North Korea celebrates 50th Anniversary of the capture of the USS Pueblo


Captured crewmembers of the USS PUEBLO giving the “Hawaiian Good Luck Sign,” 1968.

[USNI News 24 January 2018.]

North Korea celebrated the 50th anniversary of the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) incident on Tuesday via broadcasts on state television and in an international press statement.

In 1968, the North Korean Navy captured the signals intelligence ship USS Pueblo (AGER-2) and its crew of 82 sailors. The sailors suffered starvation and torture and were used for propaganda purposes for almost a year before a release was negotiated in December of 1968.
Pueblo’s crew resisted when possible, most notably by frequently raising their middle fingers to ruin propaganda photo ops staged by the North Koreans, telling their captors the gesture was considered a “Hawaiian Good Luck Sign,” according to the Navy investigation. The crew was severely beaten near the end of their confinement when the North Koreans learned the gesture’s true meaning.

[More at the link above.]



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2 Responses to “North Korea celebrates 50th Anniversary of the capture of the USS Pueblo”

  1. ksbeth Says:

    i remember this from when i was a child – i’ll never forget it

  2. Bunk Strutts Says:


    I was young as well, didn’t understand what it was about at the time, but knew that it was a big deal because Walter Cronkite said so.

    That Cmdr. “Pete” Bucher, was castigated for not fighting against a vastly superior force with a ship that was virtually unarmed (and that the US Navy ignored requests for help) was abhorrent. All crew members survived the horrific ordeal.

    This wasn’t the first time that a US reconnaissance ship was attacked and abandoned by her own government. A few months earlier, the USS Liberty suffered a similar fate, but with casualties.

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