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Nothing concentrates the military mind so much as the discovery that you have walked into an ambush.

-- Thomas Packenham

Lieutenant Commander John W. Harvey, USN, (1927-1963)

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John Wesley Harvey was born in the Bronx, New York, on 4 September 1927. He attended public schools in Philadelphia and studied at the University of Pennsylvania briefly before entering the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946. After graduation as a member of the Class of 1950, Ensign Harvey served for a year in the aircraft carrier Coral Sea (CVB-43), then was sent to Submarine School. He served in USS Sea Robin (SS-407) in 1952-53, then spent two years receiving instruction in nuclear power.

In July 1955, Lieutenant Harvey joined the pioneer nuclear submarine USS Nautilus (SSN-571). In 1958 he was assigned as Chief Engineer of the land-based S1C prototype nuclear powerplant, then was Engineer in the nuclear submarine Tullibee (SSN-597) and Executive Officer of USS Seadragon (SSN-584). While serving in Nautilus and Seadragon, he participated in under-ice voyages to the North Pole.

Lieutenant Commander Harvey took command of the nuclear-powered attack submarine Thresher (SSN-593) in January 1963, while she was in the shipyard for overhaul. He took his "boat" to sea for the first time for post-overhaul trials. On 10 April 1963, Lieutenant Commander John W. Harvey lost his life when Thresher accidently sank during diving tests.

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This Day in History
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