January - December 2008
Hello. My name is Ricky Babcock.
On Dec23,1968 I was stationed at
the 121st Evac Hosp in
Ricky Babcock SFC, U.S.Army Ret.
My name is Victorino Matus (Vic, for short) and I am an editor at The Weekly
Standard magazine in
My superiors recently reminded me that this month marks the 40th anniversary of the Pueblo Incident and they wanted to me to see if I could write something on it since we haven’t heard much anything on this upcoming anniversary from the rest of the media. I was wondering if you or any of your fellow crew members give interviews and, if so, would I be able to speak with you on the record about the anniversary either on the phone, via email, or in person. On occasion I write on military matters and have done reviews of military books for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post as well as for the Weekly Standard. Please feel free to contact me at this address or on the phone. My direct line is 202-496-3332. Thanks very much for your time and I hope to hear from you.
Sincerely, Victorino Matus Assistant Managing Editor The Weekly Standard
Let us introduce ourselves, we are the publisher of Japanese magazine “SHIPS OF THE WORLD”, which introduces remarkable and memorable ships of over the world, in the past, the present and also in the future(http://www.ships-net.co.jp/homee.htm). We sometimes carry historic incidents that implicated any vessel, please find our web site's past issue pages, http://www.ships-net.co.jp/hotissuese.html Today, I am making contact with you to inquire about possibility gathering photo materials, for we are now planning to edit some picture pages with captions and explanations focusing on "Pueblo Incident". It is of course 40th year memorial feature. It would be very appreciated if we could receive photographs from your association, those pictures are not only the ship itself, but also historic images around the incident . Each 2000x3000 level of JPEG data is appropriate for printing a magazine. In case the photographs have not been scanned so far, we shall have some other way to receive them. I am waiting your kind replying for this message. Thank you very much in advance.
Sincerely yours, Toru Tokutomi Editorial Staff SHIPS OF THE WORLD URL: http://www.ships-net.co.jp/
This is Andy from "War Stories with Oliver North".
"The Pueblo Incident" that we produced in 2001 is going to be aired overnight between Sunday/Monday. It will be on the Fox News Channel at 0300 Eastern and Pacific. Just wanted to let you know.
Thanks, Andy Stenner
I was just watching a Fox news story on the
I'm not sure if this will help you or not. Our library has had a microfilm copy of the following title for some time: "Findings of fact, opinions and recommendations of a Court of Inquiry: convened by order of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet to inquire into the circumstances relating to the seizure of USS Pueblo (AGER 2) by North Korean naval forces which occurred in the Sea of Japan on 23 January 1968 and the subsequent detention of the vessel and the officers and crew." We recently digitized all 182 pages of it, and I thought I would let you know that what the link is in case you are interested in linking to it. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Link to catalog record: http://slonet.state.oh.us/search/o?SEARCH=20832435 Link to digitized content: http://digitalarchive.oclc.org/request?id%3Doclcnum%3A20832435
Nicole Merriman Government Documents Cataloger State Library of Ohio 274 East First Avenue Columbus, OH 43201 Phone: 614.995.4117 http://www.library.ohio.gov
My name is Timothy M. Brown (CTO-2)- I was on a TDY assignment from San Miguel, PI and attached to the Commander Amphibious Forces 7th Fleet aboard either the USS Estees or Mt. McKinnley (served on both for a total of nine months at sea) at the time of this incident.
I was in direct com with the
My name is Pat Dingle. I was a RD-3 in CIC aboard the USS
Yorktown, about 24 hours away when the Pueblo was attacked. The
I just finished watching the show "WAR STORIES" . I am embarrassed to say I did not remember anything about this incident. I was born in February 1958, I will be 50 next month and I was touched by the heroism of the crew of the USS Pueblo. I want to take this time to say thank you to all the men who are true hero's. My son was just commissioned in December as a Lt. in the USMC. I am so proud of him and all the men and women who serve our country. Once again I want to thank you. I look forward to reading and learning more about this incident. Please let me know what I can do to honor all the men who served aboard this ship. Sincerely Joseph G. Yohe Centreville VA.
I'm an artist who recently travelled
to DPRK to draw for Conde Nast
Magazine In New York. I'm also a reservist infantry soldier who has served in
Yours, with admiration Matthew Cook (In London)
Gentleman, What kind of a story is this that no military action was done when the ship was captured?
Hi, Just a note to let you know I'm a
AF troop that worked on F-106's in
I know I am asking a lot but you have an email dated Thu,
Thanks again, Larry Lyons VF-661 at Andrews and then Cecil field.
On this 40th anniversary of the hijacking of the U.S.S. Pueblo, may I pass along my sincere thanks to all of you for your service to our country.
Broman Family of
At the bottom of http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/captivity/goodluck.html on the usspueblo.org site is a picture of 8 crew members, 4 seated and 4 standing behind them. Do you know the names of the men in the pictures? I'm wondering if one of them is Mike Alexander.
Thanks, Joe Barr Ex-CTR1 63-70
As a Navy vet myself, I've always had a special place in my heart for your ship and her crew. So to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its illegal seizure and, too, maybe help folks some nowadays once more recall, and try to remember, what you guys had to go through four decades ago, I wrote my take on the incident. Our local paper - The News Tribune out of Tacoma, Washington - was kind enough to publish my thoughts today, and so I hope if you get a chance to read them, they ring true to my intention, viz., a tribute to you all and the undaunted true American spirit you guys steadfastly maintained throughout your 11 months of brutal captivity in North Korea.
I apologize I don't know how to attach a hyperlink to my
piece here. But if you'll just Google "The News Tribune,
Thank you allfor your service and sacrificeto our great country. You guys inspired me beyond any words I can write. So to hell with them. I'll just smartly salute you all now and end it here.
Most respectfully yours, Bill Barker Shelton, WA
The Pueblo Incident, to this day, angers me. Let me explain:
I remember clearly
We anxiously awaited a military response, which we were sure
was imminent. As you know, it was not forthcoming. We were fortunate, for while
the Official stance of the Air Force was to limit information to enlisted men,
we were able to monitor English-spoken news from
Prior to that time, I had seriously considered a military career, I had begun the paperwork for re-enlistment (with a very generous VRB of $ 20,000), but as the days wore on, and I realized that you, and your sacrifice had been forgotten, not just by the citizens of our country, but by our leadership as well. I realized that duty and sacrifice we understood was our contribution to a free society, was unappreciated by all, except those of us who remember your sacrifice and grace and courage. I have carried this anger all these years, rarely speaking of, but always remembering. Now, on the 40th anniversary of that awful day, I want you to know that for some of us, you will ALWAYS be American Heroes.
Bless each and every one of you Jim Lanza
My name is Dean Whitfield. At the time of the capture of the
USS PUBELO I was a second class radioman,(RM2), on the USS PROVIDENCE as a part
of the flag of COMSEVENTHFLT, (3 star admiral which was over all the Navy and
Marines in Westpac. In the course of my duties as a section leader in the radio
shack we routinely sent and received messages pertaining to the fleet. One of
those messages was alerting us that the USS Pueblo had been captured. This one
of the very first messages and at that time the
Of course all of this was TOP SECRET at the time. I had been
on flag at COMSEVENTHFLT for 41 months at that time and we knew how President
Johnson would react. He made the decision that nothing would be done about the
THANK YOU! May God bless you all, Dean Whitfield,
Allard Passes Senate Resolution Calling on North Korea to
Return the U.S.S. Pueblo Colorado Lawmaker Garners Unanimous Support for Senate
Resolution Advocating for the Return of Captured Navy Ship Washington, D .C. –
U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) has succeeded in his
longstanding efforts to pass a Senate resolution (S. Res
423) addressing the unlawful seizure of the U.S.S. Pueblo, a U.S. Navy vessel
captured in 1968 by North Korea while carrying out a routine surveillance
mission in international waters. “The capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo
was a seminal moment in American history,” said Allard. “I am pleased to have
led the effort to express the explicit will of the Senate that the U.S.S.
Pueblo is returned and I will continue to advocate that this violation of
international law is addressed and the ship comes home where she belongs.”
Allard has pledged to continue his ongoing commitment with
Steve Wymer Communications
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to inform you that Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) introduced and passed a resolution in the Senate yesterday (1/23) seeking the return of the USS Pueblo to the United States Navy. While this is a symbolic action, it is still a step that has yet to take place. I would be pleased to answer any questions concerning the Resolution and have enclosed the text as well as the press release.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions and thank
you for your service. Sincerely, -Peter Peter Dieterich
Military Legislative Assistant Office of U.S. Senator Wayne Allard 521
While reading through the anecdotes from the captivity page,
I was disappointed during the reading as the background made it incredibly
difficult with the font you have, to read. I thought you may want to know this,
as many folks may also have the same issues. Even as a
Thank you for preserving the memories so that the new generations can learn the truth. Jen
Jennifer M. Davis, MLIS Medical Librarian/CME Coordinator Jessup Medical Library
I was on a destroyer rigged to go in and get you guys back in ‘68. I don't know what you went through, but our thoughts were often with you. How has time treated you? Let me know how many of the guys you stay in touch with.
In reading about the USS Pueblo, I find it somewhat strange
that we sent the newest fighter in the inventory, the 4E to
I feel a guilt that we didn't
Funny how that guilt is so irrational; we had no orders to do anything...we had no ability to invade North Korea...we had no training for a commando raid to free our brother sailors...but still I feel the guilt and sadness as I am sure many of my Yorktown brothers do...a feeling I'll take to my dying day. To any Pueblo shipmate reading this; our hearts were with you ever minute. We were impressed with your resistance and you upheld the greatest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
PH2 Daniel Bernath USS Yorktown
My name is Ray J. Locher Jr.RD-2 in CIC on the Chicago. We had left Yankee station and were headed to Austria via Singapore. A lot of us became Shellbacks, what a day. That was after leaving Singapore, we had a wonderful R&R. in Singapore. Then on our way to Australia and New Zealand, the skipper came on and announced the capture of the USS Pueblo AGER-2, 1/23/68. I was in charge of charts and also a controller of F-4, A-5 and a lot of bomber types from Danang and the Carrier groups. Along with our CIC group was the Missle groups, we worked hand and hand to bring down migs and anything required of us. We turned north to the Sea of Japan and established PIRAZ Station on the DMZ.
There were some interesting controls of our aircraft against the Migs, a lot of waving of the hands, or should I say fingers in an upside down position. We were on their frequencies and vise a versa and a lot was said, can't fully recall, or shouldn't I guess. This was the largest group we were told assembled in such a quick and controlled matter since WW-2. Those I recall were the Collett DD730, DeweyDLG-14, Ranger CV-16, O'Bannon DD-450, Enterprise CVAN-65 , NicholasDD-449 and about a total of 35 ships, if my mind recalls. I regret not staying in the US NAVY, but with a lot of Agent Orange exposure, loss of hearing, ulcers, ptsd, bad feet and hammer toes and ending up fighting the VA I would have rather fought for the good old US of A.
You see, once the world has used you and you end up fighting the VA, lost records, not enough of this or we don't approve this or see it your way, or those records destroyed, I loved the Navy. My civilian life has been one of 100% disability and non recognition of the VA and a total bunch of meat heads. I'm glad our Chicago could be of help and show our might in the Sea of Japan as a mighty force that we are. I want to express that we would have done anything our Commander and Chief would have asked us, with Pride and to the last man, if necessary to defend Freedom. It's too bad the VA isn’t ordered to say the pledge of allegiance every day and have it explained to them. I say it every day with the utmost feelings for what I did in the NAVY and Vietnam and in the cold war. Thank you for letting me express my feelings from a man from the USS CHICAGO-11.
Sincerely and Respectfully, Ray J Locher Jr.
Sir- I have a quick question for you. I am a Cryptology Chief in the Navy at NSA and was wondering if you would know of anyone who would be interested in speaking at a Joint Service Ball sometime in the spring in front of @ 200 guests. I know the 40 year anniversary of the USS Pueblo is coming up and thought this would be a amazing speaking guest. We are located in Maryland outside Baltimore at FT Meade. Please let me if there is someone I could contact or if I am way off base.
Thanks CTRC(SS) Beauregard N33 DIRSUP 410-854-2747
I just watched for the third or fourth time the movie about the Pueblo. For whatever reason, I decided to find out what really happened. Very interesting. If the movie reflected more accurately the real story it would have been far more compelling. Anyway, I can't help but think how pissed off I would have been if I was in the crew and my country all but ignored me. To all you guys that survived that miserable ordeal hats off to you for being the brave souls that you were. As for the government, shame on them for not supporting you the second you were in peril.
Cheers to all Peter Dhama.
My name is Diane Norman. I live in a small town in Idaho. Recently my father passed away. As a result, I am doing some research on his life. I have run across some information where the name of Lloyd Bucher is mentioned as a friend of my father's as a child. My father was an orphan and lived in the Children's Home in Boise Idaho. I understand that Mr. Bucher was adopted, so I am thinking it could be the one I am looking for. Do you have any contacts with the Bucher family? If so, I would sure like to talk to someone who I could visit with that may have some knowledge of the Children's Home in Boise. Some day I want to write a book so I am gathering as much information as I can now. Thank you....in advance if you can be of any help!
Have a great day!
I read in Navy Times a while back that the Pueblo crew would have its 40th reunion in Vermont in September. Today, I came across your web site and learned the Pueblo Veterans Association was seeking information about the Pueblo "Incident." I have information which may be of interest to the crew. One week after Pueblo was seized by the North Koreans, I received orders to the United Nations Command in Seoul. I was chief of the Plans and Policy Branch of the Armistice Affairs Division of the joint staff, and our job was to administer the workings of the armistice of the Korean War with the North Koreans at Panmunjom. When the ship was seized, and in the absence of any diplomatic relations between the two sides, we were the only U.S. entity that could talk directly to the North Koreans; therefore, we became the negotiating team for the release of the crew. While the American public and the media demanded action, a group of military officers without any formal diplomatic or negotiation training worked their butts off to get the Pueblo crew released from enemy hands. This was accomplished in private meetings with North Korean officials who were not particularly cooperative. None of this ever made the headlines at the time. It was a complex situation involving the White House, the State Department, and our small team of officers in a drama behind the scenes. When the crew returned, crossing the Bridge of No Return, I was there to greet each of them. They may not remember me, but I sure remember them. Pete Bucher and I had one hell of a conversation that morning. There's more. If you'd like to follow up, please give me a call.
Sincerely, Paul E. Brooks Captain, USN (ret.)
After reading an article on one of the survivors of the
pueblo I wanted to see if its location is marked on Google earth but i didn't see it. I looked around the naval yards and saw
one that may have been it but not sure because it was marked as sunken ship and
it was near one of the naval yards. it was sort of tilted over on its side next
to dock but not completely sunk. does any one know for sure where the ship is
and or if its even still sailable for the US to possibly recover it even if
they did offer to give it back ? if ant body knows of the current location they
should post it on google earth community.
This resolution passed the US Senate unanimously on January 23rd. Senator Allard introduced, Senators Inouye, Biden and Salazar cosponsored. Please contact us if you have any questions- 110th CONGRESS 2d Session S. RES. 423 Seeking the return of the USS Pueblo to the United States Navy. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES January 23, 2008 Mr. ALLARD (for himself, Mr. INOUYE, Mr. BIDEN, and Mr. SALAZAR) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to
________________________________________ RESOLUTION Seeking the return of the USS Pueblo to the United States Navy.
Whereas the USS Pueblo, which was attacked and captured by the Navy of North Korea on January 23, 1968, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be hijacked on the high seas by a foreign military force in more than 150 years; Whereas 1 member of the USS Pueblo crew, Duane Hodges, was killed in the assault, while the other 82 crew members were held in captivity, often under inhumane conditions, for 11 months; Whereas the USS Pueblo, an intelligence collection auxiliary vessel, was operating in international waters at the time of the capture, and therefore did not violate the territorial waters of North Korea; Whereas the capture of the USS Pueblo resulted in no reprisals against the Government or people of North Korea and no military action at any time; and
Whereas the USS Pueblo, though still the property of the United States Navy, has been retained by the Government of North Korea for 40 years, was subjected to exhibition in the North Korean cities of Wonsan and Hungham, and is now on display in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate-- (1) desires the return of the USS Pueblo to the United States Navy; (2) would welcome the return of the USS Pueblo as a goodwill gesture from the North Korean people to the American people; and (3) directs the Secretary of the Senate to transmit copies of this resolution to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of State.
Charles Cogar Legislative Director Senator Wayne Allard Dirksen 521 (202) 224-5941
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 22:19:30 -0700
Where is the ship located today?
