Former USS Pueblo captive reacts to Iranian capture, release of - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Former USS Pueblo captive reacts to Iranian capture, release of US sailors

PINE BELT -

A Pine Belt veteran who was held for nearly a year by North Korea in 1968 after his ship was captured is convinced prayer was the reason that 10 U.S. sailors taken captive by Iran Tuesday were released after just one day.

"I immediately started praying for those guys and prayer works," retired U.S. Navy petty officer Rodney H. Duke of Collins said.

Duke was one of 83 crew members aboard the USS Pueblo when it was captured by North Korea.

Duke and his shipmates were beaten and tortured by the North Koreans, but were eventually released after 11 months in captivity.

One U.S. sailor was killed in the incident.

On Tuesday, 10 U.S. sailors were detained by Iran, after their two patrol boats drifted into Iranian territorial waters.

They were released after just 16 hours.

"I think that most Americans (prayed for the sailors), and I was hoping that this government would act more swiftly than it did for us," Duke said.

Duke served more than four years in the Navy and was a Methodist minister for 30 years before he retired. 

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