The Highground and the USS Frank E Evans Association Dedicate the “Lost 74” Tribute

On Monday, May 31, guests gathered in the tranquil setting of the Meditation Garden at The Highground Veterans Memorial Park for a Memorial Day Ceremony and Dedication of the “Lost 74” tribute.

This new tribute was placed under a shade tree in the Meditation Garden in 2020. It is dedicated to all 74 sailors, and more specifically three Wisconsin sailors. James R. Cmeyla, 24, of Luxemburg; Michael A. Orlikowski, 28, Milwaukee; and Jon W. Thomas, 22, of Delavan, died at sea on June 3, 1969 aboard the USS Frank E. Evans when it collided with the HMAS Melbourne, an Australian carrier, during a training exercise. The dedication was postponed until this year due to COVID.

During the ceremony, The Highground was privileged to welcome USS Frank E. Edwards survivors and the family members of James, Michael and Jon as the memorial stone was unveiled. Terri Vjere, a USS Frank E. Edwards survivor, states “We are so pleased with the placement of this memorial.”

The Highground is honored to work with the USS Frank E. Evans Association (DD 754) and to have USS Frank E. Evans survivors and family members present for the special dedication.  

The Highground continues to focus on all who visit—Veterans, families and friends—by honoring those who protect and defend our freedom, educating all on what our Veterans have done for our country and providing a safe environment for healing.  

More information about upcoming events is available on our Calendar of Events page.