After the USS Pueblo was captured and forced into a large North Korean harbor, Washington urgently wanted to know its exact location. The Navy had hatched a bold plan to drag the spy ship back out to sea lashed to the side of a destroyer, while the Air Force wanted to dive-bomb and sink the vessel. CIA pilot Jack Weeks was assigned the task of pinpointing the Pueblo in Wonsan harbor. Flying an exotic, little known spy plane called the A-12, Weeks took off from a closely guarded airfield on Okinawa. Zooming through the sky at more than 2,100 miles per hour -- three times the speed of sound -- Weeks spotted the spy boat in a small bay at the northern end of Wonsan bay. This photo, kindly provided to me by CIA Chief Historian David Robarge, shows an A-12 refueling during a training mission. Weeks's pictures were rushed into the hands of CIA analysts, but Washington ultimately decided to call off any attempt to recover the Pueblo while U.S. diplomats tried to persuade the North Koreans to free the captured crew. Weeks's A-12 flight is described in Chapter 6, "A Minefield of Unknowns."
JACK CHEEVERS is a former Los Angeles Times reporter. He and his wife, Kathleen Matz, live in Oakland, California.