Senators want defense secretary’s support in adding “Lost 74” sailors to Vietnam Memorial

WAEX: A group of senators asked the secretary of defense to meet with them as part of their bipartisan effort to add the names of the “Lost 74” sailors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

The USS Frank E. Evans, a naval destroyer that had just completed a combat tour off Vietnam’s coast and was scheduled to return, sank during a training exercise in June 1969. Seventy-four sailors drowned, and only one body was recovered. For decades, survivors and families have fought to add the names of the perished sailors to the iconic granite wall in Washington, D.C. But the Pentagon opposes the effort since the incident occurred over 100 miles outside the designated Vietnam War theater.

But a dozen senators from both parties sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday asking to meet with him to end the Pentagon’s resistance.

“The Defense Department has a mixed, if not negative, record with regards to honoring the names of those who died in the sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans by adding them to the Vietnam Memorial Wall,” GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who helped lead the effort as a congressman and now as a freshman senator, told the Washington Examiner. “Bureaucrats and middlemen have stood in the way, offering excuses each time. We hope to personally convey the Lost 74’s case to Secretary Esper and gain his support.” read more

8 Comments on Senators want defense secretary’s support in adding “Lost 74” sailors to Vietnam Memorial

  1. How did this never get done when Maverick McCain was a Senator? He, of all people, should have been sympathetic to victims of a naval catastrophe.

  2. The pic n the post is SEAL .
    I had a friend Cliff W killed by the ChiCom 2 months before the KGB’a bad Jarhead killed JFK. Cliff was a “Froggy” – it would be many years before they started taking over Bening!

    Have/had many SEAL friends; every one a GOOD MAN!

  3. During the Vietnam war period, many soldiers, sailors and airmen died in training exercises outside the war zone. Will all of them be added to the wall too?

  4. For all those who know nothing about Naval operations during the Vietnam war, let me inform them. I was in the Navy from 1965-1969 And was IN Vietnam from Dec. 1967 to Oct. 1968 on board an Aircraft carrier and we sure as hell were in the Vietnam war. We were on the line during that entire period of time running flight operations 24×7. So yes the Sailors on this Destroyer who were on the gun line supporting our troops deserve to be on the Wall!!

  5. …if they can call Songbird McCain a war hero, then I suppose men who died honorably in the service of their Nation and DIDN’T directly or indirectly kill hundreds of other servicemen while collaborating with the enemy and with stupid carrier antics are CERTAINLY more deserving of any honor than HE, who was and is deserving of NONE…

  6. As one has been there/done that and came back (and knows I deserve nothing because coming back was enough) technicalities are important in war and medals and honors.

    Sure John Kerry technically earned his purple hearts but did he deserve them? No but they are his.

    I lost friends when a liberty boat turned over in the Med during this era but did anyone put their names on the wall?

    Sorry if you start making exceptions then everyone starts getting the useless participation medals the Navy gives out now (A friend of mine who is an active duty “personelman” reviewed my record and said I’d qualify for about 16 medals/devices/clusters/stars for my service if it was now (I got 4 when I was in).

    My point= Participation medals and trophies are only good to wag the dog and shovel shit. Millennials and later need “recognition” and warm hugs. I got the G. I. Bill (a free undergraduate degree thank you) and a desire to work hard for a living. It was enough even today.

    Sadly, they weren’t in theater when the accident happened. No recognition.

  7. I have no valuable insight or opinion on one side or the other of this debate.

    My complaint is that our Senators are spending time on what is, in the big scheme of things, small stuff. Small stuff that everyone can more or less agree on is how senators can go back to their constituents and say “Look what I did!” to get re-elected. Re-election may be nice, but hard work is what counts, and why you are paid BIG BUCKS and sent to Washington D.C.

    Get your asses in gear and tackle at least some of the large issues facing this nation.


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