May 20, 2016
Sailor who perished on ship during the Vietnam War
(CUMBERLAND, RI) –The Cemeteries Office of the Diocese of Providence has announced that a memorial monument will be dedicated this Friday at Resurrection Cemetery for Cumberland native, Navy Seamen Frederic C. Messier, who perished at sea during the Vietnam War.
In 1969, Messier along with 73 crewmen on board the USS Frank E. Evans ship died when it collided with the Australian Navy ship during maneuvers. Because this incident happen outside of the combat zone, Messier and the other crewmen are not formally recognized as war heroes and therefore are not listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC.
Through the persistence of families and the USS Frank E. Evans Association, crewmen are now being honored in their home state, hoping one day through their efforts the names will be added to the VVM Wall. The diocese is supporting this effort with this memorial dedication. Father William Ledoux, pastor of St. Mary’s parish in Cranston, will be presiding.
Attending the dedication will be family members, friends and veterans as well as local dignitaries, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Cumberland Mayor Bill Murray and others from the Governor’s office and RI Veterans Affairs.