USS LIBERTY Remembered: 2012

   The USS LIBERTY was an American ship designed to intercept electronic communications.  The ship was in international waters about 25.5 miles northwest of the Egyptian City of Arish.

   Israel and the Israeli Air Force knew exactly where the ship was located since they flew over the ship.  The LIBERTY was isolated from the rest of the American ships.  The USSR also had ships in the general region, but the LIBERTY was isolated and was not near the armada of ships some distance away. 

   The state of Israel ordered an attack upon the LIBERTY by jet aircraft and torpedo boats.  A total of 34 American servicemen were killed on June 8, 1967, and 171 crewmwn were injured.

   Both the Israeli and U.S. Governments “conducted inquiries” and concluded that the attack was a mistake.  Many individuals continue to maintain that the attack was deliberate.  It is claimed that the U.S.  NSA has an auditory intercept of an Israeli pilot refusing to attack  because it “is an American ship.” 

   Many who believe that the attack was deliberate also believe that the ship was intended to sink quickly  so the U.S. Fleet could launch an aircraft carrying an atomic weapon that was to be used against Egypt.  Indeed an aircraft was launched that was carrying an atomic bomb, but the aircraft was recalled by President Johnson and Defense Secretary McNamara.  The aircraft was recalled when it was learned that the USS LIBERTY did not sink.

   Forty-five years later, salutes the men who served on the USS LIBERTY.  Hopefully our  34 men did not die in vain.  Yet, the remaining survivors of the LIBERTY are not given the respect and honor that they deserve.  Did you honor them on Memorial Day in May?  I did.

                                          R. Van Conoley

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