PHILIP O STRANSKY
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 05:53:28 -0800 (PST)
My name is Jordan and im in the 8th grade. For National History Day the topic is conflict and compromise. My partner and I decided to use the USS Pueblo. We were wondering if there was a possible way we could ask a few questions because we need an interview.
[Regarding the ] US Senate Resolution on the USS Pueblo … I believe there have been some weak initiatives in the past to bring the Pueblo home, but, until a much stronger directive comes from Congress and a firm initiative from the Administration, this kind of effort will just be political pablum. This would be a good time to review the history of the Pueblo recovery efforts and time to get her recovery done.
I have been fascinated with Cold War incidents like that of PUEBLO and the circumstances leading up to them, and the aftermath. I have read several books on PUEBLO and now have perused your website. In the section that you wrote on the naval court of inquiry, and some other material that I have read, it seems like the NSG or somebody at CINCPACFLT would have informed CDR Bucher of the BANNER incident, and the NK raid on the Blue House … so PUEBLO would have complete situational awareness. Since all of these incidents involved only NK, I can only compare CDR Bucher to ADM Kimmel and the aftermath of the PH attack in that neither were given a good situational overview or relevant updates.
Although the admiral in charge of the court of inquiry said he did not have "jurisdiction" over calling people to testify from the national agencies or NSC, I do not think "jurisdiction" is needed. Relevant witnesses are just called, just like in a court of law. One does not need jurisdiction to call someone from another state; and, in this case, not from other agencies within DoD or adjacent to it. I would surmise from this that he has some not-so-known marching orders to "check-the-block" of a court of inquiry with emphasis on CDR Bucher, PUEBLO and her crew, the NK's and "save the institution" as referenced in this work.
Was anyone ever able to get to the bottom of any of that - the concerns of CDR Bucher on procedures for scuttling the ship, additional armament; emergency destruction of all classified equipment (as noted by him while she was in the yards); and the "backup" plan? Was anyone ever able to determine if ANY aircraft were scrambled in immediate support of PUEBLO's distress and if not, why; or if so, were they recalled as in the case of aircraft scrambled in support of LIBERTY in the similar incident in the Mediterranean?
What were the people at NSG in Japan doing with the traffic received from PUEBLO? Did they pass it up to higher authority or did they sit on it? If they passed it up to higher authority, were they just simply in disbelief and failed to act (which would dismiss previous question on scrambling aircraft from a nearby CV)? Would further resistance and combat, and the resultant casualties, making the incident even bigger in international waters, what it would have taken to get authorities to act?
I would presume, maybe erroneously, that CINCPACFLT would have had the authority to unilaterally act to protect a U.S. Navy ship under attack on the high seas which is why it is too bad to have not heard from the former CINCPACFLT, Adm Grant Sharp. Did CDR Bucher's lawyer press for this, and if so, what was the court's reaction to that?
I think U.S. reaction to the PUEBLO incident, the EC-121 incident (I presume that was flying in international airspace); the EP-3 incident with China and other untold incidents have emboldened our enemies and potential adversaries, as Osama bin Laden has cited regarding our non-response to the terrorist bombing of the Marines in Beirut in 1983. And now we are here in Iraq today, and our potential enemy, Iran, has the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover under their belt; the capture of a Royal Navy patrol boat; and our recent lack luster response in the Straits of Hormuz to five Iranian patrol boats swarming around a U.S. CG, DDG, and FFG. We should have wacked them there, on the spot. The EP-3 incident also reveals that our Navy has not learned the lessons from the PUEBLO incident, or the EP-3 incident would have turned out differently. There seems to be a lack of allowing ships and aircraft to go WEAPONS FREE sooner rather than later. The culture over here only understands force, and their respect is derived from fear, not benevolence. I am afraid the never-before-deployed policy wonks in Washington have hamstrung our ability to respond with immediate and decisive force putting all of our military in jeopardy because we are now perceived as a "paper tiger" unwilling to respond.
I was also chagrined that NK was able to pull off altering PUEBLO's appearance and sail her around the Korean peninsula from Wonsan to the river just down from Pyonyang. What an intelligence failure and missed operational opportunity to seize her back.
BANNER (AGER-1) was scrapped and PALM BEACH (AGER-3) was sold and may still exist in use in a South American merchant marine. It would be hopeful if the Navy had kept one of her sisters to facilitate a seizure of PUEBLO, but the fact that the Navy let both sisters go, it would not appear that the Navy ever had any long term plans or intentions to be prepared for a future raid. Maybe someday we will grow some balls and do just that..
It is unfortunate that the reasons for PUEBLO's seizure by NK were not explored as well. From what I have been able to read, it was a direct result of the Johnny Walker spy ring which was selling Navy SSN/SSBN traffic out of Norfolk. The Navy was erroneously not concerned about what was captured aboard PUEBLO, but I think the Soviet Navy at Wonsan put NK up to this so they could get the decoding equip and crypto to read the traffic furnished them since 1966. The Navy was unconcerned because the Johnny Walker spy ring was not discovered until years later. Then, and only then, did they realize that the two were connected and that all our submarines were in jeopardy. The Cold War, if it had gone hot, would not have turned out the way we thought it would have at sea.
I thought the picts of PUEBLO at Pyonyang were interesting. Did you talk to the people who went there and took the pictures, and if so, what did they have to say about her condition and how the NKs presented her to the public and tourists?
Semper Fidelis, R. S. Rayfield, Jr. Major, USMC (Ret) OIC, CISE DSN 318 822 3859 SVOIP 243-4209 "Si vis pacem, para bellum"
I heard of a news story to be broadcast on Denver’s 9NEWS. I did not see the story but felt compelled to write. I was a CTA3, serving under Captain Everett B. Gladding, DIRNAVSECGRUPAC during the Pueblo’s capture. My job responsibility was to keep a current log of all classified documents aboard the ship. I still recall, and will never forget, the clamor around my desk as I went into work the next morning. James P. Elwood
Hello I am Russell Darnell and I am writing you today to inquire bout how I may order some of the Memorabilia you have. My Dad was an IC2 at the time the ship was captured. He was oringially given orders to the USS Pueblo but traded with IC2 Victor Escamilla because of this my dad has had some connection with your ship. I would like to find out if I can order a ships coin and the elongated penny some how for him. I would also like to now if I could get an address for Victor Escamillia if at all possible. I know my Dad would like to get in touch with him.
Thank you for you help Russell Darnell
Dear Permissions Manager,
I am writing to obtain your permission to use a material from one of your publications. My name is Narushige Michishita. I am assistant professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Japan, and simultaneously a visiting fellow at the Sejong Institute in the Republic of Korea.
Previously, I worked for the Japanese Ministry of Defense as a Korea specialist. I am currently preparing an academic book entitled North Korea’s Military-Diplomatic Campaigns: A Case of Calculated Adventurism which will be published by Routledge in 2008 or 2009. It will be published in hardback and paperback and is expected to cost US$150 (hardback). The material will also be produced in eBook format as a verbatim digital copy of the printed work (i.e. it will be used in exactly the same context as the printed version, and without alteration). I would like to obtain your permission to include the following material from one of your publications as well as its uncompressed TIFF file at a resolution of at least 600 dpi. Title: “Simulation of Pueblo Navigation Chart”, from back inside cover of "Bucher: My Story," Provided by Ralph McClintock Year of publication: Copyright c 1999 USS PUEBLO Veteran's Association. Author/editor: Ralph McClintock URL: http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/graphics/chart3.jpg (http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/incident/incidentframe.html) I understand that you control the rights to this material. I would be very grateful if you could kindly grant permission for its use as soon as possible, stating any credit lines or fees that you require. If you do not control these rights, please let me know to whom I should apply. We are seeking non-exclusive world English language rights and will reproduce the material as part of the complete text in print and electronic formats for distribution throughout the world.
Thank you very much in advance. I will look forward to hearing from you soon. Yours faithfully, Narushige Michishita 0900 Organization: National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
I saw a TV show today about CIA/Russian Intelligence that said the John Walker caught giving secrets to the Russians also gave them a coding card that could be used along with our translating equipment to decode our secret messages. The Ruskies had been copying our coded messages but could not break the code. Once they got the electronic key card they then needed a machine so they had the North Koreans highjack the Pueblo to get a machine. If the machine had not been destroyed before the NKs came aboard, might that be why the Captain got treated the way he was?
I imagine the Navy, CIA and LBJ would not ever want to reveal the Ruskies had broken our code, even if they could now read old messages of record. I presume a new key card was distributed after the Pueblo was high jacked.
Bob Rutland ,
Forty years ago, I was part of the 4th Tac Fighter Wing and immediately following the capture of the USS Pueblo, we deployed to Kunsan, Korea. The Entire Crew and Ship have been and will always be part of my life.
A Blessing to all Crew Members. Mike Storm Captain, USAFR, Retired
I was communications officer aboard the USS Higbee (DD-806). We entered Sasebo Japan on the morning of January 23, 1968. We passed the Enterprise headed South to Vietnam. We were to have an upkeep period for two weeks. We received orders to be underway the following morning to join Enterprise in the Sea of Japan off of Wonsan Harbor. I don't know what information I can provide to you. My continuing question is why the air wing from Enterprise was not launched in an effort to curtail your capture.
Just stationed at Mather AFB, 320th OMS, B52 Ground Crew. Remember going on full alert when Pueblo incident occurred. Had to stay in our rooms and told to pack up and await orders, couldn't even go to the restroom without permission so our whereabouts were known and shuttled to Flight Line for shift.
Thank you to all those brave men. Art Johnson, USAF 68to 71
I was aboard the USS Lofberg DD-759 at the time of the Pueblo Incident. We were scheduled to escort the USS Coral Sea back to the states via Yokuska Japan following our ShoBom assignment near the DMZ in Vietnam. We were reassigned, along with the Coral Sea to proceed to the Sea of Japan to continue the Naval pressure on the Korean communists. We departed Sasebo, Japan about 4 March, 1968 to that area, and returned to Yokuska, Japan 19 March, 1968. I don't remember much else other than the weather went from tropical to winter like conditions and we had a hard time staying warm up there. It was also frustrating not to be able to get those guys out. It had a lot to do with my decision not to reenlist. Colin Campbell
Is the Pueblo Patch for sale?
Thanks Skip Wright
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 09:53:10 -0500
We were almost shipmates, but Mike Alexander (CT2) took my billet when she came through Pearl Harbor because the Navy had changed its mind about the 90 TDY I had volunteered for and instead wanted an 18 month PCS commitment. Sad note. I was at an auto dealer yesterday, wearing my Pueblo ballcap in memory of Mike, and a retired chief came up to me and we chatted a bit. He had been a submariner most of his career, diesel boats on the east coast, but he ended up in Guam in the early 70s. He said he met Cmdr Bucher there, in the CPO club, and explained that Bucher wasn't welcome at the O-Club. Those bastards. Anyway, I am trying to find out what the official call sign was for the USS Pueblo. Do you happen to know?
Thanks, Joe Barr CTR1 1963-1970
On 4-5 June 2008 a tribute is being held at the Battleship Memorial Park Museum at Mobile, Ala. to honor Jack Weeks, the CIA pilot of the A-12 that located and photographed the USS Pueblo on 26 January 1968 during Operation Black Shield. Sadly, Jack was lost the following June while testing the engine on one of the A-12s in preparation for return to Area 51 and termination of Project Oxcart. Frank Murray, the A-12 pilot who overflew North Korea two weeks later to photograph the USS Pueblo will be one of the MCs for the tribute. We would like to invite any members of the USS Pueblo Veterans Association who wish to join the Roadrunners in this 40th anniversary of the lost of Jack Weeks. Jack’s family will be present for the occasion. More about the event may be viewed at: http://roadrunnersinternationale.com/weeks_tribute.html.
T.D. BARNES Member Nellis AFB Support Team Member Civilian Military Council President/Webmaster Roadrunners Internationale http://roadrunnersinternationale.com/ http://area51specialprojects.com/
Thank you for your website and your efforts at dispelling myth and telling the un-varnished truth. I have a question regarding the heritage of the USS PUEBLO going back to World War II. My father was transported to the Philippines by the USAT PUEBLO although some of the information that I have (including his Shellback certificate) says USAT PUEBLA. Was this the same ship? Several of the web sources, including personal pages, US Navy Heritage Center and the Library of Congress tell differing stories but none of them is definitive. Is there a history of the ship's commissionings somewhere?
Thanking you in advance of your reply, I shall remain, sincerely. Glenn B. Knight, CIG
I refuse to tiptoe timidly through life only to arrive safely at death! Life should NOT be a lonely journey leading inexorably to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. Rather, I intend to skid in sideways, accelerator wide open; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, leaving behind great memories and screaming, "WOO HOO! What a Ride!"
Would like to hear any follow up on the Johnston story. I was on the Palm Beach from boot camp until Norfolk. I was the cook, after Sandy Flipped out in the Canal Zone, artist, poet and guitar picker. I laughed my ass off when we departed Puget Sound and the two boats swapped orders! All the guys who had gone through all methods of crap to switch billets so they wouldn't have to go to the South China Sea (scuttlebutt) went just there. In light of James Johnston's observation, I believe this was done because our ship had a scuttler on it and the Pueblo did not. Which is the reason it was captured instead of being scuttled with all the crypto stuff aboard. I have heard many times that there was a carrier battle group just over the horizon which made no attempt to save them. Maybe now we know why!! I'd like to hear more on that, as I am writing a comic/satire on the Palm Beach called "Navy Gravy". Unfortunately, I can't find any of my running buddies from that experience. Where is Richard Gorker, Magpie, Ron, et al ?
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 03:50:41 -0600
Looking for any recent information on Charles (Joe) Sterling that I can find. His burial place would help tremendously and any where abouts of his widow Jennifer Sterling. I am helping in a search for Joes son (Bill H. Sterling) or his daughter Susan Sterling (married by now I am sure). You fellas may remember me, I am a member of the crew of the USS Liberty and a good friend of Joe's. A member of the immediate family is searching for Jenny and or Billy, or Susan.
Ronald G. Kukal Survivor USS
It has been a long time, but my dad was Ship Repair Officer Yokosuka. When Pueblo made port just prior to her last mission, I remember that he told me that he had assisted in giving the ship some additional protection, in the form of steel plates for the 50 calibers. We recorded the broadcast of the 'confession' on our shortwave after the ship was taken. The Navy requested the tape (we recorded the broadcast), which they then so kindly returned with blanked out spots on it. Just wondering if that ever came up, at the time my dad was LT. Grayson M. Glaspell. Sorry my memory is not perfect, by dad died in 1974 so have no way to verify.
I surfed the USS PUEBLO web page. And I saw the ship's photograph. There were many antennas. I'm interested in ship's communication equipment like antenna & transceiver. So, can I get info about that if it's not secret or classfied ?
Thanks for your kindness in advance. Park, Seong - Cheon
To the surviving crewmen.
I just discovered your website and have spent the past hour browsing it. I was CTR1 in DF at NavComSta, Honolulu at the time you were attacked. Needless to say your plight has never left your fellow CT's minds no matter where in the world they were stationed. We are getting old now, mates, but the fire and pride still burns. I will never forget those times and your peril. I always will wonder what would have been different in world affairs today had we done the right thing, gone in a got you.
God bless you all. WL Gray, discharged 1971, CTR2 USNR
Hello, my name is DeWayne Hall. I am a firefighter in Pueblo, Colorado. Prior to this, I served 4 years in the Navy as a MM3 aboard the USS Blue Ridge in Yokosuka, Japan. I am writing to inform you of a special project the Pueblo Fire Department is currently undertaking, the "Home of Heroes Project". The objective of this project is to have our fire trucks repainted with a patriotic theme. Our goal is to honor the 4 Medal of Honor recipients from Pueblo, the USS Pueblo, and all veterans. Pueblo was given the title of "Home of Heroes" by the Pueblo City Council in 1993 after State Representative Scott McInnis read information into the Congressional Record in Washington D.C. This information stated that Pueblo has a record of 4 Medal of Honor recipients.
In September 2000, a Medal of Honor Memorial was dedicated in Pueblo. At that time, there were 147 surviving Medal of Honor recipients, with 97 of them in attendance at the dedication. The Pueblo Fire Department is awaiting the arrival of a new ladder truck from Pierce Manufacturing. This will be Pueblo's first truck with the new paint scheme. In an amazing coincidence, we discovered that the platform and ladder for this truck are being manufactured at Kewaunee Fabrications, which I believe is the descendant of Kewaunee Shipbuilding, where the USS Pueblo was built.
