Date & Time

Monday, August 6, 2018

Registration at 5:30 pm | Program at 6:00 pm

Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco
Call Olivia at (415) 673-6672 x238



Panel Discussion: Act of War . . . the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo

In 1968, the small, dilapidated American spy ship USS Pueblo set out to pinpoint military radar stations along the coast of North Korea. Though packed with advanced electronic-surveillance equipment and classified intelligence documents, its crew, led by ex–submarine officer Pete Bucher, was made up mostly of untested young sailors.

On a frigid January morning, the Pueblo was challenged by a North Korean gunboat. When Bucher tried to escape, his ship was quickly surrounded by more boats, shelled and machine-gunned, forced to surrender, and taken prisoner. Less than forty-eight hours before the Pueblo’s capture, North Korean commandos had nearly succeeded in assassinating South Korea’s president. The two explosive incidents pushed Cold War tensions toward a flashpoint.

Based on extensive interviews and numerous government documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, Act of War tells the riveting saga of Bucher and his men as they struggled to survive merciless torture and horrendous living conditions set against the backdrop of an international powder keg.

Panel of Speakers:

Jack Cheevers is a former Los Angeles Times reporter. He grew up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a political science degree. For 27 years he was a newspaper reporter and editor in California. He began researching “Act of War” in 2000 by interviewing the Pueblo’s charismatic ex-captain, Lloyd M. (Pete) Bucher. He subsequently interviewed other crewmen and former members of President Lyndon Johnson’s administration who were involved with the Pueblo drama. Using the Freedom of Information Act, he obtained thousands of pages of previously secret documents from the State Department, Navy, Central Intelligence Agency, and National Security Agency. He also relied on archival material from South Korea, the Soviet Union, and Eastern bloc nations. “Act of War” won the 2014 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature. Jack and his wife, Kathleen Matz, live in Oakland, California.

SCPO EARL PHARES, Senior Chief Petty Officer on USS Pueblo and POW
SCPO Earl R. Phares, United States Navy, was captured when the U.S.S. PUEBLO (AGER-2) was boarded by North Korean forces in International Waters on 23 January 1968, and was held as a Prisoner of War in North Korea until his release on 23 December 1968.

CHARLES “BRUCE” WOODWARD, Son of General Woodward
Bruce Woodward, currently on the investment team of SF Sentry, previously worked for Del Monte Corporation, Sunset Magazine and Botsford Ketchum Advertising. In 1982, Mr. Woodward started as a financial advisor, working with several leading firms. He is very active in several Bay Area community organizations such as The Guardsmen, the Olympic Club, Bohemian Club, and Golden Gate Wine Society. Currently he serves as Trustee of the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. Mr. Woodward previously served in various civic organizations, including: CPMC Hospital, Sacred Heart Schools, UOP School of Dentistry, Palo Alto Financial Planning Council, Atherton General Plan Committee, Pets Unlimited, Gladstone Institute, and Sausalito Wine Experience. He received a B.A. in Advertising from San Jose State University. Mr. Woodward is the son of Lt. Gen Gilbert H. “Woody” Woodward, USA (Ret), Senior US negotiator for the release of the crew of the USS Pueblo in 1969.