Bill Text: NJ AR220 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Memorializes officers and sailors of USS Frank E. Evans.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-28 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee [AR220 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-AR220-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 220

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 28, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  R. BRUCE LAND

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Memorializes officers and sailors of USS Frank E. Evans.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Assembly Resolution memorializing the officers and sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans.

 

Whereas, On March 29, 1969, approximately 170 officers and sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754), a destroyer, departed Long Beach, California, for the Western Pacific to carry out the operational orders of their Commander in Chief during a time of conflict with Vietnam; and

Whereas, After providing support fire for combat operations in Vietnam, the USS Frank E. Evans was deployed to participate in a Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) exercise; and

Whereas, On June 3, 1969, the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754) collided with the HMAS Melbourne (R-21), the flagship of the Australian Navy and an aircraft carrier ten times the size of the USS Frank E. Evans; and

Whereas, The collision near the coast of Vietnam severed the ship into two sections, with the stern section staying afloat and the forward section sinking in less than three minutes, taking the lives of 74 American sailors; and

Whereas, Approximately a third of the crew aboard perished and only one body was recovered, Kenneth Giles, 19, of Independence, Missouri; and

Whereas, The USS Frank E. Evans was the only warship that left the United States to fight in Vietnam and did not return home; and

Whereas, Members of the United States Armed Forces who died during the Vietnam conflict have been memorialized by having their names placed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., if they died within the combat zone; and

Whereas, The United States Department of Defense maintains that the officers and sailors who died as a result of the USS Frank E. Evans collision do not meet the criteria for inclusion on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial since the accident occurred outside the combat zone and continues to deny the placement of the names of the 74 sailors on the memorial; and

Whereas, Other members of the United States Armed Forces who died outside the Vietnam conflict combat zone have had their names placed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and

Whereas, Although these men did not die in direct combat, they were instrumental in advancing the American military objectives in Vietnam and had participated in the conflict just days before the collision; and

Whereas, The heroism and sacrifice of the 74 American sailors lost aboard the USS Frank E. Evans should never go unrecognized and the happenstance of being outside the ill-defined combat zone boundaries, which have been changed from time to time, should not obscure their valor, patriotism, and ultimate sacrifice for their country; and

Whereas, The State of New Jersey honors the contributions of the officers and sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans and memorializes the 74 deceased Americans for having given their last full measure of devotion; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This House memorializes the contributions of the officers and sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam conflict and memorializes the 74 deceased American sailors for their valor, patriotism, and having given their last full measure of devotion for their country, the United States of America.

 

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the President of the United States, United States Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services, Chairman of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services, and each member of the United States Congress elected from this State.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution memorializes the officers and sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans who lost their lives after the destroyer collided with an Australian aircraft carrier.  On March 29, 1969, officers and sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans departed Long Beach, California, for the Western Pacific.  After providing support fire for combat operations in Vietnam, the USS Frank E. Evans was deployed to participate in a Southeast Asia Treaty Organization exercise.  On June 3, 1969, the USS Frank E. Evans collided with the HMAS Melbourne, an aircraft carrier ten times the size of the USS Frank E. Evans.  The collision severed the ship into two sections, with the stern section staying afloat and the forward section sinking in less than three minutes.  The accident claimed the lives of 74 American sailors.  The State of New Jersey honors the contributions of the officers and sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans and memorializes the 74 deceased Americans for having made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

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