Franck Taylor Evans was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 9, 1875, son of Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, USN, and Mrs. Charlotte Taylor Evans. He had service as a Naval Cadet from September 19, 1892 until February 11, 1893 and was officially appointed a Naval Cadet (at large) on September 6, 1894, to enter the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. He was graduated with the Class of 1898 in April 2 of that year, and after the years at sea, then required by law, was commissioned Ensign to date from April 4, 1990. Through subsequent promotion, he attained the rank of Captain in the US Navy, his date of rank June 3,1922, having served in that rank (temporary) from September 21,1918 until December 23, 1921. He was transferred to the Retired List at his own request after thirty years’ service, on July 1930.
As a Naval Cadet he served on board USS Massachusetts in April 1898, and was on board USS Iowa in the battle of July 3, 1998, during the Spanish American War. After graduation from the naval Academy he was assigned to USS Sandoval, USS Alvarado and USS Nashville, and before being commissioned in April 1900 had brief duty in USS Monterey and USS Baltimore. During his first two years as an officer, he had successive service on board USS Yosemite, USS Nashville, USS Brutus, USS Alabama, and on February 15, 1902, was ordered to the Staff of Rear Admiral Evans, for duty, after brief special duty with the General Board, Washington, DC. He joined the Staff of his Father on Asiatic Station, April 8, 1902, and served as Aide, with additional duty as Ordnance Officer, until May 1904.
On May 27, 1904, he assumed command of USS Sylph, with additional duty in charge of Seamen’s Quarters, Navy Yard, Washington, DC, and while in that assignment was promoted to Lieutenant on July 1, 1904. Detached in June 1906, he was ordered to USS Louisiana, commissioned that month to serve as Flagship for Admiral Evans, and again served as Aide to his father until November 1908. After brief Station, New Port, Rhode Island, then from May until November 1911 served as Ordnance Officer of the USS Michigan.
Ordered next to USS Monaghan, he commanded that vessel, with additional duty in command of the Second Division, Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet and further additional duty in command of Reserve Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, during the period ending in May 1914. In July of that year he returned to the Naval Training Station, New Port, Rhode Island, and in May 1915 had additional duty as Aide on the Staff of Commander Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, on board USS Brooklyn during maneuver. On May 18, 1916, he reported to the Commandant, Second Naval District, for duty in connection with recruiting, with headquarters at Newport. When detached in June 1916, he was ordered to the Naval War College, also at Newport, where he was a student until the United States entered World War I in April 1917.
Reporting to the Navy Department, Washington, DC, on April 6, he was assigned duty as Aide on the Staff of Commander Squadron ONE, Patrol Force, and in July 1917 was transferred to duty as Aide on Staff of Commander Division ONE, Squadron one, Cruiser Force, having been promoted to the rank of Commander on July 1, that year. In August he was sent to the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for duty in connection with fitting out the USS May and in command when that vessel was commissioned. He assumed command at her commissioning on October 7, that year, and continued in command until January 18, 1918, when he reported to the USS Prometheus, for duty on the Staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in France. On July 12 he was detached to duty in command of the USNaval Air Station, at Pauillac, Gironde, France, where he remained throughout the war period and until February 15, 1919.
He next had duty in command of the US Navy Nucleus Crew #1, with additional duty as Commander US Nucleus Crews Detachment, Pauillac, France, where he was assigned to the ex-German vessel KAISERIN AUGUSTA VICTORIA, commissioned in the US Navy on March 22, 1919. He command her until April26, and on April 28, the same year, assumed command of the Birmingham. In November 1919 he was transferred to command of Flotilla FIVE, Destroyer Squadron FOUR, Pacific Fleet, and from September to November 1920 he commanded Destroyer Squadron FIVE, Pacific Fleet.
He served as Chief of Staff to the Commander Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet, for seven months, after which he returned to the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, with orders to command that station, with additional duty in command of the Naval Air Station, Cape May, New Jersey. Reporting on June 24, 1921, he remained in command until October 1, of that year, when he was transferred to command of that Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island. Detached in June 1924, he assumed command on June 28 of USS Pittsburgh.
From September 24, 1926 to June 20, 1929, he served as Captain of the Yard, Navy Yard, New York, New York. He was then ordered to sea, and for five months was Commanding Officer of USS Idaho, after which he served as officer in Charge of the Branch Hydrographis Office, in New York until September 1, 1930, when he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy at his own request, after completion of thirty years’ service.
Captain Evans was awarded the Navy Cross for World War I service, with the following citation: “For distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of USS May, and later of the US Naval Aviation Station at Pauillac, France.” He was also awarded the cross of the Order of the Saviour and Diploma, by the Greek Republic; and the Order of Naval Merit and Efficiency, Third Class, by the Government of Spain. In addition, he had the Spanish Campaign medal; the Philippine Campaign Medal; Cuban Pacification Medal; Mexican Service medal; and the Victory Medal, Destroyer Clasp (for World War I service).
Captain Evans died on March 7, 1934, at the Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, New York, survived by his second wife, Enid Scarritt Evan.