Mt. Vernon Register-News from Mt Vernon, Illinois on January 22, 1969 · Page 5
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Mt. Vernon Register-News from Mt Vernon, Illinois · Page 5

Mt Vernon, Illinois
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 22, 1969
Page 5
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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22, 1969 As Reds Closed In On Ship Pueblo Captain Reported Directly To White House •- f - THE REGISTER-NEWS — MT. VERNON, ILLINOIS 5—A By RICHARD E. MEYER Associated Press Writer CORONADO, Calif. (AP) — The USS Pueblo's skipper says he Used a communication priority direct to the White House as well as to his Navy superiors in Japan , after North Korean gunboats surrounded his intelligence ship. Cradr. Lloyd Bucher told a Navy court of inquiry Tuesday he kept the channels open as the North Koreans made their first attempt to put a boarding party aboard. Minutes later, a salvo of shells from a subchaser raked his radar mast, wounding him and three of his crew. Bucher said! he did not order his crew to man their two machine guns and fight because it would have meant certain death for the gunners since the sub chaser and three torpedo boats were standing at pointblank -O- -0- . -o- -o- -0- range. He said he had "no hope,had been a delay in informing then President Johnson. The delay was attributed to the time it took presidential aide Walt W Rostow to. compile information for a briefing. When the joint chiefs of staff were informed has never been disclosed but the then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara was said to have received word nine minutes after the Pueblo sent its fi nal message. By then the North Koreans had taken over the ship, one crewman was wounded fatally and the other 82 aboard were headed for 11 months imprison ment. Bucher said earlier his assignment was to conduct surveillance on Soviet ships in the Sea of Japan and monitor North Korean radar. It was halfway, through his of outrunning them" to avoid capture. The 41-year-old officer spoke calmly to the five admirals comprising the court, but—his angular jaw dripping with perspiration—he appeared emotionally drained when he finished Tuesday. By then he had testified for 12 haul's over two days. He resumes his story today. He did not elaborate on a brief reference to the White House, and was not questioned about it. There was no indication if he had received instructions from anyone. Navy sources said they believed! this was the first public mention of messages from the Pueblo directed to the White House. A White House spokesman said last year, shortly after the Pueblo was seized, that there SEE OUR BEAUTIFUL SELECTION OF NEW SPRING FABRICS And Pick Up All Your Sewing Needs At SINGER. LUVLIN The crisp linen look for dresses, suits, and of course, sportswear. 100% rayon, wrinkle- resistant, hand washable, 42" wide. Reg. $1.39 NOW 98* Yard FAIRWAY PRINTS Soft, supple easy to sew, easy care, 65% dacron polyester, 85% cotton, fully washable. 44-45" Wide. Reg. $1.49 NOW Yard 98* POLYESTER KNITS A few colors left, 60- in. wide, washable, year round, a beautiful fabric. Save now. Reg. $6.98 NOW $4 98 Yard 1 GROUP WOOLENS - Selling Now All 54 Inches Wide. Regular Price $3.98 A Yard 30% OFF SEE OUR REMNANT RACK Bargains On Dress Lengths Reduced Up To jJQ^^) COME IN AND BROWSE AROUND REGISTER FOR OUR PRIZE RUSH GAME Pick up your free game card. You might win one of many valuable prizes. No purchase necessary. "WHAT'S NEW FOR TOMORROW IS AT SINGER TODAY" SINGER SEWING CENTER PARK PLAZA Open 9 Til 9 P.M. Except Saturday Close At 6:30 P.M. -o- -o- -o- narrative Tuesday that Bucher told about messages designed for his commanders in Japan and ultimately the White House "I raised the precedence on the messages from flash to critic," Bucher said, a Navy priority rating that meant they went "immediately and straight to the White House." He said he told his radiomen to keep the channels open. When the subchaser was first spotted, Bucher said, he went to the wardroom and looked at it through binoculars. "There were 10 to 12 people on the bridge, most of them with binoculars trained on us and watching us. I suspected this was nothing more than routine surveillance." He reported rasing flags to show the Pueblo was taking hydrographic tests. What nationality?" the sub chaser asked. "I was not particularly apprehensive," Bucher said! but added that he ordered the engines prepared to maneuver and emergency message blanks broken out. Then/ he said, CWO Gene Howard Lacy "reported sighting three torpedo boats headed in our direction, operating from the same location (Wonsan Harbor) as the sub chaser. The sub chaser then hoisted flags demanding "heave to or I will fire," Bucher said. "I was momentarily confused as to just what he meant by that message since I was, dead in the water." Bucher said he signaled, "I am in international waters." As the torpedo boats approached, Bucher said Quartermaster Law fixed, the Pueblo's location at 15.8 miles from nearest land. Bucher said this was confirmed by Navigator Ec> ward Murphy Jr. and "I myself went down to the wheelhouse and manned the radar ... and confirmed it." A junior officer asked about scuttling the Pueblo, but Bucher said it wouuld have taken more than 2V2 hours and the vessel was in only 30 fathoms of water. 'Also the water temperature was freezing," Bucher said 1 . "A nian cannot survive but very few minutes in that kind of water—perhaps less than five minutes." At this point, Bucher said he ordered his men to prepare to destroy the classified material. 'At about the same time, two MIG aircraft, I believe they were MIG - 21s, passed directly Legal Notice STATE OF ILLINOIS IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT JEFFERSON COUNTY NOTICE OF CLAIM DAY In The Matter of The Estate of DORAN KERNODLE No. 69-P-3 Notice is given of the death of the above and that letters of Administration wore issued Jan. 10, 1969, to Harry L. Bishop, Sr., Centralia Road, Mt. Vemon, Illinois whose attorneys are Kirk & Musick, First National Bank Building, Mt. Vernon, Illinois and that Monday, March 3, 1969. is the claim date for the estate. Claims against said estate should be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court at the County Courthouse in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, and copies thereof mailed or delivered to said legal representative and to said attorneys of record. Dated, Jan. 13, 1969. Jerry B. Gott (Clerk of the Circuit Court) 1-29 Days of Lent We speak of the 40 days of Lent although it really lasts over six weeks. The 40 days refers to the fast days; Sundays are feast days. Taking out the six Sundays in Lent, there are 40 days of Lenten, observance. over the ship. 'Friar Tuck (the nickname for the oceanographer) get that damn gear up here,' Bucher said he shouted. "I'm leaving!' I said on the bridge, 'I'll be damned if they are going to get away with that.' So I got under way out to sea. "I ordered a modified general quarters and hoisted the flag j signals, hoping to confuse the sub chaser. 'Thank you for your consideration,' " Bucher said he messaged, " 'I am departing.' " "They started playing porpoise, crossing my bow at 10 yards, and keeping all guns aimed at me. I did not feel at any time, though, that there was any point in going to war. I was completely and hopelessly outgunned. To man our .50-cali- bre machine guns would have been to send a man up to that gun, and that would have been certain death to him. Bucher said the sub chaser again signaled "heave to, or I will fire on you." "I ignored this," Bucher said 1 Then, he said, the firing started SHOP A T.. GLENN'S 4 SHOP HERE and k SAVElj Phone 242-5814 525 Old Fairfield Road Prices Good Thurs., Fri. and Sat. — Jan. 23—24—25 Store Hours: 8:00 To 6:00 P.M. Open Frday Nites Till 8:00, P.M. 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