74 heroes should be marked on Vietnam wall

June 3, 2013, will be the 44th anniversary of the day of the disastrous Naval collision in the South China Sea, just miles off the coast of Vietnam, 0315 hours, 1969.

The USS Frank E. Evans DD-754, a destroyer class warship, was completely cut in half by the Australian aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne (R-21).

The forward section sunk in less than three minutes with the loss of 74 young men’s lives, honorably serving the United States of America, paying the ultimate price.

Five victims were from Pennsylvania: Patrick Corcoran of Philadelphia, Raymond Earley of Shenandoah, Stephen Fagan of Huntingdon, Donald Gearhart of Lewistown and Victor Rikal of Butler.

The names of these 74 heroes have not been inscribed upon the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall because the circumstances of their death appear to not meet the Department of Defense’s criteria. The DOD has made exceptions and waived their own criteria from time to time to add others.

The USS Frank E. Evans Association, many thousands of supporters world and nationwide, feel an exception should be made in this case as well.

The USS Frank E. Evans Association and the families of the 74 are asking all Americans who support our position on this issue to help.

Please take time to contact your U.S. representatives and Senators via telephone, electronically, letters, etc.

Let them know you want those 74 heroes’ names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Make that black wall their last port of call. Give them the glory they deserve, the honor and dignity they’ve earned.

Ed Holsopple