When U.S. Navy sailor Phil Tourney saw Israeli planes circling the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, he and his crew-mates thought nothing of it. The Israelis waved at the crew and the Liberty crew waved back. Liberty was a unique vessel, unlike any other in the world, with a large tower and radio dishes used for eavesdropping, so the chance it could be mistaken for an “enemy” vessel were zero. The oversize U.S. flag and the large ID numbers painted on the ship also made identification of the ship possible from miles away.
Imagine the shock and horror when the Israelis attacked the lightly armed intelligence-gathering vessel in broad daylight. A torpedo was fired and struck Liberty dead on. Israeli aircraft strafed the men aboard and dropped napalm on the decks. Torpedo boats machine-gunned the crew as they tried to rescue wounded U.S. servicemen. The Israelis even shot up life rafts to prevent any escape.
The attack lasted for hours. And Phil Tourney lived through it. Here is his story, a complete description of the attack, everything he saw that day, and details of the ensuing threats from U.S. military officers and government officials to shut up or face dire consequences.
Phil and co-author Mark Glenn also recount the brave men who with this book are breaking the wall of censorship that has surrounded this decades-old event. It also details the personal toll inflicted upon Phil and the crew—the years of harassment from Israeli agents and high-level U.S. government lackeys and the trauma of the events.
Readers of this book have called it the best book ever written on the USS Liberty attack. And if you’ve read books or seen films about it in the past, these readers say this book picks up where those left off, revealing intimate details of the events that none other has dared touch.
Many have been brought to tears by Phil’s story. But he seeks no profit, no glory, no accolades. This book was written and dedicated to those men who were killed and wounded that June day in 1967—and to the myriad lives that were changed by one of the most treacherous acts in modern history.
Softcover, 282 pages