Copyright © 2010 USS PUEBLO Veteran's Association. All rights reserved.
Compound 1 "the Barn"
The "Barn." First compound where the PUEBLO crew were held in downtown Pyongyang.
(Google Earth 2014)
Imprisoned : 6 weeks
When the buses arrived at the first Pyongyang prison compound in the early morning hours of January 24th, the PUEBLO crew were separated into rooms as they filed into the building in Pongyang. The heating system was off, bare light bulbs provided constant illumination (switches were in the hallway), the windows were covered, and the hallways were dim. The atmosphere was one of cold, pierced by yelling, stomping, pounding, and screaming.
Anecdote: Sewer Trout
A daily routine was established. Wake at 0600, turnips for breakfast, and again at 1400 and 2000 then in bed at 2200. In the rooms, a cup of water sat on a small table which had four chairs where the men sat during the entire day. The men were instructed not to speak to one another, to keep there heads down, and to stand at attention when a North Korean entered the room. Men in each room were marched to the bathroom twice a day.
Anecdote: New Clothes
All of the officers and most crewmen were interrogated, many were beaten and tortured. Cdr. Bucher was also threatened with death and had a pistol placed next to his head and the trigger pulled. His captors showed him the gruesome results of their torture of "a spy". The KORCOMs said they would begin shooting the PUEBLO men until the captain confessed to intruding into their territorial waters. They called for the youngest crew member to be brought forth and shot. The Captain capitulated. The North Koreans had nearly everyone’s personnel jacket and many classified documents from the ship.
Anecdote: The Bath
February 8th special meals were served to honor the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Peoples Army and propaganda books were handed out.
Anecdote: The Haircut.
February 13 the officers and the senior oceanographer were presented at a rehearsed press conference.
Anecdote: Night Run
February 19th the officers began involuntarily drafting a petition to President Johnson. Ten days later a draft was accepted by their North Korean captors. In the end, every crew member signed it. The wounded were attended to after the North Koreans decided the U. S. was going to negotiate, not retaliate.
Anecdote: Medical Care
On March 4th the crew were bused at night to a newer, more isolated, compound on the outskirts of Pyongyang
First time crew is together
since the North Korean attack.
(North Korean propaganda photo)
Note: This section is rich with links to
crewmember remembrances and anecdotes.