Sailors: The fall and rise of the crews of the USS Frank E. Evans, is a non-fiction book to commemorate the
fortieth anniversary of the June 3, 1969 sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans, written by Lakewood, Colorado author Paul Sherbo.
Using official documents and survivor interviews the author has compiled in book form the first comprehensive American
version of the tragic 1969 collision at sea in which the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-745), a United States Navy destroyer, was
struck by the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. The author describes in detail the actions leading up
to, during and after the catastrophic incident as told by survivors and witnesses from both ships involved.
Operating as part of a combined force with the Royal Australian Navy and other allied naval ships,
the Evans executed a starboard turn into the path of Melbourne at 0315 a.m. on June 3, 1969 and was cut in half by the heavier
and larger war ship. Evans’ broken off bow section sank almost immediately taking 73 unfortunate crewmembers with
it. Only one body was recovered in the aftermath of the collision, bringing the total lost to 74. Out of the 273
crewmembers on board, 199 survived. Five crewmembers assigned to the Evans were not aboard at the time of the collision.
The stern section, although severely damaged, remained afloat.
Throughout the book, the courage and heroic spirit of both ships' crews add a genuine
admiration for their bravery despite their confusion in the sudden turn of events. Those sleeping in the after half
of the ship rushed forward to their battle stations, some "running out of ship" in total darkness and into the water.
Sailors in the doomed bow Evans woke to a ship rolling out of control, tons of seawater plunging in. Few escaped.