On June 8 1967, the USS Liberty (AGTR 5) was attacked in international waters by Israeli forces killing 34 Americans and wounding another 171. Seven out of every 10 crew members was either killed or injured. Let us remember those who were killed and those who survived, including their families – many have physical and emotional scars that they will carry for the rest of their lives.
The men who gave their lives:
Enter aCT3 William B. Allenbaugh, USN January 23, 1944 – June 8, 1967 caption
LCDR Philip M. Armstrong, Jr. USN July 4, 1929 – June 8, 1967
Allen M. Blue, USNR September 5, 1943 – June 8, 1967
QM3 Francis Brown, USN May 6, 1947 – June 8, 1967 (Plank Owner)
CT2 Ronnie J. Campbell, USN November 4, 1943 – June 8, 1967
CT3 Jerry L. Converse, USN June 11, 1943 – June 8, 1967
CT2 Robert B. Eisenberg, USN October 12, 1944 – June 8, 1967
CT3 Jerry L. Goss, USN May 30, 1941 – June 8, 1967
CTSN Lawrence P. Hayden, USN June 16, 1947 – June 8, 1967
CTI Warren E. Hersey, USN October 14, 1943 – June 8, 1967
CTSN Alan Higgins, USN January 27, 1948 – June 8, 1967
SN Carl L. Hoar, USN May 29, 1945 – June 8, 1967
CT2 Richard W. Keene, Jr., USN Fall 1945 – June 8, 1967
CTSN James L. Lenau, USN January 9, 1947 – June 8, 1967
CTC Raymond E. Linn, USN June 30, 1928 – June 8, 1967
CTI James M. Lupton, USN October 29, 1942 – June 8, 1967
CT3 Duane R. Marggraf, USN January 27, 1945 – June 8, 1967
CTSN David W. Marlborough, USN September 28, 1948 – June 8, 1967
CT2 Anthony P. Mendle, USN December 4, 1945 – June 8, 1967
CTSN Carl C. Nygren, USN May 17, 1945 – June 8, 1967
SGT Jack L. Raper, USMC August 28, 1944 – June 8, 1967
CPL Edward E. Rehmeyer, USMC September 25, 1945– June 8, 1967
LT James C. Pierce, USN July 11, 1924 – June 8, 1967
ICFN David Skolak, USN August 12, 1946 – June 8, 1967
CTI John C. Smith, Jr., USN July 13, 1943 – June 8, 1967
CTC Melvin D. Smith, USN February 27, 1929 – June 8, 1967
PC2 John C. Spicher, USN February 15, 1937 – June 8, 1967
GMG3 Alexander N. Thompson, Jr., USN April 5, 1943 – June 8, 1967
CT3 Thomas R. Thornton, USN February 1, 1944 – June 8, 1967
CT3 Philippe C. Tiedtke, USN October 17, 1944 – June 8, 1967
LT Stephen S. Toth, USN September 12, 1939 – June 8, 1967
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8 June 2020 at 11:51
I remember this like it was yesterday.
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8 June 2020 at 15:51
Mario, thank you for the photos – it is a fitting reminder of the actual sacrifice made by the men of the Liberty. Our lives have continued from that point, but not for those gallant men. The following is an excerpt I posted a few backs to another Naval organization concerning this matter. Believe me, I am not anti-Israel (hardly), but facts are facts. Here goes:
I was active duty handling highly classified top secret messages then for NSA, and was taken back by the openness of some of the messages. When the Liberty was attacked, the Navy at NSA revealed information normally held in close quarters. One thing always ignored was the fact that an Israeli fighter jet spotted the Liberty and radioed back the ships position. Intercepts of the Israeli plane transmissions clearly revealed that Israel knew it was the USS Liberty. The plane made these transmissions 45 minutes prior to Israel attacking the Liberty. Admiral Moore later revealed this in Congressional hearings. Israel attacked us because they were afraid of intelligence being revealed about their impending military operations in the six day war. They were wary of our intentions. Also, we did not want to reveal the fact that we were intercepting Israeli military communications – it could be taken as siding with the Arabs (which was not true). But we always intercepted everyone’s communications with the exception of Canada, Great Britain (but not always), Australia, and New Zealand; everyone else was fair game. Also, whatever compensation Israel provided to family victims was money given to Israel by the US as “military aid”. When Israel received the US government “aid”, it then provided compensation to the family victims. But none of these documented facts are ever revealed to the public.
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8 June 2020 at 17:17
Lynn, Thank you for your comments. Sincerely, Mario
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5 August 2020 at 02:08
Thank You so much for posting this information. It is rewarding to confirm things I already know, but also to learn a couple of new facts. My brother, David, was killed on the U.S.S. Liberty. Sadly, he was doing his job destroying Top Secret Information in the the room where the final Israeli torpedo struck. All of the crew served with Honor and Bravery. But President Johnson and the Country certainly did not by choosing Israel over our men.
5 August 2020 at 03:39
You are quite welcome Allan. David was a hero who gave his life for you and me, and the rest of our country. He will be in my prayers tonight. Johnson chose politics over honor, but we who served will always honor David. As usual, the media played their favorites, and ignored the sacrifices our military men and women made. And it influenced the people of our country and their opinions. But you and I know the truth.
8 August 2020 at 18:38
Thanks for Remembering the USS Liberty. One of the biggest films of all will be coming out this fall on the Liberty. TruNews is bringing some of us to Vero Beach, Florida to preview the film, for any mistakes, or flaws. It will take two days to preview, but it will be my last trip like this. I was the POIC of the body recovery, and was about forty foot from the torpedo explosion when it happened. Very happy to still be here.