What an incredible opportunity to link together the USS Pueblo and this new ladder truck. Our wish is to place an engraved plaque on the control panel that will proudly depict an image of the USS Pueblo, as well as list all crew members. I am contacting you to ensure that this is accomplished in the most professional and dignified way. Please let me know if there are any protocols or copyrights that need to be followed. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to read more about the "Home of Heroes Project", please visit http://www.pueblofire.org/heroes.htm. I look forward to hearing from you, and am very excited about this opportunity to honor the USS Pueblo.
Thank you, DeWayne Hall.
My name is Bob Dunham. In the summer of 1967 I was assigned to the USS Samuel Gompers AD-37, which at the time was going in commission at PSNS. We were across the pier from the Pueblo while both of our ships were finishing up their pre-commisioning overhaul. At the time I was a SFM-2, single, and looking for a ship going to Japan for homeport. I met an SFM-2 stationed on the Pueblo that was not wanting to go over seas and he and I discussed, on a number of occassions at the EM club in town, about swapping. If my memory serves he was married, had at least one small child, and his wife was very much against moving to Japan.
Your crew list does not show any Shipfitters, let alone this SFM-2. Could you tell me his name? He's been in thoughts for many years and I'd like to at least know who I had talked to that summer, before all of the tragic events unfolded.
Thank You Bob Dunham
I am a journalist interested in producing a story and/or program on the crew of the USS Pueblo. I see you have several members in California. May I have your assistance in contacting them?
Sincerely, Cristina Mendonsa
News10-ABC Anchor/Multimedia Journalist (916) 321-3311 email@example.com
Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 15:19:38 –
Was the USS Pueblo ever returned to the US? Many of the links on this site are disabled. Is this site active? Thank you for returning an answer.
Richard Wolan R W Consulting
I am CTI1 Maria Hernandez, stationed at Navy Information Operations Command, San Antonio, Texas. I am currently coordinating this year’s Navy Birthday Celebration which will be held on 13 October 2008. The reason for my email is I am looking for a guest speaker for this event and I was wondering if you could assist me with information on crewmembers from the USS PUEBLO that would be interested in participating in this event as our Guest Speaker? Your time and consideration is greatly appreciated.
Maria M. Hernandez CTI1, USN, NIOC TEXAS. NDB Chair
Request information on how to obtain 1973 tv documentary in black and white on boarding capture and seizure of ship and crew by north koreans in sea of japan
During my time at Kami Seya (1974-1977) I read a small book (approx. 100 pgs) by Admirl Kidd. It was straightforward account of the "USS Pueblo Incident" in his view. I have looked many times for this book and have never been successful at locating it. Just wondering if you or any other shipmates may be aware of it's existance. I have had contact (email) with a couple of USS Pueblo sailors in the past, but have not been able to locate this book. As I mentioned in my previous communications.....I worked in the comm center where the message was received from the USS Pueblo (Kami Seya). I was a previous CTO2 (broken service: PI 66-68, Kami 74-77). In short, Adm. Kidd criticized the "flag" officers in the immediate operating area for their failure to take action when the distressed message was received. He said there were no less than 7 flag officers in the operating area at the time, of which, none took proper action. He felt one of them should have launched aircraft to the location of attack. His justification was.....even if they were wrong, what's the worst that could happen to them (the admirals)......retired at full pay!!! You guys did your job, it was the Navy that blew it.....thank goodness all but 1 of you came home. Thanks for the job you did. Sorry for spouting off, but I feel pretty emotional about the "incident", even after all these years.
Kindest regards, Russell W. Farquer
My name is Arthur Banks. I was an Airman at Misawa Air Base 6921st SS Wing, 7th Air Force, in Japan. I was a Morse Intercept Operator when the Pueblo was taken. I was sitting at my desk copying the morse code that was being transmitted by the North Koreans as the ship was being seized. This net was my regular assignment. They always sent a lot of messages and they always transmitted very fast. When the seizure of the USS Pueblo began they transmitted so slow I could barely copy them. There were high ranking naval officers looking over my shoulder as I worked. At first I didn't know what was going on but the buzz around me told me something was up. The messages were being ripped off my typewriter at 10 groups of 5 at a time by the analysts. I never knew what was in those messages except I knew it was critical. All at once we at the compound realized what was happening. There was great urgency on the part of everyone there. We were hoping that President Johnson would stop the seizure but he didn't. We didn't know nor did we understand the politics involved. We were all frustrated and angry when we realized we weren't able to do anything to stop it. It was one of the saddest days of my life.
I'm looking for book's on the USS Pueblo . Can you help me ? Thanks
Men Attached please find some poems for your enjoyment. Please visit www.poetry.com
Regards. Rodrigo Pena
Sorry to say that I had almost forgot about the U. S. S. Pueblo. It came back to my attention when I saw that the U.S. is now giving aid to North Korea. I have written my congressman and two senators complaining. I ask them the question, if you give them aid are we going to get our ship back. I have had no answer from them as of this date. Don't let the U.S. forget what you fellows had to go through.
I was telling my teenagers about the USS Pueblo incident as I remembered it.Then with the miracle of the internet we could look up the facts. I remember an interview that someone gave where he told how he systematically killed a palm tree by urinating on it everyday. It was the only way he could get back at them for the horrendous treatment he received. We couldn't find this documented anywhere. I know I was only 16 but I remember it. I'm not a nut I'm a veteran. My husband flew helicopters in Vietnam.He recently passed away from cancer caused by Agent Orange. I have 5 kids. Am I remembering this correctly?
Sincerely, Laura Dillion
Good afternoon, I am Major Tom DeVore. I am the Program Director for the Falcon Heritage Forum at the United States Air Force Academy. The Falcon Heritage Forum is one of three world class character and leadership symposiums conducted at the Air Force Academy to help develop the future leaders of the USAF. The Fall 2008 Falcon Heritage Forum will be conducted from 17-20 September 2008. The Theme for this forum is Korea: The Unresolved Conflict. The crew members of the USS Pueblo are very distinguished veterans with extensive experience in an environment that most of us are unfamiliar with. We would like to extend an invitation to three members of the USS Pueblo crew to participate in our upcoming Falcon Heritage Forum. Would you be able to assist us with this invitation? Below is a brief synopsis about our Forum.
The purpose of the Falcon Heritage Forum (FHF) is to support the Academy’s vision of being the nation’s premier institution for developing leaders of character; we engage servicemen and servicewomen in a variety of character development programs. FHF links cadets with the wealth of experience and heritage found in our nation’s distinguished veterans, and the forum provides a systematic, yet personal way for cadets to engage in discussions with men and women of impeccable character demonstrated through their military service to our nation. Participants are linked with the 40 cadet squadrons to share their experiences in ways they deem relevant to the character development of our cadets.
This event brings in distinguished veterans, from across our country, together for what we are certain will be a memorable occasion. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or reply to this e-mail. I sincerely hope that you will be able to help us with this event. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a good weekend! Thank you for your time and assistance with this issue!
Very Respectfully, Major Tom DeVore Major Tom DeVore Program Director, Falcon Heritage Forum Center For Character Development United States Air Force Academy 719-333-9546 DSN 333-9546
Sir, Found your site on the net while fishing for Korea vets of our period. I am currently the historian of the 17th US Infantry Regiment Association. I have a few details in my memory of your return to South Korea. You sailors are the reason I didn't go to Viet Nam and the reason I was sent to Korea in 1968. I was the Company Commander of Co. "C" 1st Bn(Mech)17th Infantry, 7th Infantry Division and was ordered to have my 81 MM Mortar platoon and FDC leave the Phase Line off of Highway 1 and find a bench mark up on a hill on the west side of the Bridge perhaps 500 yards from the road. Since I had no officer in my weapons platoon I went on the mission myself. We laid in all 3 guns off the bench mark and were ready to fire a blocking fire mission behind your busses and the truck with the dead boy in it. When I saw all the MP's and the column I knew it was the crew from the Pueblo. Do not remember but do not think we were told why we set up for this event. Being on the Phase Line was as good as being on the moon as far as current events were concerned. Evidently someone in 8th Army was afraid that the commie's would try some thing at the end of your trip out of Red Korea. After you all cleared the bridge and were way out of site, 1/2 hour or so, we were called up and told to return to the Phase Line. Not much of a story but it means more to me at 66 years old than when I was 25 years old. If any of you are in Tacoma, Wa. area I will be at the 17th Infantry reunion at the end of August.
God Bless you all and God Bless the Regulars, Bruce M. Frazer Dallas, Texas
PS: Jack Cheevers of LA was going to write a book about the Commander and you boys but I never heard back from him.
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 11:46:36
I ran across your website about the USS Pueblo and just wanted to thank you for making it and say that it is most informative. I was in the US Army at the time of the incident and was one of the many troops sent ot South Korea immediately after the incident. Vietnam was in full swing and we all thought that a second war would break out over the incident. Our troop strength was more than doubled in anticipation of what might happen. I vividly remember my tour there and still have a copy of the Stars and Stripes from the day the crew was released. I look at it every once in a while. My hat is off to all the brave crew of the Pueblo and I feel so bad for all that they had to endure. I only wish our country had done more militarily to rescue them.
Thanks again, Ed Chesson—
I have a little information about the incident. I was stationed at Shu Lin Kou air station in Tawain at the time of the incident. I was a member of the US Army Security Agency and was a SP5. We copied enemy communications. There were Navy and Air Force personel also doing the same thing. When we received the Pueblo distress signal all hell broke loose. An imediate signal to the president was sent ( I can't tell you exactly because it might be still classified). We did not receive a response. By law we were suppossed to be given instructions. No response. An unpresidented 3 signals were sent. Still no response. Kadena airbase in Okinawa was on full alert as were various other bases. We were ready. As time went on I watched a navy Chief walk by me. I asked him where he was going? He said HOME. 24 Years in the Navy and I know what is going to happen to those guys because I was on The Liberty. And the he kind of bragged everybody on that ship got hit. but at least we had a twin 50 working and sank a torpedo boat .He got shrapnel when he dove out of the way of a F4F phantom with the Star of David on it, that was attacking. Needless to say our morale went to hell. I had tears in my eyes for those guys on the Pueblo. They were being sandbagged by the President's Whiz kids. I was going to extend my enlistment to releave a friend ofmine attacted to the marines at Danang. But after what I saw all I wanted to do was to get the hell home before I was killed. Captain Buchner was a hero and so was his men. This country owes an apology to them. The captain had no scuttling equiptment, no thermite grenades to scuttle the equiptment, the only thing he could do was to save his men. In 2001 a navy spy plane landed on a chinese island air base. He was supposed to ditch the plane not land on enemy soil. They gave him the Navy Cross.. He should have been court martialed. he had the stuff to destory the equiptment. Something is wrong with this picture
Regards, Roger Meloe
While trying to complete a research paper discovered USS Pueblo still sitting as tourist attraction in Pyongyang. If you go to Google Earth you can zoom in on the ship sitting west of Yanggakdo Stadium. There is also a close up picture taken by an individual named Marco Lohnen. How he got there or was able to take the picture is anybody's guess. Anyway, hope this is helpful and thank all of you for serving our country. On a special note: Think it is time we went over there and brought the USS Pueblo back home don't you? Mmcbroom
I am a 26 year navy veteran with strong interest in the USS PUEBLO incident. My strong interest stems from several experiences I had, first at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and second as Engineer Officer in USS DEWEY (DLG-14).At NAVSEA, code PMS 383, where I was assigned as a LCDR, was the Project Office responsible for the administration of the procurement contracts for Navy Auxiliary ships. As Project Officer for the construction of USS KILAUEA (AE 26), I had the pleasure of experiencing considerable one on one time with the Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO), Captain William : McGonigle. You may know that Capt. McGonigle was Commanding Officer of USSLIBERTY(GTR-5) at the time she was attacked by Israeli forces on June 8, 1967, killing 34. Also while serving at NAVSEA, I had the pleasure of meeting another PCO, Commander Lloyd M. Bucher while his ship,USS PUEBLO (GER-2) ,was being converted.While deployed as the Southern Search and Rescue (SAR), the DEWEY was pulled off and dispatched on what was to be a rescue mission for PUEBLO from Wonson N. Korea. We were joined by several WWII vintage destroyers, and proceeded to Wonson at best speed. But for reasons never made quite clear to me, the plan to have us enter the harbor and take PUEBLO was cancelled. We remained stationed off Wonson for about 58 days before being directed to return to Vietnam waters.I am curious to know why none of DEWEY's involvement does not appear in the literature, and what the reason was for our mission being cancelled.
Hollie Tiedemann CDR., USN (Ret).
Hello brave men and fellow veterans:
I was the message center supervisor in Kamiseya, Japan, where we had established a unsecured communication link with the Pueblo, just hours before the North Koreans arrived. I was in the communication spaces as the incident unfolded and was in awe as the normally loud equipment turned into an almost deafening roar as the circuits from around the world came alive.We immediately forwarded your desperate pleas for help to the White House.I think about you guys all the time. In fact, several years after my service ended, I spoke before many community groups and reminded them to "Remember the Pueblo!" It will continue to be my rallying cry. It's a national disgrace that North Korea continues to use the Pueblo for their hateful propaganda.I'm so sorry for all that you suffered. God bless you all.
Bruce Peer, CT2
Fascinating site and a shameful indictment of our leaders past and present.Is Pueblo still dockside in Pyongang? I'm working on a newspaper column and need to get that confirmed. If not, what happened to her?Thanks,
Kenneth Myron Bonnell RMCS(SS) USN(Ret.)
I'm using the Pueblo Incident to bring various Territorial Sea distance debates alive in my Intl Law textbook and classes. Did the North Koreans then claim a 12-mile TS? How many miles off shore did they claim to be the location of the Pueblo when captured?
Thanks, Prof. Bill Slomanson Thomas Jefferson School of Law PS I was in Navy OCS when this incident occurred. It was one of many over the next few years that propelled me toward a career in teaching Int'l Lawand now 6th ed of my textbook.
Please help, I'm trying to validate that a secret mission to reclaim the pueblo with use of the 1st force recon was aborted after the men jumped into the water. Anyone know?Mike Gearin
greeting uss pueblo veterans,as a former crew member (ct2) of the uss liberty, i certainly know the feeling of being attacked, and for your guys, captured and held prisoner. I have two direct involvement with the pueblo: 1) i was on watch at cincpac when the criticom message was relayed, and 2) i was present in washington, dc for commander bucher’s so called court sessions. It hurt me to know how they mishandled the uss liberty, and it hurts again to know how they mishandled the pueblo as well, including the captain and its captured crew. My hope is that the crews from both these great vessels stay in touch hamza khalid
Hello, I'm a reporter with Voice of America.. We'd like to report on your current issue with federal court and about the incident again.. If you let me know your contact information, let me call you. I'll be waiting for your reply. Thanks
This is Hwang Doo Hyong from South Korea's Yonhap News Agency. We would greatly appreciate it if you let us know the outcome of the lawsuit filed by some of crewmembers of USS Pueblo with the U.S. federal court in 2006 ?
Many thanksHwang Doo Hyong Yonhap News Agency 1299 National Press Building 529 14th St. NW Washington DC 20045 office 202-783-5539 cell 703-994-2667 fax 202-393-3460 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope that maybe you could assist me in trying to locate one of your members. My father John Bergmann a codebreaker in world war ll had Lee R. Hayes speak at his veterans discussion group at the Upper Arlington Senior Center in Upper Arlington, Ohio about 4 years ago. He is trying to get in touch with him again and is unable to reach him at the last know address or phone number (614) 866-1152. He had heard he was going through some health problems at the Cleveland Clinic so he is unsure of the status or if he had just moved. If you find a number please email me , or even an address my father could write.. I am John's daughter...Kim Bergmann Elkovitch. Thank you and I appreciate your help. God Bless America!
I'm a former CT (M branch) from the Vietnam War era.For the pastfew years, I've beeninvolved in studying the USS Liberty incident. I now have a website (ussliberty-inquiry.us) that contains various bits of information and essays about my insights and findings. .Recently, I wrot eand posted an essay entitled "The Naval Court of Inquiry: Evidence of Negligence". In the essay, I briefly mentioned the time and number of witness for the USS Pueblo Court of Inquiry (based on information found on your website) as a means to show that the USS Liberty inquiry was not typical for inquiries for this type of matter. For emphasis and comparison, I would like to expand facts about the USS Pueblo inquiry. Primarily, I would like to include the number of witnesses who were Pueblo crew members. Also, I'd like to include the span-of-time, in terms of days or months, for the inquiry proceedings. If you can obtain and send this information to me, it would be a great help in my research efforts. And I'm certain the Liberty's survivors will be appreciative. Thanks for taking time in this matter...
To my Brothers on the USS PUEBLO.
