Refugees: How Simas Was Returned

No event in recent memory has more angered both the President and the American public than the forcible return of a defecting Lithuanian sailor to his Soviet ship last month. Simas (short for Simonas) Kudirka sought asylum aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant during a rendezvous—to discuss North Atlantic fishing rights—between the two vessels in U.S. territorial waters off Cape Cod. The incident resulted in the suspension of Rear Admiral William B. Ellis, commander of the Coast Guard's First District in Boston, his chief of staff, Captain Fletcher Brown, and Vigilant's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!