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Home arrow Blog arrow November 2007 arrow November 12, 2007

November 12, 2007
WAWA Blog  Veteran's Day: Part 3 in the series: "It was God that kept us afloat."
The Torpedo that Hit the USS LIBERTY: Made in the USA?

 



On October 2, 2007, John Crewdson, Chicago Tribune Senior correspondent reported that, "Bryce Lockwood, Marine staff sergeant, Russian-language expert, recipient of the Silver Star for heroism, ordained Baptist minister, is shouting into the phone.

"I'm angry! I'm seething with anger! Forty years, and I'm seething with anger!"[1]


When I spoke with Ol' Sarge Bryce from his beef cattle farm in Missouri on the phone November 10, 2007 he was not only still seething and shouting, he also broke down and cried as he recalled that day in infamy on June 8, 1967 when the Johnson Administration colluded with the state of Israel in a treasonous cover-up of the attack on the USS LIBERTY, an Intelligence gathering [spy ship] vessel, barely armed with just four .50-calibre machine guns, sailing in international waters, flying the American flag during the Six Day War.


But, it was not until the evening of Sept. 26, 2006, that Ol' Sarge Bryce publicly opened up after bottling up his experiences of June 8, 1967.


On that night, former CIA analyst for 27 years, Ray McGovern, "gave a talk on Iraq to an overflow crowd of 400 at National Avenue Christian Church in Springfield, Missouri… [regarding the Israel Lobby and its power] over our government and Congress. In sum, in June 1967, after deliberately using fighter-bombers and torpedo boats to attack the USS Liberty for over two hours in an attempt to sink it and kill its entire crew, and then getting the U.S. government, the Navy, and the Congress to cover up what happened, the Israeli government learned that it could-literally-get away with murder." [2]

McGovern faced 400 blank stares and asked how many in the crowd had ever heard of the USS Liberty and three hands went up.


McGovern called on the man closest to him and "ramrod straight he stood:" Sir, Sergeant Bryce Lockwood, United States Marine Corps, retired. I am a member of the USS Liberty crew, Sir; I have not been able to [speak about the attack]. But it has been almost 40 years, and I would like to try this evening, Sir."[IBID]


Bryce Lockwood, a descendant of Mayflower pilgrims was a Russian linguist and Staff Sergeant Marine on a special mission on the LIBERTY assigned to collect communications intelligence aboard a most easily identifiable ship, for it was 455 feet long and festooned with radio aerials.


Ol' Sarge Bryce informed me that, "Admiral Tom Moorer, a former Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs stated that the LIBERTY was the most identifiable ship in the US Navy. He thought it was the ugliest ship in the Navy, but I thought it was pretty!"


Lockwood choked up frequently as he recalled the events of June 8, 1967 and the post traumatic stress he has endured for forty years, "Ten feet from where I stood that torpedo that may have been made in the USA hit us and twenty five Americans died immediately…

"Before the attack, some sailor had gotten blank teletype paper and made a four by six foot Israeli flag and using a blue felt tipped marker he had drawn the Star of David on it. That torpedo struck only a few feet from it. That torpedo that may have been made in the USA hit a main brace and absorbed the energy. If that torpedo had hit six inches to the left or the right of that brace, the LIBERTY would have split in two!"



This reporter's fact checker, Ken Halliwell,
a former US Navy Communications Technician, was honorably discharged in 1974 as a Petty Officer First Class, after serving six years in the Naval Security Group. Ken wrote in an email to me on November 11, 2007, “The torpedo did not directly strike the hull on the deck where he [Lockwood] was located. It hit the hull on the deck below him and opened a large hole in the hull on his deck, during its explosion. See my research at:  http://usslibertyinquiry.googlepages.com/essay4 . Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that a torpedo hit the ship, and made a large hole in the hull on Bryce's deck."


On the phone, Ol' Sarge Bryce admitted, "My first thought was: I guess this is it God! I am coming home! But at least my kids and Lois will be taken care of. I would never deny that it was God that kept the LIBERTY afloat!

"I could have saved myself, but it was Phil Tourney who saved me and an unconscious man I had been trying to save. It was Phil who opened the scuttle hole to check how badly the ship was hurt and I was on the other side. I had been trying to carry an unconscious man up the ladder and every time I got to the top of the ladder I dropped him. The only light I had was coming through the torpedo hole, a torpedo that may have been made in the USA.

"Nobody can actually prove that torpedo was or wasn't made in the USA, but my understanding is that America sold WWII surplus torpedoes to Italy and Italy sold those torpedoes to Israel.


"You also need to understand that the sea has natural rolls, and every time the ship rolled water gushed in and out of that torpedo hole, a 36 X 24 foot hole, the size of a small American home!


"I dropped this guy four times trying to get up the ladder; every time I dropped him I could see him being sucked out of that torpedo hole; a torpedo that may have been made in the USA!

"I was so angry, the hatch was sealed shut and I was pounding on it for help. Phil broke regulations for he didn't have clearance to be there, but he saved our lives. There was so much confusion, I passed out for a while and when I came to I was told I saved the lives of three men, but I only remember two."


Lockwood wailed and needlessly apologized for crying while he informed me, "Both my Arabic linguists, Sergeant Jack Raper and Corporal Eddie Rehmeyer were killed…After the 25th Reunion of the LIBERTY Vets I was sitting in a truck stop in Cabool, Missouri. I am wearing a LIBERTY t-shirt and this lady comes up to me and asks if I was from Norfolk, where the LIBERTY had been docked. She tells me she had been Gary Blanchard's fiancée…Gary was sitting in a boatswain's chair chipping and painting when the jets struck and riddled his kidneys with shrapnel…Dr. Keifer sedated him as he told him, 'Gary, it doesn't look good, but if I don't operate you won't make it'… Gary never woke up."



I let Lockwood catch his breath and composure for a few minutes before I inquired what he had been told his mission was and if there had been any Hebrew linguists aboard.

He replied that Lt. Commander David Ed Lewis, the officer in charge of 194 men out of the total crew of 294 on the LIBERTY, "Called Raper, Rehmeyer and me together and told us that our mission was to keep track of all the Russian and United Arab Republic's communications. He said if we picked up any Israeli communications to note it and drop it…I am not saying there weren't any Hebrew linguists aboard and I certainly was in a position to know about it, but I had no knowledge of any...

"An English reporter, I think his name is Trevor Penick, he worked for Thames Television in London and when he interviewed Moshe Dayan he questioned him about the LIBERTY and American Congress. Dayan said something like, 'Forget about Congress. We own Congress.'"

1: www.baltimoresun.com/news/world/chi-liberty_tuesoct02,0,6015776.story

2: http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/100507a.html


LEARN MORE:

ussliberty-inquiry.us

http://www.ussliberty.org/

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