G E R 2
If they weren't busy performing emergency destruction of classified material pending their imminent capture, the cryptologic technicians aboard the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) may have heard North Korean Navy patrol ships reporting their description and actions back to headquarters. On January 23, 1968, NKN vessels overhauled the slower intelligence collection vessel in international waters and captured the ship, crew, and classified documents left undestroyed. Four crewmen had been wounded by NK gunfire, one (damage control crewman Duane Hodges) later died of his wounds.
Good web sites for this incident are by the USS Pueblo Veteran's Association, Wikipedia, and Mark Evert's salute to the USS Pueblo.
Besides erupting into a bout of internecine finger-pointing, the seizure and captivity of Commander Lloyd Blucher's ship and crew served up a putrid pile of lessons to those in the intelligence collection business. Improving the curriculum in the service survival schools, the incident also proved a good motivational tool in the cryptologic training business. We used to show the TV movie Pueblo in our technical school for that purpose.
The brutality of the Stalinist North Koreans is legendary. I heard that a survival instructor once gave this advice for those about to undergo interrogation at their hands:
Place one of your testicles on the table and smash it with a brick. Hand them the brick. They'll leave you alone afterwards.BTW: I got to meet James Hong who played "Super C" in Pueblo. He's much cooler than Gary Busey.
The USS Pueblo is still in the registry of US Navy vessels, even though it is now docked near Pyongyang and used as a propaganda museum.