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REFLECTING BACK BY THOMAS MCMILLAN

Hi, I received the Frank E. newsletter this morning and wanted to say thanks. It was so special as Chief King was a good friend as well as my leading PO when I left the Evans. We played ball together for the ship in Long Beach and spent a few months at sea together when he took over for Frank Hernandez.

I was telling my wife, Patricia, we were refueling in rough seas

.

after reading the newsletter, about a time when I was standing in the middle of a rope on the

helo deck when all of a sudden the ships pulled apart and the weak link broke, the rope began reeling back across through the block on deck and the rope whipped around me; King whipped out his knife and jumped on the rope cutting me free. He kept me from being pulled into the block which would have caused serious damage to my body. Lucky for me King was always there I learned a lot from this great guy.

I was on the USS Proteus, a sub tender, when I heard about the collision. Most of

the Proteus crew knew and the USS Evans DE received that morning

.

I had served on ships named Evans, the Frank E Evans DD 754 1043. It was quite a shock to read the message traffic I was kept informed as each message was received. All I

could think about was my former shipmates in harms way. I felt helpless sitting on a tender so far away. Since I had a top secret clearance I was given access to all messages. Somewhere I have a folder with those classified messages that were never

supposed to have left the ship, oh well, I was a Boatswain Mate, so yes, I did break a rule or two during my Naval excursion.

and from Texas,

I had just turned 21, had taken my 2nd class test when

I

was

told I

was

the

designee to take over the rear deck division.

This was a difficult time dealing

with the overwhelming task of taking on a very large age, limited experience and now finding out about my about the ones that made it and how they were faring. morning wanting to hear my voice and confirm I was not

responsibility, at a young lost shipmates. I wondered My Mom called me the next on the Evans. The Navy had

to give her my ship’s phone number to cool her heels, nothing like a Mother to stir up things. A call to the deck of the watch post my Momma was a little embarrassing especially for the Boatswain Mate in charge of the aft part of the

ship.

I am in a battle at this time with the Big C, reunion. Just recently I was tested for a new

it is why I had to miss last years drug and entered into a program, so

far so good, I just completed my second series of the drug and preliminary results have been positive, this is so awesome it is hard to describe, when you turn your life over to God awesome things can happen. Just like King being there with a sharp knife so may years ago......nuff said!

INITIATION PARTY OF BOATSWAIN MATE CHIEF WILLIE LEE KING

Note: When Tom saw this photo it brought back all kinds of special memories. Thanks Tom for the article. You too can send us your stories so we can share with the rest of the Members

The unknown name in the Jan – Feb newsletter is Chief MMCM Charles Wright.

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