My name is George T. Gottschall, born in Columbus, Nebraska and now living in Lincoln, Nebraska. I think about you often because I will NEVER FORGET the day you sent that SOS! I was stationed on the island of Crete, Greece. My jobwas the same as yours, to gather intelligence. I was copying Russian Navy, and was between cases. We ALWAYS searched the freqs when we had a minute or two. That day, as I was doing the "usual" I heard ditty-dit, dah dah dah, ditty dit!!!!! I called Tsgt. Frank Hornyak, the shift supervisor, and said Sarge I have something here. He put the headphones on and jumped to run and get a direction finder on you guys. We shot your from Brindisi, Italy, Chicksands England and Caramoussal Turkey. I don't know how long you were on the Key and sending, but I thank God I was on duty at the time you needed SOMEONE to hear you. Frank has passed on, he was a good man. I think of you often.
The guys at Iraklion Crete, call ourselves "The Silent Warriors". In the top secret world we lived and worked in, only those who served know what was on the line in that time in history. Do you remember when that Russian Bear Bomber, with Nukes on board, buzzed, I think it was the Kitty Hawk, in the Mediterranean Sea and crashed and took the Deep 6! They were taking off from the Beruit Air Strip, and carried the codes of Subat, Subak etc....I was on that "Cast Iron" frequency when the Nuke Bomber dropped off the screen, we plotted them all the time too. Like the time I took your SOS, they locked the doors, no one in, no one out until the "Smokescreen" was cancelled. To all of you, I send my best. God Bless You, and God Bless America! You have my permission to post this anywhere you wish. I just wish I could have done more. You were doing the same thing I was as NSG, were were called USAFSS.
George T. Gottschall
Who was the crew member that lived in Niles, Illinois 60714? I live one mile from Niles, IL. I was in the USN on the USS Kretchmer (DER-329) 1964-68. My ship was in Yokosuka, Japan on Sunday 23 January 1968, our main battery were two 3" 50-cal. guns. USS Chicago (CGN-11) was on the other side of the pier and left port 30 minutes before morning colors to help USS Pueblo. But someone in Washington, D.C. stopped it like with the USS Liberty.
Allan MacArthur Wilson
Sirs: I was stationed on Yokota AB Japan. As a member of the 36th TFS, we had a mission to Osan AB Korea. I was a weapons mechanic TDY to Osan AB, when we supported the scramble of F4C Phantom fighters to repel the advance of North Korean gun boats and ground troops into the South Korea. We were on alert for a period of days at the beginning of the ordeal. Hopefully our show of force was to deter any further conflict, knowing that prisoners were taken by North Korea. I would be interested in hearing of any other USAF personnel have contacted your organization, as I may be familiar with some of them, who served during that period.
Ed Kelly USAF Retired
Just a word of support for everyone who was on the Pueblo and a large thank you for doing a job that was and is dangerous and totally unknown to the rest of the world. I was serving on the Permit (SSN594) , forward ET doing intercept, when you guys were grabed and all of our riders knew all the folks from Kama Saya (spelling). We in fact were getting ready to bagit to help you when we were stopped. One of our crew had served with CDR Beucker on a diesel boat and knew him very well. And as another bit of trivia, my friend was on a Westpac on the Segundo, a diesel boat,and has some nice pictures of the Pueblo tied to the pier in Wonson. Very interesting story !!!!
I can't add any additional information since I was still in high school when the incident occurred. I have read CDR Bucher's book relating his side of the story. I lean toward his side much more than the Navy's side of the story. I am a 22 year veteran of the Navy, I am fully aware how the top brass will do whatever it can to cover itself in the event of a poorly planned operation. Thankfully, I have never been involved in one, and for those who have, I can only wish the best for them, and hope that the Navy will do the right thing. I'm somewhat disillusioned with the Navy's core values of "Honor, Courage, and Commitment", when the senior echelon shows no honor, does not have the courage to stand up and say they made a mistake.I do not want this to sound like a diatribe, and if it does, I apologize. I cannot imagine the suffering you went through during this ordeal, and I am sorry that you were subjected to such suffering. You have borne up remarkably well under the pressure, even after you were released and returned to the United States. Free the Pueblo!
Joseph A. Clark RMC(SW) USN(Ret)
Hi,I found your website via a link on the CNN page, and I wanted to write. I was only 11 when the Pueblo was captured, and wasn't too aware of current events at that point in my life. Over the next couple of years, I became increasingly influenced by the liberal, anti-war, "peacenik" mentality that was so pervasive at the time. It wasn't until the early 70's, when I read "My Anchor Held", that I began to appreciate the wonderful freedom with which we are so blessed here in the USA. The effect of that book was so profound that my political positions made a complete 180-degree turn. All these years later, I remain fervently patriotic and so very grateful to be an American...and equally grateful for all of you who served our country and gave so much on our behalf. Please don't ever feel that the Pueblo has been forgotten by the American people. There are those of us who will always remember the honor and courage you all showed during that dreadful time. Thank you, and may God bless you always.
Sincerely, Roberta Taylor,
I didn’t see any mention of the several non-naval personnel aboard (employees of E-Systems) that were also captured.
[ED: This is because there were none.]
Greetings and Salutations to the Pueblo crew on this 40th anniversary.
P. R. "Fleet" Teachout USN(R) CTIC NSGA Kami Seya 1962-1964
When this whole thing took place I was in the Navy on a subtender in Holy Loch, Scotland. I remember we had a special service for all of you. God Bless you all and I hope this finds you all well.
Jim Meehan DC
I met Jerry Karnes of Havana Arkansas the day i went into Navy boot-camp in July 1972. I am from Dardanelle Ar. same county as he was from . If i remember correctly he was going BACK in the Navy after getting out after he returned home. I wonder what happened to him ?Also ....i was a on the Constellation when she was CVA-64 ...from 72-75. There was a mine-sweep flotilla around Haiphong Harbor when they took the mines out that were sown there. I'm thinking Capt. Bucher was involved ?? Maybe as the Commander of the Operation. May be in my dreams ??I thought he came on the Connie is why i've got this going ..and i thought of Jerry. Maybe as the Commander of the Operation. May be in my dreams ??I thought he came on the Connie is why i've got this going ..and i thought of Jerry.Memories ...not sure ?? Haze Grey and Under-Way !
First off: Thank you for your gallant service to our Country!!At the time your ship was captured I was stationed with the 728th Military Police Combat Battalion serving in the Seoul area.We, all members of our BN, theKorean Nationals serving with us and the majority of the persons we had contact with were straining at the bit to get our butts headed North to get you guys back where you belonged.....under an American Flag.You were in our thoughts and prayers daily, unfortunately we couldn't come up with enough influence to make much of a difference in the scheme of things.Very happy to see your back home and being treated as you should be!
Dennis L. Jansen MSG MPC RET
NORTH Koreans havent changed or changed ALLLlll THAT 'much'......WILY *$*@*&&&C@...HOPING the RISKY cloak n dagger stuff HELPED end least SOME of the horrors like the USSR.....NOT that is any consolation but think of 1979 Tehran thou sure THAT is not much consolation...I was a 5 yr old kid at that point...AT time of Peublo....LEAST w/all the modern hi tech THE actual human risks to life n limb LOWER or low.. Enjoy the reunion...NICE time of year...What is done is done..
Gentlemen,I can't add any additional information since I was still in high school when the incident occurred. I have read CDR Bucher's book relating his side of the story. I lean toward his side much more than the Navy's side of the story. I am a 22 year veteran of the Navy, I am fully aware how the top brass will do whatever it can to cover itself in the event of a poorly planned operation. Thankfully, I have never been involved in one, and for those who have, I can only wish the best for them, and hope that the Navy will do the right thing. I'm somewhat disillusioned with the Navy's core values of "Honor, Courage, and Commitment", when the senior echelon shows no honor, does not have the courage to stand up and say they made a mistake.I do not want this to sound like a diatribe, and if it does, I apologize. I cannot imagine the suffering you went through during this ordeal, and I am sorry that you were subjected to such suffering. You have borne up remarkably well under the pressure, even after you were released and returned to the United States.Free the Pueblo!
Joseph A. Clark RMC(SW) USN(Ret)
My old Navy buddy, Tony Lamantia, was onboard during the seizure. He, myself, and a couple of other buddies who trained in Pensacola, had a reunion in NYC, on St Pat's weekend, 1976. I discovered that Tony was 'different' and those of us at that get together, knew it was because of the Pueblo incident. We have never heard from Tony again, and was hoping that he is one of the 40 who will be attending. Should he be, please give him my email address, so we can re-connect. This fellow seaman (USNS Jose Valdez) still think you guys were, and remain, our country's heroes.
I was the senior Korean linguist at USASA FS Hakata when the Pueblo was captured. We were up with it all night and the next day. I was terribly disappointed that the Enterprise was not all the way north the next morning. The Sailors captured were very couragious and the Navy did not treat them/you right. I won't display here the truths that I know due to source, but, hey, proud of you guys.
E. H. Weldon
I am a former USN Radioman first class that retired from active duty in November 1973.Upon my retirement, my first job was in San Diego, California working in a finance office.The office manager was CT3 Anthony (Tony) Lamantia. I would like very much to say hi to Toiny and i would appreciate if if you could pass along my name and e-mail address to him.Thank you very much,
John Davis, RM1, USN, Ret.
I am a 58 year old U.S. Historyteacher at Hall High School in West Hartford CT - and I saw on Yahoo that there is the 40th reunion in N.H.I have always been fascinated by the USS Pueblo incident. I read Lloyd Bucher's book "My Story" a long time ago and was fascinated by it as well.Can you provide me with information about Dwayne Hodges, the only man killed at the time of the capture? Where was he from? Maybe I read it was Creswell Oregon? Can I find out wherehe is buried? I'll be in the area soon and I want to place a flower on his grave.
I was a member of the 2ND Military Police Co. from Nov. 1967 through March 1969. When the Pueblo was taken, we were put on alert until you were released in December. Our job was to escort you from Panmunjom if the weather did not permit you to fly out. What I always believed, was that the Pueblo was taken to divert attention from the assisination attempt on President Park. A 31 man commando team infiltrated from the North through the 2ND Division and ended up in Seoul several days before you were boarded. They were not successful in the mission, but as I remember the Police Chief was killed along with others in Seoul. The entire 2ND Division was chasing them for several days and weeks. I remember being at several sites where a small battles were fought and North and South Koreans were killed. The news never picked up this story because your capture also captured all the headlines. I have no proof that this event actually motivated the actions of the North, but it seemed very convenient when their attempt on the President had failed. They were fanatics about face, shown by all the things they did at Panmunjom to gain one ups-man on us there. What ever happened, you all went through hell and deserved much more credit than you got. You were left in capitivity way to long and had to endure more than you should have. Our government was involved in Vietnam and did not want another front opened up. Enough, best of everything to you all.
Harold J. Cox Sgt.
2nd Military Police Co. 2nd Division
I'm an X Marine that was in Vietnam twice. The men of the USS PUEBLO got screw like we did by this government,,,,,,,,,, god bless then all. They deserve better, they are real heroes
Hack 44 (Charles Henry)
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2008 15:29:37 -0700 (PDT)
I hope this gets to the men of the USS Pueblo. I was 13 years old when you were taken captive. I remember it to this day. When I was old enough I joined the Navy, serving two tours to Viet Nam. I also spent 5 years in the Army Reserve.
I am proud of all of you and the way you held together during your ordeal. You all served your country with honor for a Navy that did not return that honor. You deserve no shame in your service to America. God Bless all of you.
Where can ? get a copy of the book written by Commander Butcher My way
Thank You Joe Borys
I just want to add my comments that the Crew and Officers of the Pueblo did a great job and performed their duties in an outstanding fashion. When they were captured, I was still in College but when their final release to come home arrived I was stationed with COMNAVAIRPAC at North Island in San Diego. Our barracks were home to the crew but we were ordered to have no contact with them. I believe the whole review was going on at the time. But we saw the crew every day, and a few times, Cdr Bucher when he would visit. I always wished we could have just shook a few hands and said 'thanks'. I was transferred to an East Coast CVA, theFranklin D Roosevelt, soon afterwards and heard little more about the Pueblo. So let me say it now: thanks for your service and dedication and making it through a terrible time. The YAHOO news article said that you had hope that someday the USS Pueblo would sail into San Diego Bay ... if it happens, I will be standing on Point Loma saluting.
Good evening. I read about the reunion on the web today and thought I would drop you a note.
My name is Keith Montague andI live in a small town of Excelsior Springs, MO. I was graduated from college in 1966 and drafted into the US Army in Dec. of that year. I spentalmost a year at Ft. Lost in the Woods, in MO and then was sent to Korea in Dec. of'67. I was assigned to the HHQ of the 7th Div. at Camp Casey. I was a lucky guy because having played college B-ball I was able to make the camp team and was therefore TDY. The team stayed in a separate Q-hut etc. and practiced and played games with no real other duties. However, we did take part in evac drills etc....and as a leader of the group I always was aware of the real code words for the "real thing." We were all asleep when the runner came through to wake us and those words were used and I told our guys that this was no drill, and we hot tailed it to our assembly point, which was the basketball court in the field house. Well, we set there for many hours, not knowing what the heck was going on. We never did move out, even though we were on full scale alert! Once we found out what had happened the overall mood was "lets go get our guys back and kick some ass." Of course we all know what happened.
My prayers, and many others, went out to you guys then, and still do. To this day I believe that this singular event was the start of the notion that the US could be kicked around and they will not respond rapidly with force. If we had gone in a kicked some butt, we may have lost some of our own, but the enemy would have known that they could not intemidate us without fear of aggresive action. Have a great reunion, and I will tip one for you and salute you as the great men that you are!! God Bless.
To whom it may concern, January 23,1968 Camp Kaiser A Co. 2/17 Inf.(Bull Dogs)7th Div Un Cha Ni South Korea Was where I was when the USS Pueblo was seized. During the same approx time frame the North Koreans had sent a group south to assonate SO KoreanPres. Park. Gen. Bonesteele at the time extended our tour to maintain troop strength at the time. It was tense and our thoughts and prayers were with the crew members and their families.
Just wrote a long letter only to have it disappear.....so here goes again...shortened version...I was a CT...1970-74 I knew CTT1 Frances Ginther in Winterharbor Maine...he was my first watch section supervisor. And he was the one who began to open my eyes bout what had REALLY gone on and who was at fault....the Navy (for several reasons that are obvious once you know what our training was and how unrealistic it was in practice). Anyway...the reason I am writing is that I don;t see any mention of the REAL reason the Pueblo was captured.....the story behind the story that has come out decades later from declassified soviet documnets....I saw this on TV and my jaw dropped..... It was becuase of the spy John Walker supplying cryto cards to the soviets that gave them a desire to go get a cryto machine...and the soviets hired the N Koreans to do it so it wouldn;t start war.....and picked the Pueblo because it was a sitting duck. The intelligence guys interviewed on TV talked about how much they had wondered why the extra wings were being added to intelligence central in Moscow at about that same time.....(visible via satellite)....and only decades later they realized it was because of the new abiltiy to break out traffic using the Pueblo crypto machine and John Walkers steady supply of cryto cards. Anyway...my first letter was much better.....but this was the gyst of what I was saying. Unless it';s there and I missed it....something about this should be on your website, since it puts so much into perspective.
Just heard about your reunion < http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080906/ap_on_re_us/pueblo_reunion_2> and wanted to drop a line to wish you and your shipmates well. Hope you have a great reunion.
Joe Meadors Director of Operations, USS Liberty Veterans Association
In 1968, I was an 11 year old in Beaver Falls Pennsylvania. I followed the war in Vietnam, and other military actions around the world with the naive interest of many children. When your ship was captured and you all taken prisoner by the North Koreans, I really didn't understand why or really, what had caused it. Many years later as a 17 year old Navy recruit, we were taught about the Pueblo and the valor of her crew, whose exemplary behavior matched man for man that of those others taken prisoner in Southeast Asia. I want to thank you all for your service to this country, and say that I was proud to follow in the footsteps of a brave crew such as yours.
LT(jg) Bruce E. Stump, NSCC
181st Seabee Battalion
United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps
"Its for the Cadets"
I don't know if this is the right place to send my comments, but it was the only place I found on your website. I was only three when all of you were taken captive. After reading your story I just wanted to say "THANK YOU" . Simply put, THANK YOU! For your service to our Nation and for the sacrifices you all made to keep me free. My hat is off to you and I salute each of you!!!! Hugs from NH.
If I could, I would join you, if only from the outside of your reunion, to salute you. You deserve the thanks of the nation and the pride of all who remember what courage and patriotism look like.
Curt Lovelace (former CT2) Plankowner USS Georgetown AGTR-2 (and AG-165), 1963-1966
I was on a ship similiar in size and discharged in 1960. It was horrible about the way the Navy handled this situation. I am sorry you all were made to endure this torture.
