An open letter to Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp:
As one of the survivors of this tragic event, I'm asking for your support and help in getting the 74 sailors who lost their lives on June 3, 1969, onto the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It has been almost 49 years since we lost our ship and brothers in the South China Sea. We had recently left the war zone and were on friendly maneuvers with the Australian and New Zealand navies. The collision between our destroyer, the USS Frank E. Evans, and the aircraft carrier, HMS Melbourne, occurred at 3 a.m. Our ship was cut in half and the bow half of the ship sank in 5 minutes and took 74 sailors to their death.
We would have been returning to the war zone if this tragic event had not happened. My fellow survivors and shipmates need your help to have the "Lost 74" names added to Vietnam Memorial Wall before the remaining survivors are not alive to fight for their fallen shipmates. Thank you for your assistance in honoring the "Lost 74."
Grant lives in Fargo.