Oceanside, California – June 26, 2015 – The names of 74 sailors lost in a single tragedy are a big step closer to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
On Friday June 20, 2015 the USS Frank E. Evans DD-754 Association learned that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus endorses adding the names of the lost 74 sailors from USS Frank E. Evans DD 754 to the memorial in Washington D.C. The Secretary of the Navy also agrees the Association’s case “has merit to be an exception” for the names to be placed on the memorial wall.
Forty-six years ago, on June 3, 1969, the USS Frank E. Evans (DD 754) collided with the allied flagship of the Royal Australian Navy while engaged in a joint war exercise that had ties to the Vietnam conflict. A total of 74 Americans were killed in the disaster off South Vietnam. Among them were three brothers and the son of a Navy chief onboard who barely survived the catastrophe that resulted in the Seventh Fleet’s only lost warship during the Vietnam War.
It was the second largest single loss of life for the U.S. Navy in that war, after the deadly USS Forrestal Fire. The issue has made recent headlines in the Washington Post and other major newspapers across the United States and has also been featured on a dozen television news outlets.
For decades the Department of Defense has maintained the 74 crewmen did not die in the war and left their names off the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “Leaving our 74 sailors names off the wall is a grave injustice and is just plain wrong” said Steve Kraus a survivor and Vice president of the USS Frank E. Evans DD-754 Association of survivors, family members of the deceased, and former crewmembers. “We’ve all worked together for over twenty years to convince the United States Secretary of Defense to provide the necessary permission to officially honor our lost 74 crewmembers as casualties of the Vietnam War, and to further honor them by adding each individuals name to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC. We have high hopes Senator Schumer will be the one to help the association finally accomplish this objective.”
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Photo
Photo Caption: Remaining stern section of USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754) after an at sea collision with HMAS Melbourne on 3 June 1969.
For more information, contact:
John Coffey, Communications Director
Company Name: USS Frank E. Evans DD-754 Association
Contact Person: Steve Krauss, Vice President
Country: United States