ALBANY, N.Y. — A group of Navy veterans is trying to persuade the U.S. military to add the names of 74 sailors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The sailors were killed when their destroyer, the USS Frank E. Evans, was cut in half in a collision with an Australian aircraft carrier during naval exercises in the South China Sea in June 1969. The Department of Defense has refused to add the names to the wall because the accident happened outside the Vietnam combat zone.

Among those trying to reverse the decision is Stephen Kraus of California, who was among the 199 Evans crew members to survive the collision.

Kraus says getting the backing of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York gives the Evans veterans their best opportunity yet at getting their shipmates' names added to the Vietnam Memorial.