I first met Coffeypot online in 2009 - not long after I began my Milsupport/Milblogging (He was a good friend of a blogger I had been following and we began to chat via email). Coffey mentioned early in the conversation that his ship - USS Frank E. Evans DD754 - had gone down in the South China Sea just outside the designated combat zone in a collision with an Australian Naval ship.
And I thought "but surely he's too young to have been serving at the time of the second HMAS Melbourne disaster". (To Australians of a certain age, the two HMAS Melbourne naval disasters remains as something we have heard of growing up). Turns out that Coffeypot is one of those "served young - remains looking young" types and joined up in the early 60's.
Coffeypot is an amazing man. A self-described "Old Salt" and a teller of funny tales (warning.. sometimes funny RUDE tales so read with caution :D). And someone that I count as a very good friend.
Coffey shared with some of his friends the below youtube clip he found of his ship - filmed in 1963 (6 years prior to the disaster) and with his permission I would like to share it with you all.
He writes "I was on her (USS Frank E. Evans DD754) that day, though it is hard to see, I can see me. Though I was a RDSN at the time, my refueling station was sitting on my butt just past mid-ships holding on the netting with my left hand and my right arm sticking out so ET3 Roskie could run the small lines from me to the guy behind me and then lay out the rest on the deck. I was always wet after we broke away, and I always got a shot of Rum from Doc Wilson."
Ships shown in this clip are: the USS Frank E. Evans (DD754)
and The carrier is the USS Hornet CVS12