Colorado veteran recalls his capture by North Korea while on USS Pueblo

DENVER -- Commissioned on April 7, 1945, the USS Pueblo was designated as a banner class environmental research ship.

In reality, the Pueblo was used as a spy ship by the U.S. Navy. Sailors were eavesdropping on the North Koreans.

Alvin Plucker would know this. He was a quartermaster on the Pueblo.

“We worked on the bridge and on the pilot house and worked directly under commander Bucher,” Plucker said.

On Jan. 23, 1968, Plucker's life changed forever. North Korean forces captured the loan spy ship.

Plucker, along with 82 of his shipmates, the entire crew, we’re taken prisoner 50 years ago.

“First thing they did was knock me on the floor. And they reached around and grabbed my hands and tied my hands behind my back," he said.

That was just the beginning. For 10 months, the crew was beaten, starved, interrogated, then used as propaganda by North Korea.

After a negotiated release, the detainees were given new clothes to wear in front of the cameras.

The USS Pueblo remains in North Korea and is used for propaganda to this day.

Plucker said he would love to see the ship come back to the United States. It's named after the city in southern Colorado and he thinks that's where the ship should be.

It's something that is not likely to happen.

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