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Crew of the U.S.S. Pueblo commemorates 50th anniversary

Posted at 7:49 AM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 08:50:49-04
USS Pueblo at dock
In this Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, photo, a North Korean military security guard keeps watch over the USS Pueblo in Pyongyang, North Korea. The Pueblo, an American spy ship, was attacked and captured by North Korea 50 years ago this week. The iconic spy ship, on display in Pyongyang, is the only commissioned US Navy ship held by a foreign government. (AP Photo/Eric Talmadge)

PUEBLO – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo by North Korean forces. The ship was taken to the Port of Wonsan and the crew was taken to a POW camp where they were starved and tortured for almost a year.

The Center for American Values is honored the crew of the ship on Wednesday as they shared their stories with the community and students in the city of the ship’s namesake.

Crew members say the ship was vastly outnumbered outside of North Korean waters by two submarine chasers, four torpedo boats, and two MiG-21 fighter jets. Once surrounded, North Korean forces attempted to board the Pueblo, but the crew maneuvered to prevent this until they were attacked. One of the submarine chasers opened fire on the Pueblo with their 57mm cannon, killing one crew member, and another enemy ship opened fire with machine guns.

After months of negotiations between the United States and North Korea, the crew was released in December of 1968. The ship itself remains in North Korea to this day.

The Center for American Values is located at 101 S. Main St. Pueblo, CO 81003.

USS Pueblo Crew
In this January 23, 1968 photo from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, distributed by Korea News Service, (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP Images)