines, a photograph of Thresher, and envelopes bearing a USS Thresher rubber stamp; an invitation for the commissioning; and several letters to the crew about the shock acoustical trials. The collection also includes several certificates and a submarine qualification card belonging to Keith Johnson.