Guests' Comments

January - December 2009

 


2 Jan 2009 10:42

Attached is a news article from my local newspaper (Home News Tribune, Woodbridge N.J.)
printed
1-1-09. Hopefully something will come of it for you guys.
I am a former CT and was stationed in Kami Seya
Japan when the hijacking took place. Needless
to say, we were all shocked when no one came to your aid, especially since there was plenty of
air support available. As always, and still today, politics and the system wins.
 
I hope you can get me some contact info on one of the
Pueblo crew. His name is Tony Lamantia.
He is also a former CT and the last I heard he was somewhere in
Maryland. We served together
on
Guam and would like to rekindle an old friendship.
 
 Thank you,

 John Stalowski

 


 Fri, 2 Jan 2009 10:02:55

Hi,
 I am seeking to locate two crew members who I served with at other duty stations.

Do you have info on Wayne D. Anderson (Kamiseya) and Tony Lamantia (Pensacola)?
 Thank you,
 
Larry Steinfeldt

 

 Wed, 23 Jan 2008 13:46:21 -0800 (PST)
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,
Tacoma" and then when you get to the site, merely plug in "Pueblo,"  hopefully it'll bring it up right smartly for you.
 Thank you all for your service and sacrifice to 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       

  

Thu, 24 Jan 2008 14:55:34

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
Dirksen Senate Building
Washington
, D.C. 20510
202-224-0026

  

26 Feb 2009 06:35:21

Mr. Peppard,
This may not be an appropriate question, but there is an individual
(Peter J. Cristiano) in our community who is representing (while he
was in the Air Force) that he was a on the crew of the
Pueblo.  After looking at your veterans site, he is not listed on
the crew during the event.

Can you shed some light on this for me?  Thank you.

Rick Whitlow

(Ed. note: Mr. Cristiano was never a crewmember of the USS PUEBLO AGER-2)

 

 25 Mar 2009 20:35:14

Dear Sir:
I just viewed Oliver North's War Stories episode detailing the attack on the USS Pueblo.  My heart aches for the Captain and his crew at their treatment at the hands of the North Koreans and then our own government. War Stories ended with mention President Bush was expected to clear the reputation of the crew.  Now that President Bush has left office I am curious if he was successful and if proper honors have been afforded to the
Pueblo crew?  Please share with me the current status?

Thank you for your service to our country.  Gob bless you!
Scott Gerard

 

 
7 Apr 2009 17:21:05

Dear Sir or Ma'am:
 
Please let me introduce myself, my name is John Olvey and I have the privilege of being the action officer for my first commander's retirement.  We are both Cryppie reserve officers.  I am wondering what the possibility of getting one of the Hero's of the USS Pueblo incident with
North Korea to be a guest speaker at CAPT Ken Green's retirement.  Could you please direct me to the correct point of contact?  The retirement ceremony will be conducted in January of 2010 in Colorado.
 
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
 
Very Respectfully!
John
 
John Olvey

LCDR, USNR
NNWG Training Dept Head

  

27 May 2009 13:27:56

You guys are kind of forgotten part of the whole Viet Nam era and contemporary Korea conflict.  I remember it well as I was an Air Force landlubber stationed in southern Thailand at the time where we had B 52s at Utapao and running 30 sorties a day across the DMZ.   I have a life long friend whose father and my father were WWII roommates in the Navy stationed in New Orleans with the then Naval Intelligence group headed by Homer Thornberry who went on to be the Federal Judge who headed the Fifth Circuit (appointed by none other than our commander in Chief at the time, LBJ).
 
Eddie, was a nuclear Submariner who was on a West Pac and got  sent to the region when you guys were captured and interred.  I believe that history and time have proven that Commander Bucher did the right thing in saving his crew although he was vilified at the time.  The Pueblo was full of ECM recon  gear and since I was an Air Force ECM technician for nearly five years, I have always had an appreciation for what you guys did to gather information that was invaluable to making our equipment more effective.
 
It is astounding that in the last day’s news about the region that
North Korea is still a belligerent nation intent on fomenting further torment for the “free” world.  Had MacArthur not be thwarted by Harry, the buck stops here, Truman, how different the region might be today.
 
Like all of you, I returned after another overseas tour in
Spain to a nation divided and reluctant to embrace our veterans rather preferring to issue vitriolic rebuke regards our participation in the most unpopular war in our history.  I am a patriot and a proud to have served veteran who derived much benefit from my years of service having received GI bill payments to finish an Engineering Degree from Texas A&M University.
 
I am blessed to still be here as many of our comrades who did not perish in the war are now finishing their mortal journey much earlier than otherwise might have been the case.  My dad, who was a WWII Navy man as noted above, passed last April 15th just 4 days short of his 92nd birthday.  He met and married my mom in
New Orleans where she was a civilian worker in the forerunner to the DOD.   They had 59 years together and were very much a part of Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation. 
 
I salute your valor and I thank you for your service.
 
May God bless you and your families.
 
