USS Pueblo III  

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Pueblo III AGER-2

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Pueblo III

(AGER-2: dp. 85li; 1. 176'6"; b. 32'; dr. 9'3"; cpl. 81; s. 12 k.; cl. Banner) !

The third Pueblo (AGER-2), built for the Army Transportation Corps as FP-S44, a general purpose supply vessel, by the Kewaunee Shlpbuilding and Engineering Corp., Kewaunee, Wise., was launched 16 April 1944; sponsored by Mrs. C. L. Duvall; and delivered to the Army 5 July 1944. Later redesignated FS-S44, the supply vessel served in the Philippines as an Army harbor craft. She was taken out of service in 1954 and laid up, first at Clatskanie, Ore., then at Rio Vista, Calif. No longer needed by the Army she was transferred to the Navy 12 April 1966; renamed Pueblo (AKL 44), 18 June 1966; converted to an environmental research vessel at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, redesignated AGER-2 2 May 1967; and commissioned 13 May 1967, Comdr. Lloyd M. Bucher in command.

Following shakedown and operations off the west coast, Pueblo departed San Diego 6 November 1967, enroute to Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka, Japan. Arriving at the latter 1 December, Pueblo was assigned to intelligence and oceanographic data eolleetion duties in the Sea of Japan. On 23 January 1968, while in international waters, the ship was closed by a North Korean patrol boat and ordered to heave to or be fired upon. Pueblo continued on. Additional patrol craft later joined the first and, after firing on Pueblo and wounding four of her crew, boarded the AGER and took her into Wonsan harbor. Her 80 surviving crew members and two civilian oceanographers, held captive for 11 months, were released at Panmunjom 23 December 1968.