Ben Humphreys, YN2, USNR
My name is Peter J. Stewart. I am an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent. My Great Uncle Lt. Col. Peter J. Stewart is MIA/POW in Vietnam. To families like mine we never forget the horrible time you must have had with those bastards. On behalf of my Family and Myself I would like to thank each and every one of you for your valient service I just hope I can be as patriotic and brave as you men as I serve my country protecting our borders.
Peter J. Stewart
You should all take great pride in the courage and tenacity you displayed during your illegal captivity by the North Koreans. WELL DONE!
It was my understanding the USS Enterprise was in a position to aid you during the initial crisis but was ordered to "Stand Down". This information was related to me by a former USS Oriskany shipmate (RM2) who had been assigned to CVN-65 after he re-enlisted. I don't know if you've ever received this information in the past or if it's true, I never saw any physical evidence such as a message or tape. You resistance is legendary in the Naval community. And like the Israel’s vicious attack on the USS Liberty, your pain and suffering will never be forgotten.
God bless each an every one that served on the USS Pueblo. You will be Hero to your Ship Mates for ever.
Kenneth Bell USN Ret’
Hi, Just a short note to say Welcome Home and you are not forgotten. When the Pueblo was seized in Jan. '68 I was a L/Cpl in the Marines. I was stationed at the MCAS Beaufort South Carolina. I worked in the Avionics section of VMFA-312, an F4-B Phantom Squadron. We were outraged. I was dreading going to Vietnam, but the reaction in the TV room that night was unanimous, Let's go get them out of North Korea. Oddly I was not afraid of being sent overseas on this mission, but welcomed it. We were devastated when no action was taken. It was a disgrace to have left you men there for 11 months. I can only say, We were ready. Welcome Home
Don A. Atchinson
I am a 13 year Navy Vet and did not fully learn about the events involving the Pueblo until after my discharge in 1994.For some reason It was not really talked about by active duty nor was It mentioned in any training. One day I happened to pick up a book about the Pueblo in a fleamarket and became so engrossed that I read It twice over.( really..) Although I am proud of my time in the Navy, I thought that the Navy was perpetuating it's habit of politics and NOT looking out for It's sailors.( Go back to WWII, Adm.Halsey and the sinking of two destroyers, loss of 800 men because of his ignorance. Adm. or not he should have been prosecuted.. It was covered up.) There is an article in the Houston Chronicle mentioning the reunion of the survivors/ 40th anniversary of the Pueblo's capture. Please convey to all survivors my deepest respect for them and of my sincere thanks for their service to our country. God Bless Them. I do hope that negotiations are eventually succesfull to bring the Pueblo home to San Diego from North Korea. Capt.Butcher would be pleased to hear of this, I think.
Lynn M. Gilliss
It's been 40 years, and the U. S. Navy has done NOTHING to reclaim the U. S. Pueblo or to honor the crewmen of that ship. The pathetic asshole, LBJ, called the "commander in chief, and the Pentagon Pricks and assholes (Navy) in the Pentagon (at least those still alive) should be reminded how despicable, slutty, and pathetic their conduct was in the handling of this mess! Are you aware of any blog, website, or Pentagon e-mail address where these sobs can be "reminded" of their sorry conduct as this anniversary comes?
My name is Eric Kaelin, My father James N. Kaelin, served with the late Cmdr, Lloyd "Pete" Bucher as a Lt j.g. on the USS Ronquil. I, being a Navy "brat", came to know Pete and Rose well. Although my father had left the Navy to pursue a career in the nuclear industry, I remember the anger and concern when we first heard of the Pueblo's capture by the North Koreans. We stayed in touch with Rose and prayed for the crew every night. I remember Rose's Missouri stubbornness when dealing with the Navy. I also remember the day the crew came home. There it was, for the whole country to see. Although my family was so happy for your return home, we could see what they had done to you. Still today, the North Koreans rant and rave, like a real bad case of the hemorrhoids. They hold onto the Pueblo like a trophy.
I last saw Pete in the summer of '03 at Jackson Hole, WY. My family and he and that feisty Missouri gal, Rose spent a few wonderful days together. I can still picture Pete at the Blue Moose Bar & Grill, with a scotch and water saying, "Here's to Eric, he's true blue!" He was right. Right down to the Army - Navy game and the old VHS cartridges of Victory At Sea.
So, today (Saturday, September 6, 2008), while checking out Fox News on my Blackberry, I found the article on the Pueblo's 40th reunion of her surviving crew. I found myself motivated to write this in the hopes that someone of her crew will read it and know thattonight, I've fixed myself a scotch and water and raise my glass to all of you and say, "Here's to the Pueblo Crew, for all of you are surely True Blue".
Eric J. Kaelin
I served on USS Belmont AGTR4, sister ship to USS Liberty AGTR5, during the time the Lib was shot to pieces and Pueblo was captured. I transferred off Belmont before the Pueblo crew was released, and was discharged in May, 1969. I was assigned to the Belmont straight out of radioman's school in San Diego; since I'm a Westerner and was offered the choice of which coast I would like to go, I thought I'd put in for East Coast duty just to see some new country and landed on the Belmont.She was commissioned in 1966, and I went aboard just after the maiden cruise about 9 months after commissioning.
A few years after I was discharged, I wondered what happened to the Belmont, and dug up a Jayne's at the local library. I was surprised to find that all the GTR class had been decommissioned in late '69 and '70. After much thought, I guessed that they were decommissioned due to the Liberty and Pueblo incidents; after the two attacks, the command must have decided that further use of the ships was too dangerous. Like the Pueblo, much of the crew of the Belmont was largely uninformed of our missions, and we were always at the farther edge of communications. Almost always, we were far beyond any Naval support whatsoever, and were always deployed independently.
As a radioman, part of my duties were to keep a voice communication link up with whatever land stations we could catch. Often, we couldn't reach any, but on one occasion, sailing toward the Straits of Magellan, almost at the edge of the Antarctic Ocean, the only station I could reach was the one in Iceland, and the signal was as clear as a bell- completely 5 by 5! Neither I or the radioman on the other end could believe it- we both scrambled for our call sign books to figure out who we were talking to.
Your website is excellent. Thanks especially for the thorough description of the various agencies and branches that used the information gathered from the intelligence fleet. My questions as to why the Navy deployed ships as small as the Pueblo were also completely answered.
All I could add is my speculation that the TR fleet continued to be used was due to the extreme ranges they deployed, and the greater all-weather ability and faster speed of the larger ships. They also had more, and more sophisticated, transmitting and receiving gear. A typical deployment for Belmont was 6-9 months at sea, and 6-9 months in port. Our home base was Norfolk.
The guys on the TR's knew little of the ER's, but we were sent into potentially as dangerous waters. I always thought that all of the command attention was so directed toward Viet Nam and the Middle East that the intelligence fleet was largely overlooked. While I never considered the possibility of being attacked at sea, we were in an earthquake and several major storms at sea, and were far beyond any Naval help almost always. We once nearly hit a mostly submerged hulk as well, so I often wondered if we would be stuck if a natural calamity occurred.
Of all the intelligence fleet, I think the Belmont was the fortunate sister- we sailed around S. America and Africa in much safer seas, but I realize now that it was only by the grace of God and the vagaries of command that we weren't sent in to replace the Liberty. After the Liberty was shot up, Belmont was re-armed with two 20 mm. cannons mounted in tubs, but the tubs weren't armored, and neither was the bridge. In a fight such as the Pueblo endured, I'm sure the Belmont wouldn't have fared much better, and like the Liberty, an attack would have been planned to sink her, not capture her. The Liberty's legacy is a bitter one for her survivors, and I lost a friend in the attack.
I have always thought of the Pueblo in the many years since. Neither the captain or crew of the Pueblo was treated well by the command, and I always felt that Capt. Bucher deserved much more than he received from the Navy. The entire crew's resistance to their captors was magnificent, and in the best traditions of the Navy.
Your summation of the hearings was excellent; as was proved with the Liberty, the sanctity of international waters was a fragile defense at best.
Michael R. Stanger
Glad to learn that you guys ae getting together for the 40th reunion. I was 18 when your ship was taken captive and I remember praying for your safety and return. It has been a national disgrace that you have not been recognized for your sacrifice and service to our country. I trust that your reuniuonwill be a timeof great comeraderie and healing for you all, and can serve as a reminder to the nation of this significanthistorical event.
I would be pleased to be placed on your mailing list and to learn if there is a crewmember in my area that I may write a story about for the local press.
With all best wishes,
Dr. Marc A. Wessels,
I read about your up coming reunion and have always wanted to ask a question. Why did the Pueblo not return fire on the North Korean patrol boats? That would have been my first reaction and always has been. When fired at fire back.But the fact is the ship may rust out and sink at the dock before it can ever return to America. There is one thing about capture. No one man is like another and his ability to bear pain may be higher or lower than the next man. So it's no an unreal thing for people in a captured position to break. I have know more than one POW from the Korean war that broke. It is not a disgrace. They, the North Koreansdon't or never will except the terms of the Geneva Convention. Your time and service to the Nation is appreciated.God Bless all of you.
FYI: the day the Pueblo was captured, I was on a troop carrier that was sent to Korea; we picked up a full compliment of South Korean Army, and they stayed on our ship for about a week, as we anchored off shore aroung PoHang Korea. There were several ships there, waiting for orders, most of usthought we were on a rescue mission, but diplomats took over.
Beach Jumper Unit One
To Whom it May Concern
I was on the USS Enterprise in Sasebo Japan when we received word of your capture. We immediately left Japan at high speed to intercept the North Koreans and force them to retreat. It took approximately 2 days of hard steaming to get in strike range of your location. We launched every available attack aircraft, fighters, bombers, photo-recon and support radar. As soon as our aircraft were airborne, the sky over North Korea became alive with thousands of aircraft. It was an obvious ambush and our planes flew around in circles waiting for the order to attack. The word over the pilots radios was 'They can't get all of us", but that order never came.
The planes remained airborne for as long as they could and then began to return to the ship for refuel and relaunch on a rotation so that there was at least half of the birds in the air ready to launch an attack on a moments notice. After three days of flying around in circles and 'rattling our sabers', we were ordered to return to South Vietnam as the Tet Offensive was underway. This order was issued directly by the president. The crew of the Enterprise and Task Force 8 who had finally caught up with the carrier, were incensed by this decision. We wanted to launch an all out attack and teach North Korea a lesson it would never forget. We reluctantly turned south and recalled our strike force.
In our analysis of the situation, it appeared that the North Koreans were cooperating closely with the Chi-com to divide the American fleet and draw a large portion of it north while the Tet Offensive was launched. They were surprised that the Enterprise arrived so quickly, and probably disappointed that such a small group of ships was drawn to their 'bait', but they were ready for a much larger strike force. At the time of our launch, there were only a few dozen aircraft in the skys for at least 500 miles inland. As soon as our strike force was formed up and started to head in your direction, our airborne radar showed the skys to come alive with thousands of aircraft.
The Pueblo was still in international waters at the time the Enterprise came within strike distance and a full assault would have been justified. President Johnson was having difficulty with the press over the Viet Nam war and needed some sort of diversion. I know he milked the press on the Pueblo for every sympathy vote he could squeeze out of it. Your release just a few days before Christmas was another political ploy to make the reigning political party look like Santa Claus.
I am sorry to say we were there, we could have helped, but were were restrained by the same American politicians that were pulling the strings and setting 'rules of engagement' in South Viet Nam. My deepest apologies to the men we abandoned on the Pueblo.
Lt Cdr Vann, USN
I didn't retire, I left in disgust.
I just cut out a NJ Star Ledger article about your ship and the N Korean incident.. Indirectly, I was involved. The USS Pueblo story will always a part of me and family and friends will always reminded of the incident and what it symbolizes.
At the time-I was onboard the deck of carrier-USS Bonhomme Richard and heading to N. Vietnam’s Yankee station. In the middle of the Pacific (and beyond my belief)-a full military alert was sounded and the carrier was off to North Korea. Yes, I can attest that that there was little my carrier could do to help the situation. When we arrived the sea was filled with Russian and N Korean vessels. So much so that the vessels would inhibit flight sorties and operations. Our goal was to keep a presence with extended flight ops.
The Russian ships got so close that I could see the faces of their crew. They extended every vulgar gesture as they passed by. So I really appreciated the now famous photo of your ship's crew.
I also remember the flight deck being very cold and pondered what your crew was going through. Expecting to head for the southern seas few flight deck members had brought any ample clothing for the cold. Shortly-the old WWII carrier was relieved and we ventured to our original journey at Yankee station.
For many reasons, I have adjusted to new relations with Vietnam. But nothing will change my attitude toward the North Koreans. Returning our ship is only one step to normal relations with that country.
I wish your crew and friends well . You were not forgotten.
VA 76 Parsippany, NJ
I was drafted into the army in November 1968, trained at Fort Knox and then assigned an 11 b MOS (small arms infantry). I trained at Fort Polk Louisiana for jungle training as a pre cursor to being shipped to Viet Nam. As our group graduated from jungle training in the spring of 1969 we found that we were being alphabetically split in half with one half going to Viet Nam and the other to Korea. We were told that this deployment was due to a troop buildup initiated by the 1968 Pueblo Incident. By mid 1969 all groups were fully staffed. This staff level was maintained until the spring of 1970. As my tour was ending I saw the staffing levels draw down and eventually the base where I had been assigned was closed.
SP4 William Love
HHC 1/17 inf. 7th Division,
I noted with interest in this Sunday morning's paper an Associated Press piece on your reunion. I googled and found your webpage. From there I am connecting with your email link.
When you were captured off North Korea I was a 23 year oldNavy PN2 assigned to USMC 2nd Combine Action Group in southern I Corps, South Vietnam. Twenty months later I left Vietnam to join Fleet Air Reconnaissance ONE at NAS Atsugi, Japan. Not long after my arrival COMNAVAIRPACdispatched a crew of ours in an EC-121 piloted by my division officer who never came home. The unescorted ECM plane was inexcusably shot down by North Korean MIGS over international watersapparently in close proximity towhere the North Korean patrol boatsillegally boarded the USS Pueblo.
Regretfully that day I began my first decedent affairs processing which sadly would not be my last.
It is forty years since that fatefuland unforgettable morning. As you toll the bell during your reunion rest assured many peoples'thoughts are with those who are deceased. For each of you survivingPueblo crew members I extend a fervent wish for you to always enjoy Fair Winds and Following Seas.
January 1, 1987 I retired from the Navy as a PNC and Director, Military Personnel at Naval Support Activity Detachment, Camp Lejeune, NC. January 1 of this year I finally retired from business life and am enjoying a quiet midwestern lifestyle with my wife. Later this month I will have the good fortune to attend my last sea going forward deployed ship's reunion.
Than you for your service and dedication to our Great Nation. I remember the events of (40) years ago, as if it were yesterday. As a member of the 558 TFS, we went from Cam Rahn Bay to S. Korea, on very short notice. Under top security, wewere joined by (3) squadrons of F-4's from Seymore Johnson AFB, Noth Carolina. According to our leaders, this was a show of force, as well as our defiance of this henious action, taken against your crew by North Korea.
Tensions were very high, and it appeared at times the North Korea would attack South Korea. Our pilots spent many hours in the air with combat ready weapon systems on board. I was the wingman on a mission where we intercepted a Russia Bison Bomber aircraft, very close to the spot you ship was captured. With an F-4 on each wing, we gave hand signals to the pilot, and convinced the pilot that if he did not turn away from the South Korean air space, that he would be shot down.
On a different occasion, we were scrambled from the alert pad, and given GCI direction to the Korean DMZ. We actually had radar contact with (4) Mig 21's heading toward South Korea. As the enemy aircraft approached the DMZ, they made a 180 degree turn, and returned to North Korea.
I just wanted you guys to know that we were there, and we wanted to help you get, "back home". AS a fellow Veteran and American Patirot, I wanted you to know, We Care, and understand what each of youpersonally endured for this service to America.
Have a great time at your reunion.
May God Bless Each of You,
M. Earl Crick, Small Business Owner, age (65)
I was pleasantly surprised this morning to read of your reunion to take place in Essex this Wednesday. I was also overwhelmed to find your website with the excellent articles written by the men who actually endured the pain and duress of those awful times at the hands of the North Koreans. Of particular interest were those written by Stu Russell, as they related to Radioman Hayes, who I knew for a short time 40 years ago. They revealed a side of Lee that I could never have known, as he was not himself when under my care at Balboa Naval Hospital. My name is Ben Spence and I have been teaching science for the past 25 years. Of particular interest to those many students of mine have been the experiences I had as a result of the Pueblo and the many surgeries I assisted with at Balboa ( "The Grey Ghost")during the Tet offensive.
