Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Lloyd M. Bucher
Commander Lloyd Mark "Pete" Bucher (September 1, 1927 - January 28, 2004) was an officer in the United States Navy. He is best remembered as the Captain of the USS Pueblo, which was captured in January 1968.
While monitoring North Korea, the Pueblo came under attack by North Korean forces, even though US Naval officials and the crew have affirmed the ship was in international waters at the time. North Koreans boarded the ship and took her to the port at Wonson . For the next 11 months, Commander Bucher and his crew were held as POW's by the North Koreans, and were starved and tortured during this time. Eventually the US issued a written apology, at which point Commander Bucher and his crew were released. The US then retracted the statement following the release. No combat operations have been attempted to retrieve the vessel, which remains in commission in the United States Navy's Naval Vessel Register
Following the release, Commander Bucher was subjected to a court of inquiry by the Navy. A court martial was recommended. However the Secretary of the Navy, John H. Chafee, intervened on Bucher's behalf and no action was taken against Commander Bucher. Many believe that Bucher was treated badly by the government. Bucher followed his orders to not start any international incidents, and he felt that while a ship could be replaced, lives could not. The US Government finally recognized the crew's sacrifice and granted Prisoner of War medals to the crew in 1989.
Commander Bucher was well regarded by his friends. He is reputed to have been a man of great intelligence. He was a physically imposing person, being large and muscular.
Commander Bucher died on January 28, 2004. He was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. The Poway-Bernardo Mortuary, which is featured in the A&E show Family Plots, handled the funeral services. One of the episodes of the series was dedicated to the Commander's funeral services.
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