• USS Liberty being escorted to Malta after attack by Israeli air and naval forces left 34 of her crew dead and another 171 wounded. Navy photo
  • Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jim Smith, who survived the June 8, 1967 attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli forces spoke last month at Naval Station Norfolk, where a Carillion bells system was rededicated to the ship at the base chapel. Navy photo via Facebook. Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jim Smith, who survived the June 8, 1967 attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli forces spoke last month at Naval Station Norfolk, where a Carillion bells system was rededicated to the ship at the base chapel. Navy photo via Facebook.
  • USS Liberty survivors, family members and supporters gathered June 8 at Arlington National Cemetery to remember the attack. Military.com photo by Bryant Jordan USS Liberty survivors, family members and supporters gathered June 8 at Arlington National Cemetery to remember the attack. Military.com photo by Bryant Jordan

Nearly a half century after the USS Liberty — a lightly armed American spy ship — was almost sunk by Israeli air and sea forces during the Six Day War, survivors say the U.S. still prefers to avoid dealing with what happened and identifying who attacked the ship.

Strafed by machine-gun fire, hit by napalm and torpedoed over the course of the 75-minute attack, the Liberty has one of the most highly decorated crews in American naval history.

Out of that single action came one Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, a dozen Silver Stars, 20 Bronze Stars for valor, nine…

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