The effort to add 74 more names to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall got one step closer in the Senate on Wednesday, even as the federal bureaucracy pushed back against the idea.
The bipartisan U.S.S. Frank E. Evans Act got its first major Senate hearing yesterday as senators on the National Parks Subcommittee made the case for why the names of the “Lost 74” sailors, who perished when their ship sank more than 100 miles outside the official Vietnam War theater in June 1969, should be added.
The destroyer participated in numerous combat support tours during the Vietnam War. Following one, the ship was sent to the South China Sea to participate in a Southeast Asia Treaty Organization allied exercise, where a training accident in the middle of the night resulted in the ship being cut in half by the Australian HMAS Melbourne. Seventy-four sailors died, and only one body was recovered.