Jonas Pleškys

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Jonas Plaskus or Jonas Pleškys (10 March 1935 in Giliogiris, Lithuania – 14 April 1993) was a Soviet Navy submarine tender captain born in Lithuania. He died in California, United States.[1]

In 1961 he sailed his vessel from Klaipėda to Gotland in Sweden, although his planned destination was Tallinn. The Soviet authorities sentenced him in his absence to death by firing squad, but the CIA hid him, first in Guatemala and later in the United States. The tender, essentially a barge, was returned to Soviet custody.[2]

This incident was one of two that inspired Tom Clancy in his writing of The Hunt for Red October.[3] The other was the 1975 mutiny aboard the Soviet frigate Storozhevoy.

Plaskus was relocated to Seattle, Washington, where he attended the University of Washington and initially lived with an American family to improve his English. Later he worked as a programmer/analyst in Silicon Valley in the 1970s. In 1979 he accepted a job in Caracas. He revisited Lithuania briefly in 1992.[2]

He was a brother of actress Eugenija Pleškytė.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ California Death Index
  2. ^ a b "Homo Lituanus". Lithuania in the World. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  3. ^ a b Boyle, Marion (2005). Search For Freedom: The Man From Red October. Klaipėda: Eglės leidykla. ISBN 9955-542-21-7.