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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
USN July 1944
USN October 19, 1967
Built by 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 under the command of Captain Lt. J. R. Choate, USCGR with a U. S. Coast Guard crew.
Assigned to the U. S. Army as Freight and Supply 344 (FP-344). Used for training civilians for the U. S. Army. On September 12, 1945 assigned to Captain Lt(jg) Marvin B. Barker. Afterwards, her designation was changed to Freight and Passenger 344 (FP-344) and operated in the Philippines.
This vessel returned to the United States. In 1954 laid and remained in reserve until April 1966 and 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.
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.
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.
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, the deck masts were cut off and photographed on shore. Likely, the masts were cut off to facilitate movement from her mooring to her new mooring.
Since 2013, displayed at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum (North Korean War Museum). The ship is open to visitors allowing them to tour the vessel including the forward deck, bridge and stern. Guides point to battle damage and equipment aboard.
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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