The Collision of the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754) and the HMAS Melbourne (R21)
the above is a "YouTube" interview
On June 3rd 1969 the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754) was actually cut in half by the HMAS Melbourne (R21) as though it had been hit by a huge meat clever.
The members of SEATO, were conducting training maneuvers in the South China Sea. The Melbourne was conducting flight ops at the time which means that it is "the burdened vessel" and has the right of way over all other ships in the area because a carrier should not change course or speed when planes are landing.
CIC (Combat Information Center) aboard the Evans was reporting to the bridge that they were on "constant bearing, decreasing range" with the Melbourne which means that the 2 ships are on a collision course. Since the carrier was conducting flight Ops. it had the right of way and it was the responsibility of the Evans to change course. Finally they got to a critical situation where both ships should have issued the command to go hard right rudder, all ahead full. The Melbourne did the correct maneuver but the Evans did not. It crossed across the bow of the Melbourne and was cut in half. The forward section sank almost immediately but the after section stayed afloat.
I was a Radarman (Radar Operator) aboard the USS Tawasa ATF-92. The Tawasa was a fleet tug boat. We had been on on Yankee Station off the coast of South Vietnam shadowing a Russian Trawler which was an electronic information gathering ship (Spy Ship). Our job was to stay between the trawler and the carrier we were operating with and jam certain radio frequencies. After our tour of duty had ended the Tawasa was headed for Australia for R&R but our orders were changed to go to the location of the collision and tow what remained of the Evans to Subic bay in the Philippines.
LtJg Ramsey, Con Officer
aboard the USS Frank E. Evans
Deck Officer Admits Error Over Collision