USS Liberty survivors looking for closure 45 years later - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

USS Liberty survivors looking for closure 45 years later


June 8, 1967 is a day Clinton, Iowa native Mike Schaley can recall in vivid detail.

"It was a day like today.  There weren't any clouds in the sky," Schaley said.

Schaley was one of 292 sailors on board the USS Liberty, a naval spy ship stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Four unidentified aircraft took the crew completely by surprise, opening fire on the virtually defenseless ship.

"It was horrendous.  I mean there was no possible way you could fathom what was going on," Schaley said.

The naval vessel was shelled for nearly two hours.

By the time it was over, 34 Americans were dead, 174 injured.

Stan White was among the wounded.

"The only thing I know for sure, is that's the best bunch of sailors in this world," White said. 

It soon became clear Isreal, a U.S. ally, was behind the attack.

U.S. and Israeli officials called it all a huge mistake.  Israeli forces said they believed they were targeting an Egyptian ship.

But the survivors say it was no accident, and they blame their own country for covering up the events to protect Israel.

Survivors like Schaley and White are still calling for a through investigation from Congress, but 45 years later, they are unlikely to ever get closure on a dark day in history.

"All we want is the truth.  Tell us why did you do this, tell us really what happened," Schaley said.

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