I’m old enough to remember the headlines. I’m old enough to have read the account of the capture of USS Pueblo (AGER-2) an unarmed, Banner Class environmental research ship attached to the Naval Security group, and its parent, the National Security Agency.
Pueblo was in international waters on January 23, 1968 when it was attacked by North Korea in what is presently known as the Pueblo Incident.
The seizure of the U.S. Navy ship and her 83 crew members, one of whom was killed in the attack, came less than a week after President Lyndon Johnson’s State of the Union address, a week before the start of the Tet Offensive in the Republic of Vietnam and three days after 32 men of the North Korean Army’s KPA Unit 124 had crossed the Korean Demilitarized Zone and killed 26 South Koreans in an attempt to attack the South Korean Blue House (executive mansion) in Seoul.
If I’d been president, I would have ordered a nuclear strike on Wansan Harbor and on Pyongyang. And let the chips fall where they may. The F-105’s then available for a response were all armed with nuclear weapons at the time.
Piracy on the high seas comes easily to the North Koreans and their friends, the Communist Chinese, as has been discussed. Cowardice on the part of US leadership was disgusting to me then as it is today.
The taking of Pueblo and the abuse and torture of her crew during the subsequent 11-month prisoner drama was a stain on American honor. The Pueblo is currently a war memorial and museum, maintained by the North Koreans. Pueblo is the only ship of the US Navy, still on the commissioned roster currently being held captive.
As the North Korean dictator clings to life and as the US has intensified the surveillance of that rogue communist regime, it’s right and proper that we remember the Pueblo.
Questions of why the USS Pueblo was unarmed and unable to defend itself track back to the National Security Agency, NSA, or “No Such Agency”. It was an obsession of secrecy over rationality and 86 men paid for that foolishness. they could have put the same suite of equipment on a destroyer or cruiser in that day as the US Navy later did, and it would have worked fine.
All too often, political dictates translate into betraying the troops.
I can tick off a number of examples, generally known and closely held. The bottom line is that you look after your men because it’s unlikely that anyone else will. Keep them from getting cold, wet, and hungry and shield them from upper echelons. You won’t likely get promoted that far, but F-it.
At the very least an airstrike should have been sent to destroy their “trophy.” It’s not too late.
I can but hope but when we start shooting, we send one Tomahawk to end the Pueblo’s pain.
As I read the article and saw the mention that the Norks have made a display of it, I thought that we should send in a couple of F-35s with appropriate armmament to sink the Pueblo. They would be in and out before the Norks knew what had happened.
I believe the Pueblo had two MaDuce on the bridge. Not much when faced with the firepower the Norks had.
Petty Officer Duane Hodges, 21, of Creswell, Oregon died manning one of those exposed mounts.
A good man gone.
To defend herself, she had only two jam-prone .50-caliber machine guns.
Jam-prone? Bullshit. Proper cleaning and head space setting and you will melt the barrel before a M-2 jams. I never fired one in combat but put a lot of rounds through one in training. My engineer company had eight for AA defense.
I have not found the M-2 to be prone to jamming. I looked at the link cited and it was ’empty’ but notwithstanding, I don’t recall the M-2’s on the Pueblo jamming during the fight. Then again, I haven’t delved deeply into the fight for some time and my memory might have faded in that regard. The Pueblo was subject to considerable fire from a number of North Korean Navy vessels and they concentrated fire on the bridge, where the two M-2’s were mounted, completely exposed.
The M-2’s were a sop to the Navy, which wanted something to shoot. The NSA and Naval Security Group felt that the more innocent the ship was, the better. Unfortunately for them, the Norks (like the Chinese) simply view “unarmed” as an opportunity. And they judged American leadership well.
What are your thoughts on the Chinese naval presence in Malaysian waters?
President Xi ordered and/or approved the order. They’re surveying to build another “island” that they can claim is sovereign territory. Now that President Trump is in charge, it’s a different game than when the feckless, weak, dope smoking, metrosexual Obama was in charge. The Chinese hope that Biden, their bought man, will win and stay bought in November. For now, they will pull back and wait. It would not be characteristic for them to fight it out with a US task force, supplemented with Australian ships and a healthy supply of US submarines.
A guy that went to the same church that my late parents did was in part resposible for the capture of the Pueblo. He was a total power grabbing asshole.
Got that off my chest!
Thanks for sharing.
I was a crew-member on USS Yorktown, CVS-10 as part of the task force, with USS Ranger, USNS Nimitz, and more support ships than you could count, dispatched to rescue the Pueblo and her crew. We didn’t. Still chaps my fuckng ass.
We could have but for cowardice in high places. Not your fault, not the fault of the Navy or the Air Force. It was LBJ, and may his soul rot in Hell.
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