Norwich, CT — January 21, 2019 — Bill Thibeault is on a mission. He is a Vietnam Veteran and survivor of the worst naval disaster of the Vietnam War. He lost 74 of his shipmates when his ship USS Frank E. Evans collided with the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne on June 3, 1969. At about 3:15 am the Evans accidentally crossed the bow of the carrier and was sliced in two, with the front half sinking in 3 minutes.
This year will mark the 50th Anniversary of the sinking and Thibeault will be attending the 50th Anniversary Reunion and Memorial Ceremony in Long Beach, CA on May 31 – June 3. Even though they were in the Vietnam War, the 74 names are not on the Vietnam Wall because the collision happened outside the combat zone. In 2018 Congress passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to get the names on the wall but it did not pass in the Senate.
Hearing this news frustrated Thibeault and being a singer/songwriter, he wrote a song in July 2018 called “Recognition” about the Evans and the lost 74. He has just released it on an album of the same name and will be traveling across America May 11 – June 28 singing his song to honor and raise awareness of his lost shipmates.
His tour will be called The Recognition Tour and will include appearances in Mayville NY, Butler PA, South Bend IN, Waterloo IA, Omaha NE, Denver CO, Las Vegas NV, Long Beach CA, Phoenix AZ, Albuquerque, NM, Sulphur Springs TX, Branson MO, Nashville TN, Macon GA and other locations to be determined.