John

John Lyons
Sr. Sales Engineer
 

  

28 May 2009 04:21:51

I do think that the Captain Commander Pete Bucher deserved to be Court Martialed; he surrendered his ship to an enemy nation with out an attempt to either run or scuttle her.
I was a Navy Brat, my Dad was a 20 year career man. One of my first books to read was "the Blue Jackets Manual" which had stories of John Paul Jones and other Naval heroes, I saw many of the Navy WW2 combat films; I didn't see ANY ships being surrendered, I was in the Army stationed in
Korea; the Army taught that you didn't willingly surrender.
By surrendering his ship with all the classified files intact, the Captain of the
Pueblo compromised every confidential code in Korea. I was stationed there at the time and in Communications.
 The fact that he and his men did "active resistance" doesn't absolve him of the surrender in my opinion.
To be fair, I don't think that the Captain McGonagle deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor; that cheapened it for all the men of WW2 and
Korea that made much greater sacrifices to earn theirs during periods of active warfare. At most, it should have been a Distinguished Service Medal, but a Medal of Honor-- No way
 
Just my opinion;
Pamela JS Dunn.  

  

28 May 2009 23:28:01
Had the US attacked North Korea in retaliation for seizing the USS Pueblo, the Chicoms would have entered in on the scene, and a major land war would have broken out on the Korean Peninsula, worse than that of 1950-1953. The US was bogged down in Vietnam at the time, so it did not have the will or manpower to  attack N. Korea as well.

Tom Lobello, your comments?
 
 

 

5 May 2009 18:47:34

Subject: More information on the
Pueblo incident

I talked with a man who was in intelligence at the time of the
Pueblo incident, and he has a few pieces of information that might
be of interest. Are you still updating your website?
 Thanks,
Martin

(Ed. note: Yes Martin, we certainly are updating and on the lookout for information.)

 

 25 Jun 2009 11:14:43

Mr. Peppard:
 My father,
Army Col (Ret) Spencer G. Stanley, Jr. (now deceased) was the commander of the 502nd Military Intelligence Group in Korea during the time the Pueblo was captured.  I believe he was assigned to Korea from DC in order to assist in negotiating the release of the Pueblo crew…and may have even met some of the crew at the “Bridge of No Return” at the DMZ.  It’s my recollection that he handed Commander Bucher a cup of coffee on his arrival on the South Korean side of the bridge.  I would love to know more should any of the crew have any recollections.  Thanks!
  
Spencer G. Stanley, III

 
 

29 May 2009 09:30:34

Heroes,
   That's what I always thought the Skipper and crew of the USS
Pueblo were -- and are !
 My name is Wade Lawley.  I was sent to
Korea in the summer of
1968 as a Sgt in the US Army 2nd Infantry Division.  The best
feeling I had in my 13 months in country was standing by the
Libby
Bridge
and watch the copters bring y'all out that Dec day.
  As a Sgt in the infantry, I, my commanders, and my fellow grunts
were fully ready to do whatever we would be called upon to do to
gain your freedom.  In retrospect I was scared but proud to know
that if called upon we would do exactly that.  It could not have
been 1% of what you faced during your ordeal but I was and still am
PROUD to be a very small part of the
Pueblo's history.
 The attached scans were dropped by balloon on our positions by
 charlie.  I hope y'all can find a use for them in your search for
 facts, stories or as memorabilia in your archives.
 THANK YOU !
Wade
Lawley
Fayette
, Alabama

      

 (Ed. note: Thank you Wade for sending this pamphlet. They are now on our website.)

 


September 9, 2009

My Fellow Comrades, I'm a U.S. Navy veteran & served on board the USS GUAM  LPH9  from 18 May 1967 to 30 October 1969 & remember very well about the attack on the USS Pueblo. I'm behind you men all the way & believe we should stop President Obama from visiting our schools without the parents & guardians there to protect them. I didn't vote for the man & don't think he should be in the White House. 

SN Jon Pat Barnard U.S Navy Retired. 

 


September 11, 2009

 

Here is some information I typed up a few years ago.

 

Donald E. Witmer

CTO2

Navy 1964 - 1968

My name is Donald Witmer  CTO2

  I was stationed on Adak Alaska when the Pueblo was taken. Will never forget the night someone waking me up and telling me to get over to the comm. space now. I was the watch petty officer 2nd class in charge of one of the sections. (I was the only senior petty officer in the barracks at the time). I went over to the comm. space and everyone there was watching the teletype for messages patched through Kami Seya Japan. I remember someone was typing from the Pueblo comm. room and asking where help was. I guess the North Koreans tore down the antennas or killed power to cut them off. It would have taken them some time to get into the comm. rooms. I will never understand why the Navy did not do anything while they were towing the ship into port. I think that was when the "undeclared war" in South Vietnam was lost also.  If our government would not fight for one of our own ships then how could we ever win a "war" in a foreign country? Our division officer was saying at the time we will probably be going to war with North Korea. It concerned me because I was due to get out soon and did not want to spend any more time on Adak Island.  I remember reading about someone saying the United States was going to send some people in and get the ship out. That would have been suicide. The North Koreans were expecting us to try something like that. From the information we were getting there was a large buildup of force when the Pueblo was in port. When we left them take the ship into there port with no show of force all was lost. Anything after that may have started a war.(I read reports that the Russians were hauling our crypto gear out on planes.)  I was very familiar with the crypto gear. I use to established communications with the USS Banner when I was stationed in Kami Seya, Japan. Communications were not very reliable depending upon atmospheric conditions and numerous other factors. The USS Pueblo and USS Banner sister ship would run silent when traveling and would established communications at set times and locations. So that must have been a mess when trying to establish communications when they were being captured. I would guess that they were transmitting in the clear that is why the call signs did not make sense to some people. CTO branch personnel had different message addresses on encrypted massages.

