42 Years Ago in Naval History

January 23rd, 2010 by xformed

The USS PUEBLO (AGER-2) was captured by the North Koreans.  It is the only US Navy ship that another nation holds.


On January 23rd, 1968, CDR Lloyd Bucher, USN and his crew found out what kind of hazardous duty they were in for, by sitting off the coast to gather intelligence by electronic means (ELINT).

Click the picture for a larger image

The ship remains at a pier in Pyongyang as a museum for the North Korean Government.

The crew of the USS PUEBLO endured torture for the 11 months of captivity, at the hands of the North Koreans. From the entry at Wikipedia:

Commander Lloyd M. Bucher, Commanding Officer of the Pueblo, was tortured and put through a mock firing squad in an effort to make him confess. Eventually the Koreans threatened to execute his men in front of him, and Bucher relented. None of the Koreans knew English well enough to write the confession, so they had Bucher write it himself. They verified the meaning of his words, but failed to catch the pun when he said “We paean the DPRK. We paean the Korean people. We paean their great leader Kim Il Sung”.[12][13] (The word “paean” sounds identical to the term pee on.)

This behavior is little different from the behavior of the North Koren Government we see now, with the exception that they now threaten civilians, and not just the militaries of other nations.

Of course, the sad part is CDR Bucher was Courts-Martialed upon being released from his captivity, which, appears to not be his fualt, but more of a system that didn’t keep up on “situational awareness,” let alone having some force of our own waiting in the wings to help, if necessary.  Cdr Bucher passed away in 2004, with the effects of his torture causing complications that led to his death.

Category: History, Military, Navy | 1 Comment »

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