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The ship and 73 of the crew are over a mile deep in the South China Sea. The memories of all 74 are ever present on the surface.
HIS NAME IS Petty Officer LARRY ALLAN GRACELY. STG3 He was a Sonarman. His name and 73 others belongs on the Wall! He served in the United States Navy in the Vietnam War aboard the Destroyer U.S.S. Frank E. Evans DD-754. He was from Lima, Ohio, he was among the 74 on the ship killed when it collided with an Australian Aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. Only the body of one of the Sailors killed was recovered. His and 72 others were lost at sea. It was during a time when the Destroyer was temporarily out of the combat zone so the powers that be are refusing to put their names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Their names DO belong on that wall. Hopefully a new push to recognize these sailors sacrifice will be successful. Photos included here show the ship after the collision. You can see the the front section of the ship is gone. It sunk in just a few minutes. You can learn more about the ship here U.S.S. Frank E. Evans Association
From "Collision At Sea" By Phil Smith and Mal Lancaster .... On board Melbourne the strangest scene was being played out. Captain Stevenson ordered the band onto the deck, and the beer vault was opened for the American survivors. Australian sailors recall their mates giving away the clothes from their backs. One sailor went below and brought up his entire kit, while the clothing store was opened and blankets were passed out. Eventually the survivors were lifted off and taken to USS Kearsarge. At that point, Baker heard a sound he'll never forget: "As they were about to leave our ship, they stood on the quarterdeck and gave us three cheers. We had just cut their ship in half and here they were giving us three cheers."
The Allen County Veterans Memorial Foundation is NO LONGER a "Pending" 501(c)(3) Not for profit Organization.
Today, August 28, 2014, we received our approval determination from the I.R.S. Retro Active May 15, 2011. Because of our somewhat unique situation and history, and that we did not hire any professionals in LAW or Tax to help us, it took us a little over a year to prepare our application. We poured over tons of documents, help files and made numerous calls to the I.R.S. to make sure we left no stone un-turned in the preparation of the FORM 1023 application.
Our board members prepared all 77 pages of the paperwork including financial, historical and future planning data. We had to go back to year 2005 of financials and the activities of the predecessor organization to prepare the data we presented to the I.R.S.
Our secretary prepared all of the financial data. She did a fantastic job and if not for her and the grace of our wonderful Lord, we would not have been able to complete this without hiring an accountant and tax lawyer. Her degree in accounting from U.N.O.H. has paid off in a big way. Thank you Kathleen!
We are starting to create memorial pages here on our web site to honor some of the 700 plus veterans from Allen County, Ohio who have given their lives for our country. It will be a long process but we have better control of the content and format then we do on facebook. We will add pages as time and content allows. We will not be deleting the facebook memorials and in fact will be adding more there also. You will find links under "Memorials" on the main menu bar.
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