So I’m re-watching The Spy Who Loved Me, and I noticed the hull number of the USS Wayne the production designers placed on the boat’s sail, 593. So being the Navy and history guy I am, I looked that hull number up, and I was quite surprised what real life boat had that number. Now, I understand why the production team would use the hull number of a submarine no longer in service, but I think they could have chosen one that was not so infamous…
I guess it begs the question as to whether it was intentional that they chose SSN-593 or it was selected randomly. I would say it’s not much of an issue and I’m not sure almost anybody would ever notice, but I agree they probably could have selected a different number. That said, this isn’t on the level of using 9/11 for shock value in an unnecessary and borderline offensive twist ending (Remember Me 2010).
Oh, I do not think using THRESHER’s hull number was deliberate. It’s just a rather creepy coincidence.
I didn’t think you did. I’m not sure how much of the general public even knew the story of The Thresher in 1977 (let alone in the UK). I don’t think there was as much secrecy around the loss of the Thresher as there was with USS Scorpion. Both are tragic, but as you pointed out, most likely a creepy coincidence.
A little Google-Fu brought this up:
"However, art director Peter Lamont recounted that the filmmakers received a letter from a navy enthusiast shortly after the film was released informing them that the decision to give the Wayne the pennant number of 593 was in very poor taste.
This was because that pennant number belonged to the submarine, USS Thresher, which had sunk in deep water off the coast of Massachusetts in April 1963 during sea trials. Even though Lamont had taken great pains to ensure that the pennant number was not registered to an actual vessel, he felt terrible about the discovery."
So it was an unfortunate coincidence.
Thanks for this! Didn’t have the opportunity to dig further on this.