Hoeven Introduces NDAA Amendment to Add Names of 74 Service Members to Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Provision Would Recognize 74 Sailors Killed in Sinking of U.S.S. Frank E. Evans During Vietnam War

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today introduced an amendment to honor service members who died in the sinking of the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam War. The amendment directs the U.S. Secretary of Defense to place the names of the 74 crew members on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. 

“We appreciate Vietnam Veteran Richard Grant for sharing with us the story of his shipmates and advocating on behalf of his fellow service members who were killed aboard the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans,” said Hoeven. “These 74 service members died serving our country during the Vietnam War and should be remembered and honored on the Vietnam Veterans Wall.”

On June 3, 1969, the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans was in the South China Sea participating in a friendly maneuver when it collided with an Australian aircraft carrier, killing 74 American sailors. While the crew had participated in conflict just days before the collision and was scheduled to return to the war effort after the exercise, it was determined that the collision took place outside the designated combat zone so the sailors who lost their lives were not included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 

Fargo resident Richard Grant, who served on the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans, has been advocating for the 74 sailors to be honored on the Vietnam Memorial.

Hoeven authored the amendment, which is cosponsored by Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and is working to include it as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the Senate is currently considering.  Legislation authored in the House by Congressman Kevin Cramer was passed as part of the House of Representatives’ NDAA.