On January 28, 1968, fourteen miles from North Korean land, the USS PUEBLO was attacked and captured by overwhelming forces from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The crew was detained and interrogated until their release on December 23, 1968, 338 days after their capture. Despite the crew’s valiant efforts to destroy classified materials on board, much was not destroyed and fell into North Korean hands when the ship was captured. Many believe the Soviets were given access to the ship, including the cryptographic devices.
23 December 2020 at 15:25
The USS Pueblo and the EC-121 shootdown both reflect the failure of NSA to provide the Office of the Joint Chief’s of Staff and the National Military Command Center with messages detailing the interception locations that would be required to use the EHF and SHF receivers that were in place on these assets. 14 miles off the coast of North Korea with no ships nor aircraft to provide any type of response in case of the use of military weapons by the North Koreans was totally stupid. I worked in the NMCC and heard the Admirals and Generals once again condemn NSA in failing to provide the NMCC with up to the minute reports of the ship and aircraft movements. They spoke in anger that NSA failed to provide this info even after there had been a meeting following the USS Liberty which also was not reporting to the NMCC nor OJCS. Those senior Flag Officers were very upset that the NSA was hanging the NMCC out on a limb of being responsible for the control of those assets, but had no way to really exercise such control since NSA was assuming all control and providing no asset in case of any hostile action. The NSA did provide the Joint Reconnaisance Center with info about the mission but the JRC had no authority to order ships and planes to protect and defend the SIGINT assets.
23 December 2020 at 16:55
Pueblo’s first emergency message didn’t reach the headquarters of the Fifth Air Force, the command tasked with providing support in the event of trouble, until two hours after its transmission. The Air Force then had problems preparing existing aircraft to fly this mission (they were configured for carrying nuclear bombs). Air support from other areas was suppressed for various reasons. Intelligence ships like the Pueblo were never given Naval escorts. Thus, the Pueblo was left to defend for itself. Fireman Duane Hodges was killed defending the ship. Pueblo attack was requested by the Soviets. Traitor Walker was supplying the Soviets with the KW-26 code books, but the Soviets did not have that machine. The Pueblo did. The KW-26 was not destroyed because the incendiary grenades malfunctioned. Classified material was burned in trash baskets, but the smoke overwhelmed everyone, and burning ceased. I was active duty then, and in fact, was wondering if the Pueblo would be my next duty station (my tour in Anchorage completed one week prior to the Pueblo’s departure from Seattle).
23 December 2020 at 18:26
As always, very interesting (including the two comments above)!