Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

January 30, 2004

Lloyd "Pete" Bucher, 76, who commanded the Navy spy ship USS Pueblo captured by North Korea in 1968 and helped his crew survive months of brutal captivity, died Wednesday at a nursing facility near San Diego.

He had been in declining health, partly the legacy of his captivity, said Stu Russell, president of the USS Pueblo Veterans Association.

The lightly armed Pueblo was monitoring Communist ship movements and messages in international waters near the North Korean coast when it was attacked by torpedo boats Jan. 23, 1968. One sailor was killed and 82 were taken prisoner.

The wounded Bucher was tortured into signing a confession, and crew members told of being beaten, burned on radiators and having their teeth kicked out.

After 11 months, the crew was released - some crippled or nearly blind. The ship remained behind.

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