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Evarts

 

Milo Burnell Evarts, born 3 September 1913 in Ruthton, Minnesota, enlisted in the Naval Reserve 31 August 1940, and was commissioned 12 June 1941 as ensign. On the night of 11-12 October 1942, in the Battle of Cape Esperance, Lieutenant (junior grade) Evarts was killed in action when his ship Boise (CL-47) was damaged. Disregarding the danger of explosion from the fires which broke out in the gun turret of which he was in charge, Evarts stood to his station until killed. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his unyielding devotion to duty.

 

(DE-5: dp. 1,140; l. 289'5"; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 3 3", 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Evarts)

 

Evarts (DE-5) was launched 7 December 1942 by Boston Navy Yard as BDE-5, intended for transfer to Great Britain; retained for use in the U.S. Navy; and commissioned 15 April 1943, Lieutenant Commander C. B. Henriques, USNR, in command.

 

After antisubmarine training and experiments with radar in Chesapeake Bay, Evarts began steady service as a convoy escort, during much of which she flew the flag of Commander, Escort Division 5. After five voyages to Casablanca, she sailed from Norfolk 22 April 1944 on her first run to Bizerte. Two days before reaching that port, her convoy came under heavy attack by enemy torpedo planes, and Evarts joined in the protective antiaircraft barrage which splashed many of the attackers.

 

During the homeward bound passage of this same voyage, on 29 May 1944, Evarts was detached from the convoy to aid Block Island (CVE-21) and Barr (DE-576), both of whom had been torpedoed. She arrived at the given position to find Block Island had sunk, but screened Barr, under tow, to safety at Casablanca. A second voyage to Bizerte was uneventful, as were the one to Palermo and the three to Oran which followed.

 

Completing her convoy escort duties 11 June 1945, Evarts acted as target in exercises with submarines at New London until arriving at New York 11 September. There she was decommissioned 2 October 1945, and scrapped 12 July 1946.

 

Evarts received one battle star for World War II service.