John Thomas Eversole, born 17 April 1915 in Pocatello, Idaho, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1938, and after duty at sea received aviation training. On 7 May 1941, Eversole joined Torpedo Squadron 6 in Enterprise (CV-6), and with many others of his squadron, gave his life for his country in the opening phases of the Battle of Midway 4 June 1942, in an attack on Japanese carriers made through heavy opposition. Lieutenant (junior grade) Eversole's determination in this action was posthumously recognized with the award of the Navy Cross.
(DE-404: dp. 1,350; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. John C. Butler)
The first Eversole (DE-404) was launched 3 December 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. Sarah R. Eversole, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Eversole; and commissioned 21 March 1944, Lieutenant Commander G. E. Marix in command.
Eversole sailed from Boston 20 May 1944 for Pearl Harbor, arriving 19 June. After training with submarines in the Hawaiian Islands, she made an escort voyage to Eniwetok, then sailed to Eniwetok and Manus on escort duty. She returned to Eniwetok for antisubmarine patrols until 9 August, when she put to sea screening carriers for the attack on Morotai. She continued this duty, serving with the escort carriers in the initial assaults in Leyte Gulf 20 October.
During the Battle, for Leyte Gulf, when a decisive victory was won after great hazard to the escort carriers and their screens, Eversole screened two of the damaged carriers, rescued downed pilots, and took wounded off one of the carriers. In the early morning of 28 October, Eversole made contact by sonar with a submarine, and only half a minute later suffered the first of two torpedo hits. The ship was ordered abandoned, and after the men were all in the water, the submarine surfaced and opened fire, then dived once more. Five minutes later there was a tremendous underwater explosion which killed or wounded all of Eversole's men. Lights from the survivors' flashlights attracted two other escorts, one of which rescued the 139 wounded survivors, as the other began a series of attacks which sank 1-45, presumably the submarine which had torpedoed Eversole.
Eversole received two battle stars for World War II service.