Stephen Esrati writes: "In the bottom picture, the man on the left in front is Jack Zucker, z"l. The man in the middle in front is a member of the Irgun who went by the conspiratorial name of Gad. The man in the middle of the back row is Raymond Kaplan."
Ray Kaplan writes:In the picture of Plugah Aleph the people shown are:Top row, left to right:Ted Steinberg (Yesheva Univ.),Ray Kaplan (Mefaked Ha Galil NY and member of the Netsivut),Leonard Loeb (Mefaked Ken Queens)Bottom Row, left to right:Jake Zucker (Yeshiva Univ.), Gad (an Etzel shaliach to the U.S), Nachshun (also an Etzel shaliach to the U.S.Missing in the photo at Baalbek prison is Steve Esrati (Mefaked Ken Boston).Muriel Arens (nee Eisenberg, Washington Heights Ken) and Marilyn Shindel (Boston Ken) were also members of this Plugah, but made it to Israel with the rest of the women on the Marine Carp.
The ship Ruth Wang was owned and operated by Sam Wang, a prominent Revisionist and former member of Betar. He agreed to take on American Betarim as crew members for a voyage of the Ruth Wang to southern France. His plan was to use the Ruth Wang as a commercial merchant vessel plying goods between Europe and North Africa. The Wang had a difficult voyage to Europe, breaking down a number of times and putting in to various places for repair. When we stopped at the Azores on our way back to the U.S. on the Marine Carp, we, by coincidence, encountered several of the Betarim from the Wang in the harbor. We found out that the Wang was undergoing repairs once again, before proceeding to France. That's when we got the Captain of the Wang to agree to take on two of us as additional crew. As you may recall, we drew straws and you and Lenny Loeb drew the two shortest straws and were therefore designated to join the Wang crew. The rest of us continued our return trip on the Marine Carp. You guys were picked up by the Portugese police and put on the Marine Perch a few days later, to continue to the States. Incidentally, we had dinner with Bernie Ellman in Florida recently and talked about that whole incident. Bernie, was one of the Betarim on the Wang, along with Harry Bieber, Moe Stambler, Charlie Cinnaman, Mosie Samuels and a couple of others whose names I don't recall. Most of them made it to Israel from France and served in the IDF and the Israeli merchant marine during the War of Independence. Fond Memories, Ray Kaplan
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