Another subject;  I will never understand how someone could land a crippled plane in China, stay one week, and come back a hero when they had a choice of ditching the plane in the water and having a chance of being rescued. When the Pueblo was "captured", personal "tortured", and they came back a year later treated like criminals. They both did the same job.I understand that if I would have joined the Navy three months ahead of time I may have been on the USS Pueblo. They were outfitting the ship with personnel at that time. I was stationed in Kami Seya Japan from 1965 to 1967. Adak from 1967 to 1968. I was in Kami Seya during the big fire in the radio and T branch shack. (I think it was T branch, they had the upper floor and was off limits to us). Our comm. space did not burn, it was underground. Night watch woke me up and said the comm. space was on fire. The comm. Space was about  ¼ mile down a lane and I could see the red sky from the flames. The building that burned was made out of wood. They had no means of escape; just one staircase and that may be where the fire started.  I remember burning the paper tape for the teletype machines from our comm. space in the incinerator in the building that burned. That is were the incinerator was located, on the ground floor beside the staircase and the exhaust pipe getting red hot from the heat. The pipe was just stuck out through a wooden wall with a crock around it. One person I worked with burned the hair off his arm from a flashed back from the stove. We reported the incident and I understand at the time the person that approved the stove is one that was killed. We did the burn detail (oiled teletype ribbon) at night and that is when the fire started. I think it was listed as an electrical fire, I am an electrician and when there is not a known cause, it is electrical.  I will never forget the burned bodies being carried out on stretchers. I remember everyone had to make one line outside the fenced area and search for messages that my have not burned. When they built a new building all the exit doors could be pushed open to get out.  It did not take the Navy long to get back on the air after the fire. They brought in tractor-trailers with radio gear installed and batched the antennas to it.

Donald Witmer CTO2

 


September 21, 2009

 

I would like to know the procedure for providing information on the USS Pueblo. I was in South Korea from 12-66 through 2-68. I was affiliated with the Signal Corps and Special Ranger Recon unit during that period. Danny Boone (Oregon Native) was also in Communication aboard the USS Pueblo. Much of the information about the USS Pueblo was and still is classified. I was listening when air support was pulled away from the ship, thus leaving it a ‘sitting duck’. I was scheduled to rotate out of Korea in January but was extended several months due to the capture.

Thanks  

David Hughes

 

Editor note: David there was no Danny Boone assigned to the USS PUEBLO AGER-2 

 

 

October 19, 2009

I am trying to find out if this site is still viable. Can anyone advise me if that is so?

 

Bob Evers

101st Airborne Division

Viet Nam 1967-69

 

Editor note: Yes Bob, still viable and on-line  www.usspueblo.org

 

 

 

From: Jim Sipper [mailto:jsipper@pih.net]
Sent:
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 12:23 PM
To: pvapres@usspueblo.org
Subject: USS Pueblo capture

 

Sir,

   My ship, the USS Blue-DD744, was part of the task group sent to

     North Korea in response to the capture of the USS Pueblo. I cannot

      Express the anger and frustration we felt in not being able to do something

       To help. You remained in our prayers then and now.

                                                   Jim Sipper  IC3

                                                     USS Blue  DD-744

 


From: barry.nelson@partnershipforheroes.org [mailto:barry.nelson@partnershipforheroes.org]
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 1:49 PM
To: pvapres@usspueblo.org
Subject: Fund Raiser / Book

 

Dear Sir/Ma'am,

 

I'm trying to get in contact with someone from USS Pueblo Association about a fund raiser and book I'm putting together.  

 The book is a collection of short essays by notable personalities on what it means to be an American.  Together these essays along with a spotlighted bio on the individual or company will be used to show how individual character and diversity is brought together in our country and makes it great.

 All proceeds from the project will go to armed services related charities.  With your help we can reach our million dollar goal.

 Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

 

v/r

Barry Nelson

 


From: Phil Krigel [mailto:philkrigel@yahoo.com]
Sent:
Thursday, December 24, 2009 5:29 PM
To: pvapres@usspueblo.org
Subject: 41 Years ago.

 

On this, the 41st anniversary of your release I want to take this moment to again say welcome home. The heroes of the USS Pueblo will never be forgotten.

Phil Krigel

 

 

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