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It takes a special type of person to serve in a nation's navy, especially on long voyages that separate men and women from their loved ones, and no service is both loved and hated as that aboard submarines, for very few people ever serve on them on a whim. For one thing, the psychological impact of being trapped for long periods underwater in tight, cramped quarters is more than many people can stand. Also, submarine service is uncharacteristically hazardous; after all, if a surface vessel is sunk, the crew has a reasonable chance of escaping death in lifeboats or being rescued out of the water by another ship. Conversely, if a submarine is badly damaged while submerged, the crew's chances of survival are at best remote. On the other hand, for those who choose to make the careers as submariners, there is no more beloved service. That is, one hopes, how it was for the 99 men who were serving on the USS Scorpion on May 22, 1968, the fateful day the submarine is believed to have sank. It appears that the crew members died quickly, but however it happened, the grief experienced by their family members dragged on for decades, exacerbated both by the Navy's lack of information about the submarine's final moments and the government's unwillingness to share what little knowledge it had.
©2016 Charles River Editors (P)2016 Charles River Editors