Back then I was a Hospitalman 3rd or "ball bearing mechanic", so called because of the caduceus insignia we wore on our left shoulder. Most often the guys called us "Doc". It was a real honor to work with our injured and traumatized servicemen. Shortly after completing operating tech school I made Hm2 and actually saw Lee the first time in surgery. He, of course, would not remember this first meeting. I doubt he would remember much about me except for one event where I bent the rules and initiated him back to the real world with a couple of Budweisers. We were on Ward 2C and my job was to observe Lee at all times that he was on the ward and make sure that no one without security clearance could approach him. This was especially true when he was pre-medicated for surgery and at times thought he was back in North Korea.
Most of the crew had been quartered at the "Pink Palace", particularly the badly malnourished and those suffering from post traumatic shock. All of these men deserve the highest respect for their sacrifices and endurance under torture. The average Joe couldn't possibly understand what these men withstood. It has to be seen or shared directly. Lee had trauma to the skull and a fractured mandible that had been allowed by the North Koreans to heal without being set. I never knew how it happened. Much of the time Lee was convinced that I was a cleverly disguised North Korean agent. I escorted him to a window one day that afforded a view of downtown San Diego to convince him that he was truly home. He expressed some small surprise that we had been able to build a model of such a large city in North Korea. This lead to further questions about where we got such light-skinned Koreans to act like American sailors, soldiers and marines. He was convinced that we had been able to do so.
I had him examine my uniform and insignia. "Yes," he said "you did a real good job copying." That was the only time I lost my patience with Lee. I can understand why the Korean guards would totally lose it with him. We had a cooler with beer rations for some of the burn patients. It was full of carefully inventoried Budweisers. I had two recuperating marine patients bring Lee into the head and place him sitting upright in one of the sinks. He calmly stated that he had been through it all before and we didn't scare him. I handed him a cold Bud and asked him to examine it. He did so without much interest till I told him to open it. He did appear slightly nervous and said something to the effect that if we were going to poison him he couldn't care less. Drinking the beer began as an ordeal, but about 1/4 of the way through the can his appearance began to change. His eyes brightened. He began to relax. He looked around as if he was seeing his surroundings for the first time. He wound up having a second before turning in. I had two, and each of the marines had two. That's another story about answering up to the short beer count the next day.
While I followed closely what was going on at Coronado and to CDR Bucher, I soon lost track of Lee. Until I logged on to your site today, I had no inkling what kind of a guy he was before the Pueblo. I often wonder if he remembers me or the Budweiser. Perhaps someone could ask him for me. I am including the only 2 photos I have of that period (Most of my pix from that era were lost in a fire). The operating room is one that he had surgery in, but you can't see my face for the scrub mask. The other is shortly before I sewed on my Hm2 patch. The lovely lady is my mother. Best wishes to you guys. Wish I could be there.
I was a young sailor in a fighter squadron aboard the USS Constellation when the Pueblo was attacked. We immediately steamed to the North Korean waters and more or less dared them to attack us. I vividly remember the personal anger, the impotence of the Navyandourcowardly andcraven government in dealing with your plight. All those boot camp promises to rescue us if ever we were captured went up in thin air. I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to join the Navyknowing they would so easily be sold out especially to an arrogant bunch of Koreans.
The way you were treated during and after your capture was a travesty. As for how your Captain Bucher was treated by allthe armchair Admirals is beyond words. I believe that God will forgive our sins if we but ask but the sins the Navy Admiralty committed against your Skipper he won't. Even if they begged him walking on their knees over broken glass. I personally hold them in the same contempt as I do vermin like cockroaches and rats. All of the Admiralty put together are not worth the scraping from underneath Captain Bucher's then fingernails. They hounded him to a premature death and inmy opinion are all guilty of murder.
You might not believe it but I love my country. I believe in it's institutions. I hate it that bad people get into high places and believe the rules are for everyone else but not for them. I hate it when little belligerents like Korea and a long list of successors can pull stunts like the capture of the Pueblo can not only get away with it but profit from it because we have gutless leaders.
Ihopethat someday the world will know of the great wrong done to you and that those responsible are heldaccountable. May you have peace and all the dignity you deserve for the rest of your days.
Milton P. Thornton
Would like to locate a picture of the crew giving the good luck salute.
Joseph E. Cannata ,
I went on to the Pueblo website and found your email address. First, let me say that I was also in the U.S. Navy having served on board a tin can (U.S.S. KIDD DD-661) for 2 years (1960-1962). Therefore I know how near and dear to our hearts our Navy memorabilia can be. My question to you is: did the U.S.S. Pueblo AGER-2 have a ship's reunion in Pittsburgh, PA in July of this year (2008). My reason for asking is that I shuttle cars for National/Alamo car rental at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport on a part time basis and back on July 17th I found a U.S.S. Pueblo AGER-2 ball cap that was left in a returned rental car. This particular ball cap has the twin dolphin submariners pin attached to the front of the cap under the year 1968. On the back of the cap are the words "spook group". I turned the cap into our lost and found on the same day that I found it thinking that some Pueblo veteran would surely want it back. The company returned the cap to me yesterday as no one had called to claim it. I am hoping with the description of the cap that I gave you may have a lead on whom it may belong. If you can locate the rightful owner and get me a mailing address I will gladly mail it back to it's rightful owner. Thank you for your time .
My name is John L. Campbell and I served aboard the USS Ticonderoga as an RD3 from 1966 thru 1969. As you know we were part of the task force sent to N. Korea to attempt a rescue operation. It's a time in my life I will never forget, for several reasons. We were told we were going to "lay waste" to Wonsan Harbor, and silly us, we believed them. Steaming north from Vietnam our spirits went higher and higher. Finally, we were getting the chance to do something meaningful, we would rescue our naval brothers and kick the shit out of the N. Korean's. Every man Jack on our ship was ready to get you guy's out of there or die trying. We even wrote wills and mailed them to our family's. Well, we got up there alright with the Russian's above us, behind us and under us. The entire crew was devistated when they turned us around and sent us back to Vietnam with our tails between our legs.We could not believe that our government would leave you there. We all felt a deep loss and realized that loss extended to our feelings about our own leaders in Washington. It was a dark day for us and a darker year for you. I guess Ijust wantyou to know that we cared and we tried. You and your shipmates have my undying respect.
John L. Campbell
Hope this gets to Ralph McClintock in time for the 40th in Essex! Just saw the item in today's paper. Thought it'd be interesting for him and the others to hear from 2 wanna-be-rescuers, both aboard the USS Truxtun DLGN-35 at the time. Here's a quote from an RD3 that I came across awhile ago; my observation follows.
"Subject: Involvement in Pueblo Incident " Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000
I was an RD3 aboard USS Truxtun DLGN-35 (later CGN-35) which, along with USS Halsey, had escorted USS Enterprise from the West Coast. The 3 ships pulled out of Sasebo about 0900 on Jan 23, 1968, and headed south towards the Philippines. During evening chow the ship heeled over in a sharp, table-clearing 180 degree turn and the voice on the 1MC told us that a US ship had been captured by the North Koreans and we were going to assist, if possible.
The Truxtun headed north at flank speed, about 33 knots, with Enterprise and Halsey following. However, we were faster and, unlike Halsey, didn't need to refuel from the carrier (we were nuclear-powered), so we steadily pulled away from them. About 0400 I recall we received orders to rig up towing cables aft and be ready to go into Wonsan harbor at daylight, shoot the place up, recapture the Pueblo, and tow it out of there. With only one 5"/54 and two 3"/50s and aluminum superstructure and thin skin, I figured we had our work cut out for us if we were to get into a gunfight with shore batteries.
We pulled up just south of Wonsan around 0500. Around 0600 two older WWII vintage destroyers arrived on station and were given the towing assignment, set to start at 0800. It was postponed until 0900. Then 1000. Eventually the recovery effort was called off, apparently because the Pueblo was a lost cause - crew had been taken off, secret materials compromised, etc. About this time we were overflown by a Soviet Badger recon bomber at about 200'.
More US ships arrived and within a few days there were about 30 ships in 3 carrier groups off the east coast of Korea. A sharp-looking Russian DE shadowed us for a few days. After a couple of weeks Truxtun and Enterprise sailed around the peninsula and took up station in the Yellow Sea. We figured the big fight was about to begin with US carriers on two sides and Air Force bases to the south, North Korea was nearly surrounded. However, as we all now know, nothing happened.
I guess the admirals figured the N.Koreans would have retaliated against the Pueblo crew had we gone in and done what we all wanted to do. The reason I am sending this information is that a former Pueblo crewmember, upon hearing of Truxtun's and the other ship's attempted "911 response" from a mutual friend, remarked that until then, he had been under the impression that no efforts had been made to assist.
I don't know why the USAF or other forces didn't respond or why there wasn't a DD assigned to protect you in the first place. I just know that we did try to help but our ship wasn't fast enough and/or was too far away to get there in time.
I live near Eugene Oregon and every Veterans Day the local paper prints the names of area men lost in wars. Duane Hodges (lived in Creswell, near Eugene) usually is mentioned along with a short account of the Pueblo incident. I hope this info is of interest.
By the way, the Truxtun is holding its 1st ever reunion in San Diego November 3,4,5 2000. JLPerry"
I was a plankowner aboard Truxtun, First Division, deckape. My recollection (been a few years...) is that word came down as stated above, but there was lots of confusion as to exactly what was happening. Rumors rampant, 'cept that some US ship, the Pueblo, had been attacked/capturedand we were enroute to get her back. We set up towing lines aft and then waited to arrive. I was a local surface operator on the stbd 3"-50 mount. We went to modified GQ,all systems ready. CIC was abuzz. Still unclear as to what exactly was going on. The notion was thatwe were going to steam into Wonsan harbor, fight whomever as necessary, and tow her out - and people were pumped!We were the first to arrive on station. And then did nothing. The scuttlebutt wasthatwe couldhave been there in time, before Pueblo was actually in NK control, but that it didn't happen, since the comlinkwas such that both the SOS and the orders to proceed were delayed by having to first go to NSA/DOD, get reviewed, etc., and then finally get back outto fleet. Some McNamara security arrangement,allegedly appropriate tothe ship's intel gathering mission. If that's true, seems incredibly stupid, doesn't it? No ship-to-ship permitted? In any case,I ended up sitting on a gun mount,still at modified GQ, for c. 28 days. Box lunches on station, etc.It was cold.But nothinghappened. The rumor mill kept grinding out this and that, but, in the end, we ultimately departed, steamingsouth, without ever knowing why.
I want you folks to know that the crew was angry, disappointed, and sad that we did nothing.Extremely. I don't know why it went down that way. But I'm sure the bureaucrats back in DC could never understand / never understoodwhat the Truxtun crew was feeling - on station andunable to take action. Never mind what you folks were experiencing.
hello fellow techies,
i am a sfc usasa (ret) a 98C mos and arrived at the usasa fs chitose, hokkaido, japan springtime 1968 which was somewhat after the "pueblo incident." after being assigned appropriately in opns, i was informed that we had a file on the critic msg xmtd by the uss pueblo when in wonsan bay along with its numerous follow-up msgs. i forget the time frame span that these critic msgs were sent, it was a considerable length. I wish i could recall the exact time frame, i am reasonably positive that it was over eight(8) hours the news was saying there was considerably less than this relatively lengthy period of time,thus not permitting the necessary time for our military forces to respond. as you know, or damned well shud know, the critic is designed to reach the highestpowers in our government in seconds, its precedence is higher than flash and so are the critic follow-ups. in any case, I KNOW THAT THERE WAS TIME TO RESPOND TO THE PUEBLO SITUATION had the receivers of this tfc acted in a competent manner !
when i learned that sen barry goldwater was heading the investigation of the pueblo incident, i was tempted to send the msg folder with the critic msgs but, i did not. it is interesting to note that one of the opns officers "wanted to borrow" this file. i told him that i didn't know where it was. and if i was as mature then as now i would have damned well sent that file to sen goldwater. the only thing that your captain didn't do that maybe he could have was to open the sea valve if there was one on the pueblo. there shud be a copy or two of those critics around, they had a wide distribution they would confirm what i state is fact !!!!!!!!
i do wish you all the very best,
Will T Stiner, sfc usasa (ret)
p.s. what i state brings up all kinds of actions our gov't cud have undertaken it wud not surprise me one little bit that air bases in s korea and japan were un scrambled and ready to go.
On January 23, 1968, I was weapons officer on the USS Volador (SS-460). We were in Yokosuka Harbor after a two month WestPac deployment. We were all ready to leave Yokosuka on January 25th heading for our home port of San Diego.
The night before the Pueblo set sail, I was in the Submarine Officers Club and living area on base. We had this facility so we could get off the boat when we were in port and didn’t have the duty. Your Skipper, Pete Bucher, was there since he also was a submariner. (Once a Submariner, always a Submariner!). We had a few drinks and told some sea stories, and then Pete returned to your ship.
The night of January 23rd, we had done what all submarines do when they leave Japan for home. We had "goodies" stuck in every conceivable vacant space (and that included the torpedo tubes!) I don't remember the exact time, but sometime during the night, we were all called out of our bunks and told to get all our "goodies" off the boat and into some storage lockers they had on the pier and get ready to take on "war stores". That included a full load of torpedoes and 60 days stores. In a submarine, that meant putting boxes of canned goods in the aisles and passage ways. Before noon of January 24th, we were loaded and on our way to the Sea of Japan.
For seven weeks, we played hide and seek with two Russian submarines. Then we were relieved by two other subs and we were headed home. It was cold and miserable on our diesel/electric submarine, but we didn't complain (at least too much) because we knew our situation was much less uncomfortable compared to what we figured you would be going though.
Our organization, United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI.com) just completed our annual national reunion in Fort Worth, TX. Since our shipmates were getting together next week, I thought you might like to see how our submarine reacted to your capture.
William (Bill) Worthley, LT, USNR
Sirs: Could you give me some information on the Pueblo Reunion? I was the one Marine survivor of the USS Liberty incident, and would be interested in attending.
Bryce F. Lockwood
Gentleman, My name is S/Sgt Ted Dudley and I was on duty at NDT6 the night of your capture. There were "Things" going on that evening that were out of place for those of us who were working in the Western Pacific Net Control Station. How much of it is still classified is unknown to me, and I still to this day do not talk about it, let alone put it in black and white for publication. (Need To Know)
I just watched a special on FOX and it brought back a flood of memories. I remember Bob Chicca and the fact that he was a replacement on the ship for Donald Mize, whose wife was about to deliver their first child . Don and I were good friends, and I'm sure that to this day he remembers Bob and all he went through in his place.
If there is any information I can share with you that has been de-classified, let me know.
My father was Lt Gen. Gilbert Hume "Woody" Woodward US Army- he was the negotiator at Panmunjom for the release of the USS Pueblo Ager 2 against the North Koreans.
I have followed your progress over the years & before your story becomes a forgotten footnote in US military history, I think a full Hollywood movie should be made of your harrowing story.
Given that the North Korean's saber rattling & interest in John McCain's POW story, now is the time to make a full feature movie! You need to get a an entertainment lawyer with a bullet proof contract so the royalties go to a Pueblo Foundation to help all remaining immediate family members still living.
Food for thought right?
Mr. Charles "Bruce" Woodward
To the Troops of the USS Pueblo:
In recognition of the 40-year reunion of the USS Pueblo, it is with humility and appreciation that I am writing to thank the troops who endured the suffering and life-changing experience of the capture of the USS Pueblo.
In 1968, I was a 15-year old teenage girl enjoying everything that life could possibly have to offer. Little did I realize that in the course of weeks my life was to be turned upside down by a military action that I selfishly thought of as annoying for one reason.
My father was in the Air National Guard in Louisville, Ky. Our family was uprooted from our uncomplicated suburban life to the unknown military lifestyle of Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Belton, Missouri. I still have my 40-year old diaries as a teenager who was devastated that I would have to leave my childhood friends just as I was entering high school. It is now that I realize my personal challenges were insignificant compared to those who were called to duty to serve their country.
I can't begin to imagine how your families were affected by the unknown they were facing in the days ahead and I am deeply humbled by the reminder on today's news of the bravery and fortitude of the troops who were aboard the USS Pueblo.
I now understand more clearly how such a catastrophic event trickles down and directly affects the lives of so many. Thank you dad, for your service to our country. Without you, and the others whose lives were forever changed, the United States would have been without a source of security to protect and maintain the freedom that Americans are so privileged to know.
God Bless You.
