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Memorial ceremony set for June 3

A Pike County man who died aboard the USS Frank E. Evans in 1969 will be memorialized in his hometown of Meansville during a monument dedication ceremony set for Tuesday, June 3 at 1 p.m. A memorial stone will be placed and a tree will be planted in honor of all the sailors who lost their lives, especially Willie ‘Shorty’ Lee King of Meansville, in the naval disaster. The ceremony will take place in the Veteran’s Memorial Garden next to the Meansville fire station. American Legion Post 197 and the USS Frank E. Evans (DD754) Association were instrumental in honoring King exactly 45 years after his untimely death aboard the USS Frank E. Evans in the south China Sea. The ceremony will be held at 40 Means St. off Highway 109 in downtown Meansville. A special commemorative website has been created for the crew who sailed with the USS Frank E. Evans until the fateful morning of June 3, 1969 when it collided with the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) and was cut in half. For more, go to ussfrankeevansassociationdd754.org. ’The forward section of USS Frank E. Evans sank in 1,100 fathoms of water in two minutes,’ says the site. ‘Seventy-four lives were lost. The USS Frank E. Evans was struck from the Navy Register in 1969. May we never forget the ship, the men who proudly sailed with her and those who paid the ultimate price in service aboard USS Frank E. Evans.’

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