Staff photo by Mark Hughes
Del Francis, 74, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, is riding to make a difference. He wants the names of his 74 shipmates who died in a 1969 naval exercise in the South China Sea during the Vietnam War listed on the Vietnam War Memorial. In the exercise, which included 47 ships from seven nations, the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans made a wrong turn directly into the path of the Australian warship HMAS Melbourne, which cut the Evans’ keel in half. Of the 272 sailors on board, 198 survived. Three of the dead were brothers. Francis hopes to make it to Washington, D.C., by August.