Peggy B. Klein
I often think of the Pueblo capture. I was in the USN security group from 65-69, based as a CT Maintenance man in Edzell. You all deserved a hero’s welcome and instead were skeptically cross-examined. My hat goes off to you.
JOHN SNYDER (formerly CTM2)
I am a marine who served in Vietnam and was WIA January 1968 and sent back to the states. You warriors should be PROUD OF YOURSELVES. As a crew you did your duty and DID NOT LET US DOWN. We all know how the brass reacts just as they did with the USS Liberty and your ship. The Navy let you down as we all know it.
If I had to go back to war I would be honored to with any member of your crew.
GOD SPEED TO YOU ALL,
To whom it may concern:
I am a Chief Selectee at Goodfellow AFB, TX and I have been tasked to do a report about the USS PUEBLO incident and would like any information that you might have about it. I realize that I can look up the specific incident but I am looking for more personable facts about it.
Thank you in advance, and I look forward to hearing from any of you.
CTRC(SW/AW)(SEL) BRIAN J. COBLER
US NAVY ANALYST & REPORTING INSTRUCTOR
To Crew Members, friends and guests Of USS Pueblo (AGER 2):
My name is Airell Jenks. I live in Hartland Vermont, just outside Woodstock, on the outskirts of my income.
I was at DIRNAVSECGRUPAC as cog officer for the Pueblo when it was taken, having relieved LT Bob Nesbit. I was a LTJG, fresh from a year in Scotland at Prestwick, and 1 1/2 years before that as a NAVSECGRU DIRSUP officer out of NCSP, San Miguel, PI..
I had detachments in NSAR DDG's in the Tonkin Gulf and in USS F. D. Roosevelt, flagship CVAfor CTF 77on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf. I also flew 47 DIRSUP missions out of Danang, RVN with VQ-1.
I was almost made OICNAVSECGRUDET on USS Palm Beach (AGER 3) in the LANTFLT (the assigned OIC reportedly had motion sickness, but recovered),so I was instead assigned to CINCPACFLT, Pearl Harbor for NAVSECGRU OPS.
I worked on Pueblo matters, among othersincluding damage assessment, the year you all were in prison, and was sked to be on your debrief team, but my wedding was set for December 29th inBuffalo, NY, and I was allowed to attend.
I got to know CTC Kell, USN after your release. Please give him my best , and best to all you guys. I know your story well, and was very upset by your seizure, and the subsequent shootdown of the VQ-1 EC 121M in APR of 1969,with the deaths of all 31 aboard.
You both deserved much better protection than you had.. In the Tonkin Gulf, our DDG's were well armed and protected by CAP, and so was our aircraft, which evaded a MIG attack in JUL or August '66, as our 4 F-4B's went to intercept. I guess we were lulled into undisciplined optimistic assumptions by the many Clickbeetle missions of USS Banner AGER-1). But there should have been no doubt that the NK's were hostile.
I have lived in VT for almost 20 years . I would have tried very hard to attend your reunion if that were permitted. but did not know about it until just now. Unfortunately, I now have a conflicting commitment which precludes my getting to see you guys.
I send you my very best wishes, I honor your service, I thank you for your sacrifice and I wish you all well. I very much hope I can meet you at a future date.
Former LT,USNR 1615
Just read an update via the Associated Press today, 07SEP2008, in our local Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here. Having served in a similar mission at Torii Station, Okinawa in USASA back in the early Sixties, I want you folks in NSG on the USS Pueblo to know how very PROUD your comrades in ALL services were of you during your most trying mission and ensuing months and years.
Many of us, doing mission in secured areas, truly ADMIRE how courageously you handled events those 40 years ago!! YES, we remember you and keep you in our prayers, too!! "Fair Thee well, Maties!"
Respectfully and with gratitude,
CW4 Den Jaeger, MI-USAR, ret.
I read today in my local news paper about the USS Pueblo "incident" (as they call it) and it's crew in 1968. I am an avid military supporter as my Dad was in Korea and Vietnam. Both of my sisters were in the gulf war as well.
(All Navy :-) )
Well, I have to say that I was absolutely [disgusted] to find out that these men were disgraced in any way what so ever by people here at home.I would like youto pass along this message to these fine gentlemen, that there are those of us that support them in every way possible.
One of the things I read was that some of them
"broke" and"talked". Well, the
fact is that everyone is eventually broken at some point. They do not stop
torturing you until you do break. This is no disgrace. I honor them for there
sacrifice. PERIOD! No Questions Asked! Whether it is true or not doesn't matter
one bit. Like me, the people that are criticizing these fine men have never been
in a situation likethat, so in my opinion they have
NO RIGHT to speak on the subject. I would hope that if I were ever given the
chance, that I would be as brave and courageous as the men on the USS Pueblo.
Because of those men and many others like them I will probably never have to
find out and I personally want to tell every one of them
I say thank you for my freedom and the safety of my children. I think that they are TRUE AMERICAN HEROES and NO ONE could convince me other wise.
I don't know if you can pass this along to them before the reunion, but I would greatly appreciate it if you would. They need to know that there are American's like me and my family out here that love and respect them.
Proud son of CWO4 Robert C.Gililland, U.S. Navy Ret.
Call on me any time.
Chief Hagenson served under me in USS Plainview (AGEH-1) 1975-1977. He was a good chief and a good guy who had been dealt a bad hand.
My heart goes out to the crew of the Pueblo, who got screwed by a bad Commander in Chief.
Greg Bender, LCDR, USN (Ret.)
Hi, this is Hannah Jung with Yonhap News Agency. Our agency heard that the USS Pueblo Veteran's Association will have 40th Reunion starting tomorrow and we would like to cover this event. So we would like to know where and what time will theis event start on Wednesday,Sept 10. Thank you.
Yonhap News Agency
I have been involved with the process to win approval for the POW medal to approximately 200 former WWII AAF personnel held at Wauwilermoos Prison in Switzerland. Only two have been approved the medal to date. The first was approved by AF Chief of Staff General Fogleman in 1996. The second was approved by AF Correction of Military Records in 2006. Currently, the board is following guidelines not applicable to WWII era, thus denying others held at the same facility.
I noticed all crew members of the Pueblo were awarded the POW medal. Could you share the justification (guideline) authorizing such?
MSgt Robert E. Johnson, USAF, Retired
My name is Burks Hunt (USN Ret) and I found your site very impressive. I can remember as a seaman handling the boxes and boxes of paperwork related to the "courts-martial"I'm glad you have your site. I have a question to ask and hopefully you can help me.
I am planning on a trip to Japan with my sonwhere I served in Sasebo 77-79. It was a small base then and friends were easy to make. I remember Herman Baldridge and his family - he had already retired then and we crossed paths numerous times. Honestly I wouldn't recognize him today and I doubt he even remembers me. I was a new CPO working for the Capt Mac. I saw that his address was in Chula Vista. What I am trying to find out if he was awareof orknew Don "Ike" Isenbergwho was also retired USN and living in Sasebo. Both Doc and Ike were married to Japanese ladies. Doc used to remark that he knew the NKs didn't have his records 'cause they always asked him if he wanted to return to his American wife back in the USA ! Ike's background was extensive in the Japanese martial arts and that is where my son's interest is also. At the time I was there Ike was serving on a merchant ship.
Could you ask Doc if he knows anything about Ike or how I might find out if he is still in Sasebo etc.? I would sincerely appreciate it. Please feel free to call or pass my number on.
Thanks so much and a Belated Welcome Home!
On January 27, 1968 I was part of a detachment from Seymour Johnson AFB that became a part of the history of the USS Pueblo. On that day, in response to North Korean actions against your vessel, I left North Carolina as part of the advanced party bound for Korea. Aboard a C-141 about 100 of us arrived, much to the surprise of the base commander, at Kunsan AFB, Korea. We were the first detachment of what would be about 5000 men, equipment and aircraft deployed in response to this crisis.
In the days and weeks that followed virtually the entire 4th Fighter Wing (334th, 335th, and 336th fighter squadrons) was deployed to Kunsan. Three squadrons’ of aircraft (approx 100 F-4D aircraft), support vehicles, support services, supplies and personnel arrived. We were housed in make-shift quarters (ten man tents) and other temporary structures. Facilities on the base were really something, little or no preparations were made for our arrival.
Over the next 6 months elements of the 4th flew regular missions (they never told us where or why) and operated on alert status. For us (non-coms) the real awakening came when we learned that one squadron of aircraft us on a “hot pad” and armed with tactical nuclear weapons. I saw this first hand when refueling some of the aircraft and when we were detained by air police who had set up a security zone on the taxi way for these aircraft.
This is just a background. We were there, but we never took action to address your situation. When we returned to North Carolina many of us felt that we had let you down ….. we were there and we didn’t act!!! It was a mission that was never completed. A few years later there was a TV movie (Hal Holbrook played the part of Cmdr Boucher) which, I thought, really told the story. Those of us who were there want you and the rest of your crew know that we had an opportunity to assist but for some reason the powers that be wouldn’t. You guys were just as much heros as are John McCain and the Viet Nam POW’s. You served in a way that few, if any of us can imagine. So, I salute you and your crew for a job well done. I, for one, will never forget the Pueblo. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.
It's been several years since I last visited the USS Pueblo web page. A friend recently found your site and forwarded me the link. Of course I had to re-visit and only then did I realize that I had never written to pay my respects the first time around.
Please accept my sincere admiration on a job well done and I salute you on your excellent commitment to this labor of love. As an insider, I also want to thank you for setting and publishing the record straight!
I especially appreciate the Guests’ Comments. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all ten years of posts, holding back a tear at times, hoping to recognize names from a distant past. I can't be the only one to make this request, but I didn’t see any reference in the comments. Is there any way possible to include the email address for each posted comment, so that we may be able to contact old shipmates?
It's been over forty years now since that fateful day, and not many pass that I don’t think about it, my small contribution, and the shipmates my government abandoned. Unfortunately in our line of work, then as well as now, it is much easier to write us off as expendable rather than have to explain.
We were the Unknown, doing the Unthinkable for the Ungrateful.
You asked for any information that might help make your site more informative. I'm not sure that I can add much that hasn't already been said, but I would like to share a couple of my private stories. You be the judge if it's something you want to keep.
At the time I was stationed at COMMNAVSECGRU Kami Seya, Japan, as a CTO2 working in the Communication Center. On that tragic day, nothing had yet filtered back to the barracks or chow hall as the day watch was still in progress. Eating an early dinner, taking the bus down to the “tunnel”, and walking into the comm center at 1545 hours was a sight I won't soon forget! In a word, I walked into a hornets nest. It was like watching a finely tuned machine. Men were running around helping each other without asking or speaking a word when assistance was needed. Everyone know each others job and all the cross-training finally paid off. You guys would have been proud. After relieving my post, I had the honor of processing and routing the Pueblo CRITIC message (paper copy) throughout the classified spaces. I still remember walking back to the Pueblo TTY position and reading the last few transmissions and regretting our unsuccessful attempt to re-establish communications in the clear. Unfortunately, the remainder of that watch has been lost to history.
Regardless of the stated reasoning, to this day, I still have a hard time understanding why North Korean harassment wasn’t taken more serious. For whatever it's worth, the scuttlebutt of the day said that our OWO (operations watch officer) sat on your escalating concerns before finally alerting higher command once things started getting serious. To this day, I feel that that critical delay could have made a difference.
My other fond memory happened shortly after you sailed from Yokosuka, Japan. Here I was in this man's Navy having never stepped foot on a ship, unless the USS Recruit counts. So, when my Section Chief asked for comm center TAD volunteers for the Pueblo's next deployment in March, I stepped forward, but as Maxwell Smart would later say "Chief, I was THAT close", the rest is history.
Lastly, please allow me to share a little known and lighter
story about one of your crew. Three of us shared the same barracks as CTO3
Sydney "Jerry" Karnes. For reasons only known to him, he hated JN's and being in Japan with a passion! He had a standing
offer for anyone in our "O" branch barracks to take their orders
regardless of location just to get off 'this' island. As luck would have it,
the first set of orders that became available provided his unscheduled trip to
North Korea. I suspect that Ken McMillen is still
smiling about the swap. Can you also please confirm who this is in the attached
photo prancing to freedom! We are pretty sure that it might be
After our communication traffic returned to normal, which took about a year, I received orders to report to VQ-1 at NAS Atsugi, which was about ten minutes down the road from Kami Seya. I was there a little over a week working a mid watch in the comm spaces preparing the classified flight bag for LCDR Overstreet for that fateful flight in April 1969. Saying “have a safe flight Sir” as he walked out the door that day…is frozen in my memory. I have the most unfortunate, if not only, distinction in the Navy of having witnessed both incidents first hand. Please know that I share a lot of the feelings of abandonment that you went through and much more!
In closing, as an FYI, I have most if not all of the USS Pueblo articles from the Pacific Stars and Stripes. Should any of this information not be part of your archives please advise, and I would be more than glad to forward copies. I would also like to thank two fellow Kami “O” branchers (CTO2 Paul Szpet and CTO3 Paul Allen) for their help in confirming some of this information.
Regards, and God bless you all.
Daniel Spry, CTO2 (1965-1969)
After reading the article in our local newspaper about Ralph McClintock, I was temped to call him but decided at this time to look up what I could on the internet to contact your group. It was not until the television movie starring Hal Holbrook as Cmdr. Lloyd Bucher that scrolled the crewmembers names that it struck me that one of them was a "shipmate" of mine at JSPC in Torii Station, Okinawa in 1966-67.
I don't know if Lee Hayes would remember me, I was CT2 Richard Petrushun at that time. I joined the Navy in 1964 as an E-3 seaman due to my having a ham radio license (as was Ralph McClintock). I joined our local Reserve Unit (NavSecGruDiv 3-12) in Elizabeth, NJ and upon active duty, went to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in July 1965, I was assigned to run the radio station NDB at nights and held various net and code practice sessions as an RM3 (even though I had no experience). They thought I was at the end of my active duty I suppose.
When I was finally assigned to go to Okinawa it turned out to be the best thing for me.
I had the opportunity to volunteer to go to Vietnam aboard the USS Constellation CVA-64 in July "66 for a 6-month TDY. Coming back to Okinawa in November, I reunited with my previous section at JSPC. Again, I surely do remember Lee Hayes, and hope that he has faired well despite the capture of the Pueblo and that your reunion went well.
As a side note, I don't know if my USNR group or me was a jinx, but one of my other reserve buddies was on the USS Liberty in the Med when it got shot up by Israel in 1967. Fortunately he was not harmed.
Rich Petrushun, WA2IRN/KI8KM,
I am 71 yrs.old, my Dad was abroad the USS Sherburne(? on spelling). She was a supply ship during WWII. I am truly ashamed that I have never picked up on this incident until now. My Dad was the oldest of 6 boys. His Dad died when he was 8 yrs of age so he became the Dad for the boys. All 6 enlisted in 1942 on the same day. All 6 came home,5 soon after end of war my Uncle Bob came later as he was a prisoner in Germany for 2 1/2yrs. I have always been very unset about the Six Sullivan Boys on the USS Juna. The rescue of the survivors should have happened when US Ships were close. I was born and raised in Iowa. I was there for 63 yrs. I have always been so proud of the WWII Boys which is what most of them were. As I said I am ashamed that I knew nothing about this until last week.
The main reason I am writing I would like to know what did the US demand of the Korean Government for this unlawful dreadful act against our US Navy. By the way I am a female. My heartfelt thanks to all personal of the USS Pueblo.
I sponsored CT1 Michael Barrett and his family when they were assigned to NAVCOMMSTA Guam, after his release from N. Korea. I would like to correspond with him, preferably by email, if possible.
John L. Braswell, CTIC, USN (Ret.)
I was an admin person at COMNAVSECGRU(G-60) working for CAPT J.H.D. Williams and Mr. F.T.Grimm when the Pueblo was captured. We had many long days and nights.
I met LCDR Stephen Harris at COMNAVSECGRU. I would like to contact him via email. Do you have his address?
I am retired from the Navy Reserve.
Roger A. Hendler (CTA1)
Sir - I am interested in writing an article on the future of the USS Pueblo for the Cold War Museum magazine. (uss.coldwar.org). By "future" I mean the current activities in trying to get the Pueblo returned. Does her return have anything to do with the North Koreans moving it to another port? I am also interested in posing a theoretical solution - that the Navy decommission and strike the USS Pueblo from its roles and that it be turned over to either the Cold War Museum or the Navy Yard Museum in Washington DC, that the ship be honored by being cleaned up and displayed at the Washington Navy Yard Museum next to DD Barry and be the de facto closest Navy ship to the Pentagon/White House. I would also propose that reunions of the Pueblo crew be held on board her, tours be given similar to DD Barry, etc. I am a retired Naval Intelligence Officer and a published author. If you can assist in any way possible it would be appreciated.
