Bill Thibeault is a guitarist, singer, songwriter from Norwich, CT. In May of 2019 he will embark on a cross country tour for 6 weeks to promote his new CD, Recognition, to honor and raise awareness for the 74 shipmates he lost 50 years ago.
Bill is a Vietnam Veteran and survivor of the worst Naval disaster of the Vietnam War. In 1969 he was stationed aboard the US destroyer USS Frank E. Evans which provided gun support to our troops on the ground in Vietnam. On June 3, 1969 while on a training exercise with Australian, British, and New Zealand Navy ships, the Evans was escorting the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and at around 3:15 am accidentally crossed the bow of the Melbourne. The aircraft carrier slammed into the Evans, cutting her in half with the front half sinking in about 3 minutes. The collision resulted in the loss of 74 sailors aboard the Evans. The names of the lost 74 have been excluded from the Vietnam Wall in Washington because the collision occurred about 100 miles outside the combat zone. The surviving crew members and families of the 74 have been struggling ever since to get the names on the wall with no success so far. Bill has been a crusader of the cause to get the names on the wall and has written a new song "Recognition" which honors his lost shipmates. It will also be the title and featured song of the new album.
June 3, 2019 will be the 50th Anniversary of the sinking of the Evans and a memorial ceremony will be held in Long Beach, CA on that day. Bill will be joining his shipmates for the Anniversary and will be working his way across the United States on a solo tour beginning in May, 2019. He says " I will be singing across America to tell the story of my lost shipmates on my way to Long Beach". Following the ceremony he will continue to sing his way back home to CT.