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  USS Pueblo AGER-2 / FP-344 / FS-344 / AKL-44
USN
Banner-class Technical Research Ship

850 Tons (as built)
345 Tons (dead)
895 Tons (full)
177' x 32' x 9'
2 x 50 caliber MG
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USN July 1944

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USN October 19, 1967

Ship History
Built by the Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. Launched April 16, 1944 sponsored by , Mrs. C.L. Duvall, mother of 2nd Lt. C.G. Duvall who died piloting a B-17 in Iowa during a snowstorm on March 6, 1944. Commissioned April 7, 1945 at New Orleans, Louisiana and assigned to the U. S. Army.

Wartime History
During the war, served as a US Coast Guard (USCG) manned Army vessel used for training civilians for the U. S. Army. Assigned to Captain Lt. J. R. Choate, USCGR. Later, Lt. J.G. Marvin B. Barker, USCGR on September 12, 1945. Designated by the United States Army as (FP-344). Later, re-designated as Freight and Supply ship FS-344 (Freight and Passenger) and operated in the Philippines.

Postwar
Laid up in 1954, she remained in reserve until April 1966 when transferred to the United States Navy (USN) and renamed USS Pueblo for Pueblo County, Colorado, the third U.S. Navy ship named "Pueblo". Initially used as a light cargo ship designated AKL-44, then converted to an intelligence gathering ship and conducted training operations off San Diego and the coast of California.

During November 1967 departed for the Far East. On May 13, 1967 re-designated Auxiliary General Environmental Research-2 (AGER-2) on May 1967. Placed under the command of Commander Lloyd M. Bucher.

Mission History
On January 5, 1968 departed Yokosuka for Sasebo. On January 11, 1968 departed northward through the Tsushima Strait into the Sea of Japan. The voyage was to conduct surveillance of Soviet Naval activity in the Tsushima Strait and to gather signal and electronic intelligence from North Korea.

Capture
On January 23, 1968 Pueblo was boarded by the Korean People's Army Naval Force (KPN) off Wonsan. During the capture, Seaman Duane Daniel Hodges was killed.

Fates of the Crew
The rest of the crew were detained for eleven months in North Korea and often subjected to inhumane conditions. On December 23, 1968 the entire crew including the body Seaman Hodges were repatriated to South Korea, crossing the "Bridge of No Return" on the 38th parallel to the U.N. Advance Camp, Korean Demilitarized Zone in South Korea. Afterwards, the crew were flown to NAS Miramar and reunited with their families.

Display
Although the USS Pueblo is still claimed as US Navy property, the ship was retained by North Korea. Initially, the ship was displayed for 30 years at Wonsan and Hungham.

During the 2000s moored in the Taedong River in Pyongyang and open to visitors as a museum ship, telling the North Korean side of the vessel's capture.

In November or December 2012, USS Pueblo was moved from her mooring to another location. Likely the ship will be installed at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (North Korean War Museum). Prior to the movement, the deck masts were cut off and photographed on shore. Likely, the masts were cut off to facilitate movement to the museum.

References
Navy Vessel Register - USNS Pueblo (AGER-2)
USS Pueblo (AGER-2) Official Website
NHC "USS Pueblo (AGER-2, originally AKL-44), 1967"
NHC "U.S. Army cargo ship FP-344 (1944-1966) Later renamed FS-344"
NHC "USS Pueblo (AGER-2) On Board Views"
NHC "USS Pueblo (AGER-2) Seizure by North Korea, January 1968"
NHC "USS Pueblo (AGER-2) Repatriation of Crew, December 1968"

FindAGrave - Lt. Clarence G Duvall (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Duane Hodges (photo, grave photo)
YouTube "Inside North Korea - Part 1 of 3" Shane Smith tours USS Pueblo 14:06 - 17:14)
Pritzker Military "The Ongoing Story of USS Pueblo, with Executive Officer Edward R. Murphy, Jr." Sept 30, 2014

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018

 

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