Collins hardware shown on Pueblo photo

The Jan. 24 article in The Gazette “The Attack on the USS Pueblo” 50 years ago pointed out that the Pueblo carried the latest in communications and cryptographic hardware. That included the latest state-of-the-art products from Collins Radio. The photo with the North Korean sailor shows two tall silver colored racks of equipment which appear to be AN/URC-32 SSB transceivers. This is the Navy version of the Collins KWT-6, a 500 Watt HF SSB transceiver that the USAF (SAC) bought from Collins in the 50s and early 60s. At the extreme right side of the photo you can see the knobs and a bit of the front panel of R-390 Receivers which all of the services bought in large quantities, and some maintain are the best receivers ever built. It’s entirely appropriate for the Pueblo to have had a lot of those receivers. The R-390 was designed by Collins Radio but several other companies manufactured them as a build-to-print product, so the nameplate would have to be examined to see if they were built in Cedar Rapids.

Collins Radio, now Rockwell Collins, continues to provide the latest in communications equipment to the military services. I’m proud to have retired from Rockwell Collins and have been mentored by those who built the equipment seen on the Pueblo.

Alan Erickson

Cedar Rapids

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