Sunday, October 26, 2014

USS Frank E. Evans

On June 3, 1969, the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans turned in front of the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, resulting in the collision between small ship and a very big ship. Part of the Evans sank, and 74 sailors died.

There are calls now to place the names of the 74 on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Evans and the Melbourne were on a training mission near the Spratly Islands, halfway between the Philippines and Vietnam. When the Evans sank, there was no contact with an enemy force; there was no hostile fire. Rather, the sinking was the result of at least two wrong orders given by an American officer on the bridge of the Evans.

I mentioned the facts to my wife and added that both ships were on a training mission.

“No,” she said when I told of the calls for inclusion of named in The Wall.

I agree. If those sailors are included on The Wall, who is to deny others killed in training accidents?

From a former naval officer, whose brother died in the collision, but his father survived.

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