USS Liberty: Lloyd Painter Affidavit

USS Liberty Survivor Lloyd Painter Testified He Witnessed the Deliberate Machine Gunning of Our Life Rafts in the Water Only to Learn Later That His Testimony Was Removed From the Record of the Court of Inquiry


[All Times Are In 24 Hour Clock Mode (eg, 1300 Hours=1 PM; 1600 Hours=4 PM)]



BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, this day personally appeared LLOYD C. PAINTER, who after being by me duly sworn, on oath deposes and says:

1. My name is LLOYD C. PAINTER.

2. I am over the age of 18 and am a resident of the State of TEXAS. I have personal knowledge of the facts herein, and, if called as a witness, could testify competently thereto.

On June 8, 1967, in the Eastern Mediterranean, in International Waters, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) attacked the USS Liberty, a plainly marked US Naval Ship, with intent and malice of forethought. The IDF attack consisted of air and naval forces.

0800-1200 Hours: I was assigned to my regular duties on board the ship – in spaces below the water line. I overheard crew members talking about “over flights” that morning. I went topside to check it out. When I reached the bridge area, I saw a slow moving “flying box car” with the Star of David visible on the plane. I felt secure, as the Israelis were our “allies”.

1200-1300 Hours: I was assigned to Bridge Duty as Officer of the Deck (OOD). From the Bridge, I again observed the slow flying Israeli aircraft circle our ship.

1300-1350 Hours: The Captain ordered a General Quarter’s Drill and my duties took me from the Bridge Area below decks to the Enlisted Mess Decks. I remained there until the drill was over at 1350 Hours.

1350 Hours: I returned to the Bridge and resumed my duties as OOD. Moments after assuming the watch I checked the radarscope and saw three surface (Naval) contacts with a steady bearing decreasing range approaching our ship at a high rate of speed. I notified the Captain. I was on the Bridge when the first wave of Israeli Mystere and Mirage jets attacked our ship.

1400 Hours: The Captain ordered General Quarters (this is not a drill) and I once again left the Bridge Area and returned to my Battle Station on the Mess Decks.

1435 Hours: The ship sustained a direct torpedo hit on the starboard [right] side from one of the three Israeli MTBs (The three naval contacts I had seen on the radar scope earlier).

1450 Hours: I was summoned to the Bridge by one of the Petty Officers of the Watch. When I arrived, I found the Captain severely wounded and in/out of consciousness. In a delirious state, he ordered me to return to my Battle Station. I reluctantly returned below decks to my Battle Station.

1500 Hours: IDF MTBs continue to fire armor piercing projectiles through the skin of the ship in the hopes of killing as many sailors as they could and maybe even hitting our boilers.

1510 Hours: The Captain orders “Prepare to Abandon Ship”. I had dozens of wounded sailors in the Mess Deck Area and it was my responsibility to get them all up the ladder and out the hatch to main deck, where we would board our life rafts.

1515 Hours: I climbed the ladder and opened the hatch to the main deck. I wanted to see if it was safe enough to bring the wounded sailors out onto the main deck. What I saw sent ice running through my veins. The life rafts were either destroyed or had been cut loose and had floated away. I personally observed an Israeli MTB methodically machine gun one of the Liberty’s empty life rafts that had been cut loose and was floating in the water. I knew at that split second that the thrust of the IDF attack was to kill every American sailor on board. There were to be no survivors that day. I decided to leave all of the wounded sailors below decks for some measure of protection. I did not prepare to abandon ship.

1600 Hours: I was again summoned to the Bridge where I found the Captain on a stretcher, unconscious from loss of blood.

1600-0800 Hours: I remained on the Bridge until help arrived the next morning.

I testified for over two hours at the Court of Inquiry. I testified to the Captain’s mental state; the firing of armor piercing projectiles through the skin of the ship; and, to the machine-gunning of our life rafts (I was the only officer to witness the machine gunning of our life rafts).

None of this testimony was recorded.

The damning information I provided was purposefully omitted by the US Navy’s Court of Inquiry.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct .

Executed this 23 day of April, 2012 In Kerrville, TX



State of Texas
County of KERR
Sworn to and subscribed before me on the 23 day of April, 2012 In Kerrville, TX by LLOYD

(Notary Seal)

Notary Public of the State of Texas
My Commission Expires 08-22-2012

  • It is up to We the People to force our congressional reps to honor the troops by LISTENING to them and allowing every USS LIBERTY survivor who wants to speak to speak on the Congressional Record about their eyewitness experiences of 8 June 1967 and the aftermath it has reaped due to over 49yrs. USA Govt. COVERUP!

    PLEASE download, sign and mail in or sign online to END USA GOVT. COVERUP of Israel’s attack on LIBERTY

  • Martha

    I have been one of the USS Liberty’s supporters by spreading posts about this travesty of in injustice on many different truth channels. In fact, I was able to pique the interest of one, who did a segment about the USS Liberty.
    My question: I do no know if it is “classified” or you want to personally withhold it and that is fine. ** But what do you mean by the “mental state of the Captain”? ** I realize that in the statement you had mentioned he was delirious and at one point unconscious from blood loss.
    Why I am asking this? On the documentary (I believe “Dead in the Water”?) is the one where you stated the exact same above — the machine gunning of the life rafts and the “mental state of the Captain”. One Zionist picked a fight with me a bit and started to say what it meant (like *he* knew). I believe he said that the Captain had received instructions to move out of area and didn’t (?) and he was unfit to be captain after being wounded. The he said see, “That’s what that one survivor meant.” (by name) Don’t know who this guy is but I was highly offended and ignored him.

  • Iftheaccidentwill

    I strongly believe that everyone has the choice to share or conceal information as they see fit (provided that they don’t harm others by doing so, and that is certainly the case here). Even so, I have to be honest: I find it baffling that you’d choose to conceal articles until after a visitor shares* the article you won’t let them see.

    I’d imagine many site visitors are like myself – curious and sympathetic, wanting to find out more so they can “take sides” if they’re convinced. But I’d also imagine many site visitors have the same reaction – when asked to “take sides” and share articles before they’ve even seen it to decide if it’s something they’re comfortable with doing, they’ll leave and not come back.

    Best regards, and I do wish you well in your cause. The little that I now know, which isn’t much more than the little I knew yesterday, does suggest a gross injustice.

    * – That is, assuming it even works. I was willing to share this article just on principle, but nothing happened. If the information helps, I’m on a Mac running Firefox 49.0 and tried to share on Twitter.