Douglas E. Campbell, Ph.D.President
& CEOSyneca Research Group, Inc.
I was stationed at the Naval Air Station when YN1 Amando Canales worked as the Operations Department Yeoman. I was a PH1 attached to the Operations Photo Lab. On a daily basis, sometimes twice a day, I would walk down the passageway to get the Photo Lab mail and would always talk to Amando. I am curious - how is he doing? I left Lemoore in the first part of August 1973 - yup a short 35 years ago.
If he has an email address would you please forward this email to him.
Many thanks for your service and welcome home,
Frederick R Miller, PH1, USN Retired 55-73,
Heard you guys were having a reunion recently. My father, Jason H. Martin, received an ARCOM for his actions as Asst G-2 with 8th Army for his role in getting the crew released during his Korea tour about 1968-69. One of his assistants contacted me years ago, looking for him (as I am a "Junior") and filled me in on some of the particulars, such as he was the one authorized to "leak" to the N Koreans that the U.S. was willing/preparing to use a nuclear weapon as a inducement for them to release the crew. He returned from Korea to serve as Deputy G-2 USARPAC in Hawaii before his retirement in 1973.
Before I begin, let me start off by saying thank you for all that you do and did for our country. I really do mean that from the bottom of my heart. : ) I don't know if you do Veterans Day Celebrations, but I thought I would give it a try. This is the second year that Indian Ridge is going to put on a Veterans Day Celebration. Last year I had guest speakers (Veterans) talking to every student through History classes. The response from teachers and students was amazing. : ) I believe it was truly a learning experience for them both. I would love to do the same thing this year. We are now a 6th through 8th grade campus here in El Paso. We have students that really don't have an idea about other wars, conflicts, etc. that our men and women have fought. I believe it is a wonderful thing to educate our students about the many battles that have occured-not just the current ones. I would love to have a member of your association be a guest speaker at our celebration ceremony. I would also love to have any other members speak to the students throughout the day. Unfortunately, I don't have a budget for this event, so a person who participated would be donating their valuable time. I would completely understand if no one was available for our event. However, if someone was willing to speak, I would truly appreciate it. I may be reached at the phone number below or this email address. Thank you for you time.
Renee Caro, Support Teacher,
I was in the U.S. Naval Air from 1961 to 1963, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Based on what I was taught at Great Lakes Naval Boot Camp, I never understood why America and our Military did not come and get you guys? I never understood why they allowed North Korean to keep you prisoners for 11 months? I believe LBJ was President at the time? Why didn't America tell North Korea, keep the ship, however, we want our men back NOW?
Respectfully, Tony Caputo of
A U.S. spy ship, the U.S.S. Pueblo, under the command of Cmdr. Lloyd Bucher, was captured by North Korea on January 28, 1968 — the beginning of a very bad year in the U.S. that included Viet Cong’s Tet Offensive that revealed victory for the U.S. in Vietnam to be a long way off, the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the assassination of presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, riots during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, a bitter election, and a wonderful television broadcast from astronauts orbiting the Moon on Christmas Eve.
North Korea held the crew of the Pueblo for eleven months. While holding the crew hostage, there was never any serious thought that the ship had in fact strayed into North Korean territorial waters, which might have lent some legitimacy to the seizure of the ship, North Korea (DPRK) tried to milk the event for all the publicity and propaganda possible. Such use of prisoners is generally and specifically prohibited by several international conventions. Nations make a calculated gamble when they stray from international law and general fairness.
To their credit, the crew resisted these propaganda efforts in ways that were particularly embarrassing to the North Koreans. DPRK threatened to torture the Americans, and did beat them — but then would hope to get photographs of the Americans "enjoying" a game of basketball, to show that the Americans were treated well. The crew discovered that the North Koreans were naive about American culture, especially profanity and insults. When posing for photos, the Americans showed what they told DPRK was the "Hawaiian good luck sign", raised middle fingers. The photos were printed in newspapers around the world, except the United States, where they were considered profane. The indications were clear, the crew was dutifully resisting their captors. When the hoax was discovered, the Americans were beaten for a period of two weeks.
Bucher was court martialed for not having resisted capture more ferociously, a court martial that troubles many of us. Among other complaints was a "confession" that Bucher signed, to please the DPRK. One day I'll get the transcript and see how it was dealt with in the hearing, but any serious reading of the confession reveals that it was a hoax on the North Koreans, too, and it showed them to be particularly ill-prepared to deal with prisoners who had some spirit and their wits about them. Tony Caputo
My name is Tom Werre. I'm writing to introduce myself and request your assistance in contacting one of your members. I note that one of your members, Richard Rogala, lives in Elk Grove Village, IL, though I don't see his number in the phone book. I am a member of AFIO, the Association for Intelligence Officers, a not for profit dedicated to a strong intelligence community in The U.S. I do some organizing work with the Midwest Chapter of AFIO which hosts annual intelligence symposia and has quarterly dinner meetings in the Chicago suburbs. I would like to contact Mr. Rogala in order to request that he consider attending one of our meetings as a guest speaker. I'm sure the membership would be thrilled to hear his story and insights he has gained through his experiences.
We're also interested in reaching out to others in order to better publicize meetings, upcoming events and the like and, if you'd like, would be happy to pass along information about your organization and its story to our membership.
I would appreciate any assistance you might offer in assisting me in contacting Mr. Rogala, if possible. In any case, perhaps an interview with another willing member, which could be highlighted in our Midwest Chapter newsletter, would be something that one of the USS Pueblo Veterans would be willing to consider.
Thank you, in advance, for your time and any assistance you may be able to offer.
Sir - We'd very much like and be honored to have one of your group speak at our Symposium next year.
Pls disseminate. Kent G. Sieg
The Center for Cryptologic History announces a call for
papers for its biennial Symposium on Cryptologic History. The Symposium will
occur on 15-16 October 2009 in Laurel, Maryland, at the Johns-Hopkins Applied
Physics Laboratory located in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The theme for
the Symposium will be "Global Perspectives on Cryptologic History".
We will consider all proposals relating to any aspect of cryptologic
history. The deadline for submission of proposals, to include a minimum
two-page topic prospectus, a brief source list, and a biography, is
My name is Sean Eagan and I represent a national group of American Cold War era veterans.We are working on a project to create a NPR radio show commemorating the end of the Cold War.This will be a montage of interviews of Cold War veterans and we believe the story of the USS Pueblois a integral part of Cold War history. If one or two of your members could be available for it wouldinterview it would be much appreciated. The NPR producer is Eric Molinsky email@example.com either one of us and we can arrange interviews for anyone willing to participate. Any questionsCall me at below number or my cell 716-708-0130.
Sean Eagan Chairman American Cold War Veterans, Inc.Web: http://americancoldwarvets.org/Blog: Cold War Veterans
Has it been discussed that the orders to the Pueblo which it in the position where it was captured were calculated to provoke such a response. Remember we activated about half of the Air Force Reserve and Air National guard. The National Guard F-100 units that were activated were very soon integrated into the Viet Nam operation. I was in the Virginia Air Guard at the time in F-84's and did not get activated.I think that McNamara realized they had made a major error in their manpower planning and were looking for an excuse to activate the units they could use in Vietnam.A little far fetched maybe, but who knows?
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 14:59:06
While stationed at NAS Cubi Point, Philippines, I met CDR Timothy Harris. Enjoyed talking to him and getting a copy of his book. I retired in 1987 as an Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Technician Chief Petty Officer after 28 yrs of Naval Service. Would enjoy communicating with him if he wishes.
AXC Walter B Zirbes III Altoona, PA Fair winds and following seas
Greetings from a friend of America in England. Read Seizing The Enigma by David Kahn.Published paperback by Arrow Books.There are precidents for seizing ships to read Codes ,and the conclusion in Scorpion Down is interesting in regard to the seizure of USS Pueblo.
Regards to you all. Peter Bradshaw
Yesterday I returned from a special US citizen tour of North Korea. As a US Army officer for 9 years, and a former congressional aide, I visited the DPRK not out of any admiration for their system (quite the contrary) but to better understand a dangerous regime and the people who live under its control. On our first day, we were taken to visit the USS Pueblo. I want to take this opportunity to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your service in harm's way and the terrible ordeal you experienced. Touching the Pueblo, seeing it held so far from home, and viewing the propaganda movie of your captivity was a very moving experience, and not in the way our hosts intended. The courage all of you displayed made me very proud to be an American. Before I departed, I said a silent prayer of gratitude for your sacrifice and your safe return. If you would like any of the photos I took of the Pueblo, I am happy to share them with you.
Thank you again, and God bless you. Patrick
Gentlemen, I have a USS PUEBLO lighter that was given to my
father, it is still in the original box with tissue paper wrap and operating
instructions, it is a "zippo" type lighter
with markings on the bottom that say "KONWAL Super". The front bears
the USS PUEBLO ship logo, and the back reads " PRESENTED BY CDR
"PETE" BUCHER COMMANDING OFFICER"and
USS PUEBLO AGER-2. Any information you can give me on this would be greatly
appreciated. My name is Mark.
I will never forget the taking of the USS Pueblo. At that particular time I was working SRDF in Vietnam as part of the Army Security Agency. Like most soldiers, we mainly considered ourselves technicians first and soldiers second, but I am sure all of us who served in direct contact with the enemy, contemplated our fates should we become Prisoners of War. All of you lived it. I have thought about the Pueblo many many times over these many years and have always felt ashamed about the inactivity of the US Government. Anyway, I just wanted to express my thanks to all of you for your service to the United States and your sacrifice.
I hope God has blessed, and will continue to bless, all of you. John Cruddas
My husband was on the USS Ranger when this occurred and he said there was a whole flotilla of ships and that everyone was ordered to not fire. Pres Johnson, allowed the ship to be taken.
.Susan ProutyWolf Creek, OR
[Flotilla was not there when PUEBLO was captured.]
I am a Seoul-based reporter who is currently working on a report on the Pueblo's 40th anniversary of capture and crew-release for the Voice of America. I would really like to speak with a crewman of the vessel for a brief interview over the phone. I am currently in New Jersey and can be reached at 609 442 0566. Please let me know if such an interview can be arranged.
thank you Jason Strother
i have recently returned from a travel tour of North Korea and have taken numerous photographs of the inside of the U.S.S Pueblo as well as a couple i also have a postage stamp, of the U.S.S Pueblo, printed in North Korea. i am interested in finding a buyer and thought you might like first refusal? at present i am in Virginia, USA i look forward to hearing from you
I was in the navy in 1969. I worked in the radio shack on the USS Yosemite. The incident that happened on the USS Pueblo was a big part of our training. I read about your touching reunion story. I was thing that I may be able to offer something to you. I am one of the very few people who has been in north Korea lately. I was in there just about two years ago. I may be going back there next year. I am one who can get others in as well. I can understand why your men would not want to go however there may be some who would love to go and set on the ship one more time. To me it showed me what we where fighting for. What the war was about. It may be to pain full for some, I can surely understand that. I just wanted to offer this to Your men. I am sure someone else may have offered this to you as well however i did not want to assume that. After I have talked to you I will offer this to other Veterans. The Country is so crazy. I think for the most part it is safe for us as they show us only the best and they think we believe it. I went there with someone from the White House and they did not know who he was. They just do not take the time to find out who you are. However if would be best not to talk to the press at this time. Once again I understand how crazy this offer sounds. Let me know what you think. Thank for your Patriotism
How are you? I was on a destroyer rigged to go in and get you guys back in 68. I don't know what you went through, but our thoughts were often with you. How has time treated you? Let me know how many of the guys you stay in touch with.
Gentlemen, I recall my days with the US Naval Reserve, after having served from 1968-1972 active USN. There was a man who served on the USS Pueblo who regularly attended our weekend sessions (once per month) back in 1976-1978 in Midwest City, OK. We had conversations about the incident their imprisonment and Bucher during our weekends. He was a employed in one of our state's correctional facilities in El Reno, Oklahoma. I can't recall his name. I would appreciate it very much if I could get some verification as to his name as I am unable to find it at this website. Are there any websites that list the names of the crew and the states they claim as home on the web?
With the utmost respect, James (Jim) Rossman Edmond, OK USN (1968-1972) Cruiser Destroyer Squadron 20 US Atlantic 1st Fleet (Newport, RI)
I grew up with John and we both graduated from McAlester, Oklahoma in 1965. I went on to college and as I recall, John joined the Navy. Then I heard the news about the capture of the USS Pueblo and learned that John was a crew member. As kids, I used to play at his house but unfortunately I have not heard from John since graduating from high school. Can you provide an email address?
Many thanks. Jim Hedges Mayor-Ashburn, Georgia
I have never written this before but I was in South Korea on 23 Jan.1968 in the U.S Army and most of us were not happy to see what happen to the crew of the Pueblo, we felt like the U.S did not care about the crew we saw U.S.Air Force planes in South Korea on runways engines running 10 miles from the DMZ and NO one would give permission to go save the Pueblo and those were our brothers on the Pueblo. I always felt that what happen that day would be A BLACK EYE for the U.S. and these many years later I still think it is, a lot of Soldiers in the U.S. Army new we were short handed on the DMZ and there was a worry that North Korea would come in force south and we Volunteered to fill in on gaps on the DMZ tell 35,000 more Soldiers got here to fill the ranks of the 7th and 2nd Inf. Div. and other units !! I know I would have stayed one more year in Korea in the Army after being there 15 months just to be at the Bridge of No Return on Dec.23rd 1969 to see the crew of the Pueblo coming into South Korea !!!!
GOD BLESS the CREW of the PUEBLO! Dave Layman
Hey there, My daughter is in the US Navy aboard a destroyer. And I just finished reading a book by Robert A. Liston entitled The Pueblo Surrender. Well, the book made me think a bit. Does any of the crew of the USS PUEBLO think it possible that they were indeed boarded by Chinese and were shot at by a Soviet ship? Has enough time passed that all of the secrets about this secret ship can now come to light for all of us to read? Can you pass this email onto all of the survivors for their thoughts on this matter?
J. Brown I am just a person that read a book and because of the simplicity of the internet, I thought why not ask before the survivors have passed from this world...a little controversy is good for the soul.
[I was] USAF, retired in 1992 after 28 years as a Korean linguist. Bob Hammond was a classmate of mine at language school, and Bob Chicca was a class behind ours. I was stationed in Korea in 1968 and was sitting position on the 23rd of January. It was our last day watch and we were looking forward to a hard-earned three break--a break that never came. I will never forget the anguish I felt knowing full well what was going on, but could do nothing about it other than report what was going on. I learned the names of the crew members a day later in the Stars and Stripes and vowed from that day on that I would dedicated my life to the Air Force and do what I could to never let something like this happen ever again. I have studied the events leading up to and after the capture of the vessel and want to write about my experiences and knowledge of the events leading up to it from a crytologic perspective, but unfortunately, a lot of what I want to write about still remains classified.
God bless you all, Joseph Betty
To all of you who served on the Pueblo. My name is Phil Krigel and I had the opportunity to meet many of you while you were in Pueblo Colorado for your reunion. I was with you on a bus trip while in Pueblo. II wanted you all to know that I feel very privileged to have been able to have shared time with you. I will not soon forget the stories you shared with me. About 4 years after our meeting I was introduced to another POW. My Mother's new husband was a POW in Germany at the end of WW II. He has told me many stories about what he went through. While the names and circumstances were different, the similarities tell me a common truth. That would be that both Les (my mom's husband) and all of you were doing your jobs and by no action of your own, you became victims of an unthinkable event, or a chain of events. To me, all of you as POWs represent the best of what this nation is all about. You were serving our country and were forced to endure what can only be described as hell. In my eyes that is not what sets you apart. The fact that I never heard one word of regret from any of you is what makes you heroes in my book. Instead of regrets what I heard were laughs when you would tell me about how stupid the North Koreans were. I heard fond memories of the things you got away with, and most of all, the stories of the Hawaiian peace sign, the beatings you got as a result, and the comments that it was all worth it.
Best wishes, Phil Krigel
I am a retired Army SFC that was working the NK Navy problem at NSA when the Pueblo was captured. Was also a classmate for the Korean Language with Bob Chicca. By chance happened to run into Bob on a plane from DC to Philly in 1970 but didn't keep his address. Would like to contact him via email and talk of old times. Know quite a bit of issues before, during and after the capture but still don't feel right discussing in open forum. Just I know didn't feel CDR Bucher was treated fairly or with the respect he was due. All crew members were abandoned by this country't government and asked to understand. May
God bless all who serve and have served, Merry Christmas to all of you and your families. M. Keith Potts
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