On 3 June 1969, while operating with the Royal Australian Navy between Saigon and Spratly Island, Evans was operating in company with the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. At flying stations, Melbourne signalled Evans, which was to port of the carrier, to take up the rescue destroyer position. The logical movement would be to make a turn to port and describe a circle taking up station on the carrier's port quarter. Inexplicably, instead of turning to port, Evans turned to starboard, cutting across Melbourne's bow and was cut in half in the ensuing collision. Her bow section sank instantly, taking 74 of her crew down with it. At the time of the collision Evans's captain was asleep. The officer of the deck (a junior officer who was not qualified to stand watch, having failed at his previous board) failed to notify him when he executed the station change as required by the Commanding Officer's standing orders. Evans was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 July 1969. The stern section was sunk as a target in Subic Bay on 10 October 1969.
To the memory of all sailors who ever served aboard the Destroyer USS Frank E. Evans DD - 754. A special commemeration to the Crew who sailed with her on that fateful morning, June 3, 1969 when USS Frank E. Evans DD-754 collided with the Australian Aircraft Carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) and was cut in half. The forward section of USS Frank E. Evans DD-754 sank in 1100 fathoms of water within two minutes. Seventy-four lives were lost. USS Frank E. Evans DD-754 was struck from the Navy Register in 1969. May we never forget the ship, The men who proudly sailed with her, And those who paid the ultimate price in service Aboard USS Frank E. Evans DD-754