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Evans III (DE-1023)


Ernest Edwin Evans, born on 13 August 1908 in Pawnee, Okla., graduated from the Naval Academy in 1931. During World War II, he commanded the destroyer Alden (DD-211), and later Johnston (DD-557). Commanding Johnston he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in action against the Japanese submarine I-176 (Lt. Cmdr. Okada Hideo), a Type KD7 boat, on 16 May 1944, and in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, fought his ship gallantly until she was sunk, on 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.  

The first and second ships named Evans honored Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans (1846-1912); see Evans I (Destroyer No. 78) for biography.


(DE-1023: displacement 1,270; length 314'6"; beam 36'9"; draft 9'1"; speed 25.0 knots; complement 170; armament 4 3-inch, 1 Mk. 108 rocket launcher, 6 12.75-inch torpedo tubes ; class Courtney)

The third Evans (DE-1023) was laid down on 8 April 1955 at Seattle, Wash., by the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Co.; launched on 14 September 1955; sponsored by Mrs. Hugh Hendrickson, of Tulsa, Okla., the late Cmdr. Evans’ sister; and commissioned on 14 June 1957, Lt. Cmdr. Howard F. Wiley in command.

Evans arrived at San Diego, Calif., her home port, on 4 August 1957, and began shakedown operations along the west coast. Her first lengthy deployment (21 January—27 June 1958) 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 (8 January—13 June 1959), Evans hove to in Leyte Gulf on 7 February 1959 to conduct memorial services for her namesake, Cmdr. 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.

Ultimately decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 3 December 1973, ex-Evans was disposed-of, by Navy Sale, on 1 September 1974, and broken up for scrap.

Interim Update, Robert J. Cressman

20 November 2023

Published: Mon Nov 20 14:49:49 EST 2023