When is it a war game and when is it really just a war?
How about when dozens of American sailors are killed in the maneuvering, as 74 aboard the destroyer the USS Frank E. Evans were on the morning of June 3, 1969? The Evans had been deployed as part of the Vietnam War effort. Just weeks before, its guns had been shelling the Viet Cong near Da Nang. The tragic morning the sailors died, the Evans was off the Vietnam coast when the Melbourne, an Australian aircraft carrier, accidentally rammed it, tearing it in half.
In what way, precisely, was this incident not part of the Vietnam War? Well, according to the Pentagon, in some way that has kept those 74 names off the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.