8 June 2020 at 19:47
I also remember the attack on the USS Liberty. When it finally limped back to Little Creek Amphib base, the chief and I went to collect the unopened ARFCOS package we had sent them. The original RPS (Registered Publications) custodian was killed. The replacement RPS Custodian took us around the ship and gave us a briefing on the events. (I have always hoped he would write a book about this experience. He had lots of pictures). You will notice on the list that most of the men were Cryptologic Techs (CTs) Our guide said the first strike hit the Special Compartment Facility (SCIF) where they worked, of course. This is all hearsay evidence, but I was told that after the first strike, the Liberty ran up the holiday ensign. The attack continued. Men in the water were machine gunned.
9 June 2020 at 00:13
wow. that was a lot of CT personnel to loose in one operation. so much for diplomats protecting us from unnecessary loss of life.
9 June 2020 at 19:32
I was Ssgt. in the US Air Force stationed in Turkey. I remember this day well as several personnel from our station had been deployed to the ship to work as some were killed. One had a wife at the station and when she heard her husband had been killed she broke down and they had to send her back to the US. Sill can’t understand why we had a US Navy Air Craft in the Med. and the planes that were sent out were called back. Maybe if they had gotten to the ship they could have stopped the planes from bombing and shooting up the ship. Who made the call to call them back?
11 June 2020 at 23:46
Don’t know if the truth will ever be told, but it won’t be because we didn’t try. I was the POIC of body recovery. Yes, they machine gunned the life boats, yes they circled us all morning long, they waved at some of the men on the fan tail, when they went by. Yes, the Star of David was visible, on those planes. Yes we were sent 1000 miles for repairs when Souda Bay was more available. Yes LBJ said he didn’t care what happened to us.
12 June 2020 at 00:25
One comment: I was forbidden to intercept British Commonwealth or ISRAELI. CDR David Lewis Research Officer USS Liberty
12 June 2020 at 01:52
CDR Lewis. Interception of Israeli plane communications would have been done by the Air Force. British communications interceptions (when performed) would not be done by Naval personnel. Thank you sir for your service on the Liberty.
12 June 2020 at 13:01
Thank you all for exposing more true facts about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Little by little the TRUTH is outing and revealing the complicity of the United States in supporting and funding the dastardly acts of Israel against the indiginous Palestinians over the past seventy plus years.
15 April 2021 at 04:16
Edward Davis Lewis: what the Liberty incident has to do with”indigenous Palestinians”, except of your filthy antisemitism in the middle? There are no “Palestinians” except of Jews who are indigenous to the Land of Israel.
8 August 2021 at 03:21
Shame on Israel’s arrogance!
23 August 2021 at 00:35
REMEMBER BEING ABOUT 10 YRS OLD , FAMILY FRIENDS LIVING ACROSS THE STREET IN SPRINGFIELD,MA. , RECIEVED NOTICE FROM USN .PLAYMATE ALLAN’S BROTHER , DAVID WAS INSTANTLY KILLED , BY WAR TORPEDO … IS HERE ANY OTHER KIND. VERY SAD . ATTENDED LOWKEY MEDALS CEREMONY WITH MOM’S..FIRST HEARING LBJ STATEMENT …HAD I BEEN A GROWN MAN, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE HAD A PRIVATE WORD WITH HIM ,ABOUT THAT . WAR, SPY GAME…VERY NASTY BUSINESS . R.I.P. FELLAS .
10 June 2022 at 17:28
Fair winds and following seas brothers!
28 July 2022 at 23:37
I remember it well! The Captain received the Medal of Honor for his actions on getting the ship back while he was wounded. You receive the Medal in White House by President, but he received his medal late at night at a ship repair shop. Lower rated Admiral drive up to shack, handed him the Medal, and got in car and drove off into the night. This was not America’s finest hour.
29 July 2022 at 02:39
Wow never heard it put that way. We were just recently there at the shipyard, and the museum. I asked where my Captain received the Medal of Honor, in which part of the building? No one knew.
12 August 2022 at 00:56
President Johnson asked Israel if the Captain could receive the Medal Of Honor. Israel said absolutely…the Captain and the crew fought well and did everything they could do to save lives. President asking and not presenting the Medal in the WH has never set well with me.
12 August 2022 at 01:14
There is another political move in the mix that Israel liked to take credit for…Injuried and killed crew received compensation! At that time money was following from USA to Israel like a River. Inflation was through the roof! It is my understanding that the money was sent to Israel tacked onto the regular USA payments and then Israel sent the compensation payments to the crew. I guess this is what really happened. I don’t think Israel gave the crew a dime.
12 August 2022 at 02:51
Look at my 8 June 2020 post where I stated ” Also, whatever compensation Israel provided to family victims was money given to Israel by the US as “military aid”. When Israel received the US government “aid”, it then provided compensation to the family victims. But none of these documented facts are ever revealed to the public.” If memory serves me correctly, I believe the amount was $16 million dollars. Israel and Lyndon Johnson were both a disgrace in this matter.
27 February 2023 at 22:22
Chief Doug Smith was a dear an close friend down at Sabana Seca, PR back in 59-61. Condolences to his wife Judy an Children. May he rest in peace. I was known as Joe Jordan in those days. Regard Judy.
27 February 2023 at 22:39
I was a CT2 with NSG and helped the ship get ready to go on their trip. I am sorry to hear that another Hero has left us. My Sympathy to the family and this crew will be remembered. Chet Cohron