In 1998 the crew of PUEBLO reunited at a thirty year anniversary reunion in San Diego, California. At the reunion both a producer and associate producer from CBS News Productions were in attendance to inform the crew that they were in the process of producing a one hour documentary about the Pueblo Incident. It would be shown in 1999 on the History Channel. A number of PUEBLO crewmembers were interviewed and filmed about their experiences. When the show aired on Sunday night March 28, 1999 the crew was astonished to find that the producers had presented a conclusion that the USS PUEBLO was attacked and captured by North Korean forces at the behest of the Soviet Union. The sole purpose being to obtain a working KW-7, Orestes cryptographic machine. This assertion was based on an interview with Oleg Kalugin a former high ranking KGB officer who defected to the US in 1995. The Soviets at the time of the attack on PUEBLO were receiving month old outdated Top Secret code key cards from US Navy Chief Warrant Officer John Walker. In theory, without a working KW-7, the key cards they were receiving via Walker were useless. CWO Walker began supplying the key cards in 1967 while he was a Registered Publications Officer at the Navy's Atlantic Fleet headquarters at Norfolk, Virginia. This was the first time the PUEBLO crew had heard this assertion. Cdr Bucher was especially insensed in that he was never ever informed by CBS News Productions or the History Channel that a conclusion such as this would be put forth in the documentary program. Cdr Bucher was never offered a chance to reply to the shows assertion.
What happened in PUEBLO's SOD HUT during the attack and the North Korean boarding?
The following is a response from Don McClarren CTO-2. Don and CTO-1 Don Bailey
were on duty and communicating with USNSGA Kamiseya Japan during the attack.
"I placed the rotors for the KL7 in a case and asked SGT Hammond to go to the Chiefs quarters, open the port hole and drop it in the sea. Every time he opened the port hole they opened fire on him. He came back, threw the box of rotors back to me for me to do it. Because "everytime I opened that #^&*$% port hole they fired on me. That is why I had to destroy them by hand. I DESTROYED them with that DAMNED little hammer. I also smashed the doors for the KW 37. The KW 7 was the last to be hit because it was on the air. We took all the plugs and tried cutting as many as we could. The NKs were aboard by then. We talked to Kamiseya in plain language and told them that the NKs were onboard and we had to sign off. We even put different numbers on the receivers we had in the O Branch spaces; one was for music!! Most of the keylists were destroyed. The same with KW37 key cards. A lot of messages were left as our orders required us to keep them for a month before destroying them. I was running in the passageway with a trail of tape from the rolls of messages. I got to the end and started a fire and ran back towards the CT space hoping I didn't get a burnt ass. We also didn't have time to hit the KW7 with the hammer.
Don McClarren CTO-2 USS PUEBLO AGER-2
PS "You might put Don Bailey's name along with mine on this, as we took turns destroying or talking to Kamiseya. I was the one who sent out the CRITIC message (that is the one that goes direct to the WHITE HOUSE.) I will never forget the look on Hammond's face!"
Copyright © 2012 USS PUEBLO Veteran's Association. All rights reserved.
CRYPTO gear, John Walker and the History Channel
Cdr Bucher comments on John Walker
In 2001 as a part of a book he was beginning to write Cdr Bucher composed a rebuttal to the History Channel assertion. KW-7 and John Walker
PUEBLO INCIDENT A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy
Author Mitchell B. Lerner states:
There remains much debate about the exact role Walker's espionage played in the PUEBLO seizure and the importance of the ship's lost KW-7. Oleg Kalugin, former head of the KGB, claims that the Soviets did not need the KW-7 from the PUEBLO, since Walker's case officer, Andrei Krasavin, was able to build a working replica of the machine (for which he received the Lenin Medal, the hightest honor granted by the Soviet government.) Yet questions remain about the timing of the three events (the PUEBLO seizure, the Walker espionage and the Krasavin model) that make it impossible to determine the relationship with any certainty.
(Trips09 Cryptologic Museum Flickr.com)
KW7, Key Lists & Procedures
Very interesting reading on KW-7 key lists, the procedures for their dissemination and the number of different lists. Was a KW-7 from PUEBLO that big a help? Source: History News Network WWW.HNN.US
What does a KL-7 look like?
Visit Jerry Proc's excellent KW-7 information page.
(Jerry Proc website http://jproc.ca)
(Jerry Proc website http://jproc.ca)
Former KGB Officer Boris Solomatin
For nearly 20 years during the height of the Cold War, Boris Aleksandrovich Solomatin oversaw most of the KGB's anti-American spy operations. The now-retired major general played a key role in the "handling" of John Walker Jr. In reference to John Walker:
"he and his best friend, Jerry Whitworth, provided the KGB with the technical drawings that we needed to construct a working KW-7 machine and later other code machines. Walker has admitted to your FBI that he did this."
Boris Aleksandrovich Solomatin
Note: The cryptography device on PUEBLO was the KL7 ADONIS