Robley Dunglison Evans, born 18 August 1846 in Floyd County, Va., was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1864, ordered to active duty in September 1863.
In the attacks on Fort Fisher, N.C., he exhibited great gallantry under fire on 15 January 1865, when already wounded, he led his landing party through heavy fire to charge the Confederate defenses. In 1891 and 1892, commanding Yorktown on the Pacific Station, he won great acclaim for his firm and skillful handling of a tense situation with Chile. During the Spanish-American War he commanded Iowa in the Battle of Santiago. Rear Admiral Evans commanded the Great White Fleet in its passage in 1907 and 1908 from the Atlantic through the Straits of Magellan to the Pacific, where he was relieved of command because of ill health. He died in Washington, D.C., 3 January 1912. DD-78 and DD-552 were named in his honor.
Ernest Edwin Evans, (no relative to Rear Admiral Evans), born 13 August 1908 in Pawnee, Okla., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1931. During World War II, he commanded Alden (DD-211), and later Johnston (DD-557). Commanding Johnston he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in action against a Japanese submarine on 16 May 1944, and in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, fought his ship gallantly until it was sunk, 25 October 1944, by the Japanese force superior in number, firepower, and armor. Commander Evans was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his material contribution to the decisive victory won in Leyte Gulf and shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded his group for this action in which he gave his life. DE-1023 was named in his honor.
(DE-1023: dp. 1,270; l. 314'6"; b. 36'9"; dr. 9'1"; s. 25 k.; cpl. 170; a. Classified; cl. Evans)
The third Evans (DE-1023) was launched 14 September 1955 by Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Co., Seattle, Wash.; sponsored by Mrs. H. Hendrickson; and commissioned 14 June 1957, Lieutenant Commander H. F. Wiley in command.
Evans arrived at San Diego, her home port, 4 August 1957, and began shakedown operations along the west coast. Her first lengthy deployment, from 21 January 1958 to 27 June, found her serving with Commander, Naval Forces Marianas, for duty in the administration of Pacific territories held by the United States in trust under the United Nations. She proceeded to visit Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, and to train with ships of the navy of the Republic of Korea.
During her second tour of duty in the Far East, from 8 January 1959 to 13 June, Evans hove to in Leyte Gulf 7 February to conduct memorial services for her namesake, Commander Ernest Evans. She exercised with the navy of the Republic of the Philippines, patrolled the Taiwan Straits, served briefly as station ship at Hong Kong, and joined in exercises off Okinawa during the remainder of her tour. On 14 April 1960, Evans again climaxed a west coast training period by sailing for the western Pacific on a tour of duty which continued until 21 July 1960. She then returned to operations off the coast for the remainder of the year.