Born in Franklin, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1876, Frank Edgar Evans enrolled as a Private in Company M, First Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers, at Camp Harvey, Wisconsin, on April 28, 1898, during the Spanish- American War, and was mustered out as a private on November 11, 1898, at Newark, New Jersey. He accepted on February 15, 1990, was promoted to First Lieutenant in July 23, 1990, and retired in the rank of Captain on February 28, 1905. He was appointed Major on the active list on July 18,1917; promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (temporary) during World War I, and commissioned in that ranks to date from June 4,1920; promoted to Colonel on June 24,1924; and was advanced to Brigadier General on the Retired List on December 1,1940.
After being commissioned in the Marine Corps, he had sea duty in USS Kentucky in 1990, and aboard the Training Ship Dixie until July 1902. He was then ordered to Headquarters at Washington, DC, and was sent with the First Marine Brigade to the Philippines where he served from February to September 1903. He had duty as Aide-de- Camp to the Brigadier General Commandant, USMC, from November 20, 1903 until July 28, 1905, during which period he was transferred to the Retired List.
He had active duty after his retirement as Assistant to the Inspector of Target Practice from December 7, 1905 until April 11, 1907: and with the Rifle Team until 1906. He was released from active duty and resided in Washington, DC, until shortly prior to World War I when he was recalled. From August 1914 to July 1917 he served first in charge of the Recruiting District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and from October 1915 in charge of the Recruiting District of New York, New York.
During the first year of the war he sailed for France with the Sixth Regiment of the US Marines and arrived at St. Nazarie on October 31, 1917, for detached duty with the US Army. From November 10 that year to January 7, 1918 he served as Regimental Adjutant and Commander of Camp Genicraft over Marine Corps and Army troops, and for several months as Regimental Adjutant and Operations Officer in the Toulon Sector. He participated in the Aisne- Marine Defense (Chateau Thierry from June 1 to 30, 1918.
He was Regimental Adjutant and Second in Command in the Nanteuil Billeting Area from July 21 to 31, in the Nancy Billeting Area from August 1 to 7, in the Marbache Sector, August 7 to 16; and attached to the Brigade Staff, participated in the St. Michiel Offensive, September 12 to 16, 1918. Later that month he had duty with G-3, 2nd, Division, during the entrainment of that Division for the Champagne Area. In recognition of his service in France, he received the Meritorious Service Citation from the Commander in Chief of the American expeditionary Force; and a Second Division Citation for meritorious service from the first to the 16th of June 1918. He was also awarded the Navy Cross and cited as follows:
“For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service as Adjutant, 6th Regiment marines. During the trying events of the part of June 1918, while in action against the enemy at Belleau Woods, he carried the Administrative burdens of his regiment with great efficiency. His untiring efforts, constant diligence, and intelligent transmission of orders from the Brigade Commander during a number of days when his Regimental Commander was in an advance headquarters and not always in communication, contributed in no small degree to the successful part by the 6th Regiment in the operations against the enemy from the 1st to the 16th of June 1918.”
Returning to the United States on March 7, 1919, he served as Officer in charge of the Eastern Recruiting Division, Philadelphia, and of the Marine Recruiting Publicity Bureau, New York, during the period following the war. He was then ordered to duty with the First Marine Brigade in Haiti, where he served from July 1922 until island 1924. Instruction as the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, for the next two years, was followed by duty on the staff there, until May 7, 1927. He then returned to Haiti, where he was designated Commanding Officer Constabulary detachment and chief the Gendareneris d”Haiti until March 31.1930.
After his return to the United States and a tour in the Officer of Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC, he reported in October 1932 as Commanding Post and District Marine Officer at Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, and from October 1, 1933 to August 1935 served in a similar capacity at Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, TH He was Officer in charge, successively, of the Southern Recruiting Division New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Western Recruiting Division, San Francisco, California, and returned to New Orleans for a second tour from September 10, 1938 until October 1, 1940. During the latter assignment, he had additional duty as Inspector-Instructor, 10th Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (0) from July 1939 until released from all active duty pending his final retirement on December 1, 1940. He died at the Naval Hospital Harbor, on November 25, 1941.
In addition to the Navy Cross and citations by the Commander in Chief, AEF, and Commander Second Division, Brigadier General Evans has the Purple Heart Medal; the Victory Medal with Aisne, St. Mihiel and Defense Clasps (1918); the Expeditionary Medal (Haiti-1922): the French Fourragere (1918); and the French Legion of Honor Diploma (1933).
General Evans was the author of “The Marvel Book of American Ships,” published by Stokes.
The USS Frank E. Evans (DD 754), has been named to honor the memory of Brigadier General Evans. The destroyer was sponsored, at her launching on October 3, 1944, at the Bethlehem Steel Company’s ways at Mariners Harbor Staten Island, New York, by General Evans widow, Mrs. Frank E. (Allean Fisk) Evans.