Between August 19, 1967 and the middle of January 1968, the Kyes
Contributed by Dan Dale RM3, USS James E. Kyes DD-787
spent every month receiving combat pay for being in the waters off
the coast of Vietnam. With only a couple of brief "R&R" stops for
replenishment of food and arms, this was our longest stay in the
combat zone. Because of this we were granted R&R in Australia
and were steaming south for several days (January 20-23, 1968
When the USS Pueblo AGER-2
was boarded and captured on January 23, 1968, the USS James E. Kyes
DD787 was ordered to head to the Sea of Japan to assist other ships
of the 7th Fleet with taking back the Pueblo.
At Flank speed we headed away from Australia and toward the Sea of
Japan. Upon arrival in the Sea of Japan we were met by two aircraft
carriers, the USS Enterprise and USS Kearsarge and each of their escorts
of a cruiser and several more destroyers.
The USS James E. Kyes was the "Flagship" of the destroyer fleet because
we had the Captain on board. Because of this and our armament, we were
assigned to be the Tow Ship to bring the Pueblo out of Wonsan Harbor.
We maintained our position as the closest ship to the Pueblo and we could
see the Pueblo through our binoculars. My job was to chart our position
accurately for the several weeks that we sat like a buoy bouncing in the
just under hurricane weather at -40 degree temperatures.
Eventually we got the word that President Lyndon B. Johnson was going to
abandon our men and ship in North Korea. The men onboard the Kyes were
shocked and angry as we headed back to the Tonkin Golf.