WCH Crime: The Columbia Eagle mutiny

The Columbia Eagle mutiny.
The Columbia Eagle mutiny.

Working Class History are delighted to be launching the first season of our new occasional podcast, WCH Crime, where true crime meets the struggle for a better world. Our first series is about the Columbia Eagle mutiny in 1970, perhaps the most spectacular act of resistance to the Vietnam war, when two sailors hijacked their ship transporting thousands of tonnes of napalm for US forces, and sailed it to Cambodia. But they never could have predicted what would happen next...

Submitted by Working Class … on May 27, 2019

WCH Crime will feature cases where people have faced criminal charges for their beliefs or political activities, and will look at cases where people have been framed or even killed by the state. It will be in the same feed as the regular Working Class History podcast. To subscribe, find us on your favourite podcast app or follow the hyperlinks at the bottom of this page.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 2.1: bonus episode here for our $5+ patreon supporters

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 4.1: bonus episode here for our $5+ patreon supporters

You can support this podcast, listen to bonus episodes, get early access to future episodes and other benefits on patreon: patreon.com/workingclasshistory

Pictured above are the two mutineers: Alvin Glatkowski, left, and Clyde McKay, right, superimposed on the ship.

We speak to Al about his experiences, in addition to Vietnam war-era sailor and historian Roberto Loiederman.

We have been working on this miniseries for almost a year, and have put in so many hours we lost count some time ago. We are taking time out from our day jobs through 2019 to devote more time to WCH and podcast, but this will only be sustainable in the longer term if we get more support from our listeners on patreon. So if you appreciate what we do, and if you can afford it, please consider supporting us. If you can’t afford it, no problem, please just give us a review on your podcast app, and share episodes on social media.


The SS Columbia Eagle, c1970 | Image courtesy of The Eagle Mutiny by Richard Linnett and Roberto Loiederman
Alvin Glatkowski surrendering, 1971 | Image courtesy of The Eagle Mutiny
Clyde McKay.jpg
Clyde McKay in Cambodia, 1970 | Image courtesy of The Eagle Mutiny


Larry Humphrey.jpg
Larry Humphrey in Cambodia, c1970 | Image courtesy of The Eagle Mutiny
flag peace sign.jpg
US military investigators aboard the Columbia Eagle, 1970 | Image courtesy of The Eagle Mutiny



Alvin Clyde prison ship
Clyde, left and Al, right, in Cambodia in front of their prison ship, 1970 | Image courtesy of The Eagle Mutiny

News footage of the captain and the ship after the mutiny

Al 2018.jpg
Al, 2018

For a detailed history of the events, we recommend the book The Eagle Mutiny, by Roberto Loiederman and Richard Linnett.

To find out more about different aspects of the Vietnam war check out the other WCH podcast episodes in our Vietnam war series:

We’ve produced a range of merchandise commemorating the anti-war movement by service people during the Vietnam war using some of their original artwork to help fund our work. Check it out here: shop.workingclasshistory.com/collections/vietnam-gi-resistance

FTA snapback mockup

Part 1: We erroneously say that Al was born in Norfolk, Virginia. Al was born in the military base at Ford Gorgon in Georgia. He later moved to Norfolk for his high school years.

These episodes were written by WCH and Daniel Woldorff
Editing by Daniel Woldorff
Music composed by Austin Coulson: https://www.mixcloud.com/tsonazores/
Outro episode for episode 3 is Deep Water by the RJ Phillips Band. Stream it here: https://soundcloud.com/hillipsand/deep-water

Listen and subscribe to WCH in the following ways: RSS | Apple| Soundcloud | Stitcher | Podbean | TuneIn | Spotify | Google Play

If you value our work please take a second to support Working Class History on Patreon!


3 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

These podcasts about the Columbia Eagle mutiny are fantastic! They are really well put together.
Aspects of the descriptions somehow reminded me of Traven's brilliant novel The Death Ship.
They describe the fact that once a rebellion or mutiny on a ship breaks out — then it's a no turning back situation.
These podcasts are somtimes very moving and tragic, but they also convey that spirit lifting sense that anything is possible and that there are some extraordinary brave humans on our side.