THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE USS PUEBLO by Ed. Brandt

THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE USS PUEBLO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a very thorough, detailed documentary of a nightmare that began on January 22, 1968 and lasted for eleven months. It's a saga of heroism and self-doubt, of intense pain and equal fortitude yet with some incredible comic moments. It reinforces the fact that the Pueblo was the victim of communications breakdowns in a buck-passing military hierarchy. It also points out that her Captain and men, although forced to commit traitorous acts, were admirably heroic under conditions of escalating torture. It demonstrates how men can survive, maintain morale and even retaliate via the famous ""finger"" episode when the entire crew started using an obscene gesture, explaining to the unsuspecting Koreans that it was a Hawaiian good luck symbol. This also shows the reactions of a brainwashed North Korean police state which has a museum filled with relics of American ""atrocities."" There are characters like ""The Bear,"" a hatchetman who conducted one particularly brutal ""Hell Week""; ""The Fly"" who stole their meagre food until someone doctored up an apple; and enough beatings, bruises; broken bones and near fatalities to fill a hospital ship's log. Unfortunately, the author limits himself to the tale and doesn't touch on crucial issues raised that need examination. Such as the question of future POW conduct, moral vs. patriotic, commitments and where the U.S. stands in regard to future ""incidents."" But as bleak history it should, undeniably, be read.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1969
Publisher: Norton