Follow Us

Follow us   

The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Thursday, June 8, 1967
Attack on USS Liberty
On Thursday June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, one of eight merchant-type ships which had been modified to perform electronic intelligence, was 14 miles offshore from the Egyptian town of El Arish off the coast of Sinai, when she was attacked by Israeli fighter-bombers. The attack continued for seven minutes, leaving eight of the ship's crew dead or dying, more than 100 wounded, and the ship riddled and burning. Fourteen minutes later, the Liberty was attacked by three Israeli torpedo boats which raked the ship with gunfire - killing another four men, and then launched torpedoes. One torpedo hit a communications compartment, raising the death total to 34. Within 30 minutes of the torpedo attack, two helicopters carrying armed troops appeared alongside, and two jet fighters loitered in the sky astern as if poised for strikes. As suddenly as it had started, everything stopped. Israel claimed that the 10,000 ton, 459-foot ship was mistaken for the 2,640 tons, 275 foot long, Egyptian troopship, El Quseir.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 32

Namesort descending Service Branch
CT2 Anthony Mendle USN
CTSN Carl Nygren USN
LT James Pierce USN
ICFN David Skolak USN
CT1 John Smith USN
CTC Melvin Smith USN
PC2 John Spicher USN
GMG3 Alexander Thompson USN
CT3 Thomas Thornton USN
CT3 Phillippe Tiedtke USN
LT Stephen Toth USN
CT1 Frederick Walton USN


Exerpt from article by Richard K. Smith