James R Shepard

USS Duluth Crewmembers Association

James “Jboy” Shepard  

In May of 1969, we were on our way home from WestPac. Left Subic on our way to Okinawa. The USS EVANS DD 754 had left the line and was on its way to do some maneuvers with the Australian Navy. She came along side and we refueled her. It was really unusual, because other ships did not normally take on fuel from our ship. As she was coming up alongside, I had my trusted Kodak 110 camera and took a picture not thinking too much about it. Just another picture from our Westpac.

About a week later I learned that the USS EVANS had been in an accident and was cut in half by the HMS MELBOURNE aircraft carrier. The Navy lost 74 sailors on that day. I believe the picture I took and still have was the last picture taken of the USS EVANS at Sea. There was a book written about it called the LOST 74 and there is also a brick at our Anchor monument. That picture and knowing what happened has stuck with me for almost 50 years.

I have posted the picture on the USS Duluth Crewmembers Association Facebook page before, and every year on June 3, I always remember what happened on that day. Fair winds and following seas to the 74 of the USS EVANS DD-754. 

For more information about the USS Duluth, follow this link:

 USS Duluth | Veterans Memorial Hall (vets-hall.org)

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