from the Fosters Article published Apr 6, 2014
Kerr reading from book on Thresher
KITTERY — Local author D. Allan Kerr will give a public reading from his new book “Silent Strength” at Kittery’s Rice Public Library on Thursday, April 10 – the 51st anniversary of the loss of the USS Thresher.
Subtitled “Remembering the Men of Genius and Adventure Lost in the World’s Worst Submarine Disaster,” this special edition pays tribute to the 129 Navy sailors and civilian technicians who died that morning in 1963. Proceeds from the sales of Silent Strength are going toward the Thresher Memorial Project in Kittery.
The free library event will begin at 6 p.m. at 8 Wentworth Street. Kerr, a former Foster’s Daily Democrat reporter and bureau chief, is a member of Rice Public Library’s board of directors.
In addition, a book signing will take place on Sunday, April 13, at Albacore Park in Portsmouth. This event is expected to take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at 600 Market Street in the museum.
The Thresher (SSN 593), designed and built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, was the most advanced naval vessel of its era. She was created to hunt and destroy Soviet submarines at the very height of the Cold War.
The Thresher sank during deep-diving tests more than 200 miles off the New England coast following a nine-month overhaul at the Shipyard. Thirteen of the men who died that day were Shipyard employees, and three of the Navy officers were assigned to the facility’s military staff.
The tragedy marked the first time a nuclear-powered submarine had ever been lost at sea.
Most of the chapters appearing in Silent Strength were adapted from a yearlong series of profiles that appeared in the Portsmouth Herald and Seacoast Sunday leading up to the disaster’s 50th anniversary last year. Surviving family members of several of these remarkable Thresher heroes shared personal stories and photographs for this collection, which is being put out by Peter E Randall Publisher of Portsmouth.
“The brave patriots who perished on the USS Thresher were memorialized not just with everlasting granite, but also with powerful words,” Maine Sen. Susan Collins notes in her poignant foreword to the book. “With its title taken from the USS Thresher’s official motto, Silent Strength is at times heartwarming, often heartbreaking, and always inspiring.”
Copies of this limited edition can be purchased for $29.99, plus $5.95 for shipping and handling if it is delivered through the mail. It can also be ordered through the Thresher Memorial Project at PO Box 321, Kittery ME 03904, by writing Silent Strength in the memo section of the check.
Buyers can send payment via PayPal on the Thresher Memorial website as well, at: http://threshermemorialkittery.sharepoint.com/Pages/Memorabilia.aspx.
The Thresher Memorial includes a 129-foot flagpole in Kittery’s Memorial Circle to commemorate the 129 men who perished aboard the submarine. An adjacent park near Town Hall, including a bronze plaque listing the names of those who died that morning, is currently under construction.