Collision with HMAS Melbourne
In the early morning hours of June 3, 1969, the Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne, collided with the American destroyer USS Frank E. Evans. The ships were on manoeuvres in the South China Sea. The damage to the Melbourne was slight. The damage to the Evans was horrific. The forward third of the ship sank almost immediately - taking seventy-four young American sailors to a watery grave. Because of the heroic efforts of the Evans' crew, what remained of the good ship was saved. Men thrown into the water by the collision were rescued by member ships of the task force. The aft section of the Evans was taken to the Subic Bay naval base on Luzon in the Philippines.