Gillibrand, Cramer lead bipartisan push to honor U.S.S Frank E. Evans victims

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

The U.S.S. Frank E. Evans Act Would Honor the Crewmembers Who Died in the Sinking of the U.S.S. Frank Evans by Adding Their Names to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Gillibrand (D-NY) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced their bipartisan push for leadership on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees to include the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans Act in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The U.S.S. Frank E. Evans Act would honor the 74 crewmembers who died in the sinking of the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam War by placing their names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Gillibrand and Cramer introduced this legislation in March of this year.

“The Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors the extraordinary sacrifices made by our Vietnam War heroes, but there are still 74 names missing from the iconic black wall,” said Senator Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee“It’s long-past time that we properly memorialize the brave American service members who lost their lives on the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans. I was proud to introduce bipartisan legislation so that their names may be included on the Memorial, and I am now calling on Congress to honor those who have served our nation by passing this bill in the upcoming NDAA.”

In order for a service member’s name to be added to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, the member must have died while participating in, or providing direct support to, a combat mission en route, or returning from a target, within a combat zone.

The U.S.S. Frank E. Evans served multiple tours off the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam War before being ordered to withdraw to participate in a South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) exercise. Although it was scheduled to return following the exercise, it collided with a friendly ship, which resulted in the death of 74 United States sailors. Since the soldiers did not meet the criteria to be added to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, the names of those who perished on the U.S.S. Frank Evans are not included on the wall.

The U.S.S. Frank E. Evans Act would finally honor the crewmembers who died in the sinking of the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans and add the names of the 74 fallen soldiers to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall.

Along with Gillibrand and Cramer, the letter to Senate and House Armed Services Committee leadership is also signed Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Hoeven (R-ND), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Jon Tester (D-MT).

The full text of the Senators’ letter can be found here.

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