Frank Evans (DD 754) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1966

Page 9 of 92


Frank Evans (DD 754) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1966 Edition, Page 9 of 92
Page 9 of 92

Frank Evans (DD 754) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1966 Edition, Page 8
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Page 9 text:

On February 3, 1945, the ship was accepted by the Navy at commissioning ceremonies and turned over to her first commanding officer, Commander Harry Smith. After her initial shakedown cruise off the East Coast the ship steamed to Pearl Harbor and re- ported to Commander Third Fleet. Soon, FRANK E. EVANS headed West and was assigned as a fighter director ship in a radar picket station South West of Okinawa. It was there 754 performed her first two sea rescues. During her brief World War II duty FRANK E. EVANS earned one battle star on the Asiatic-Pacific Area Service Medal for participating in the assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto between 24 and 30 June 1945. Following the close of the war the ship steamed to Manchuria to secure the release of U.S. Naval prisoners reported to be in that area then returning to Korea she supported the landings of the occupation forces. For these post war duties FRANK E. EVANS received both the China Service Medal and Navy Occupation Service Medal. Upon completion of her Western Pacific duties 754 returned to the states, underwent pre -decommissioning overhaul and on July 7, 1947 was made a member of the Navy ' s Mothball fl Although recommissioned briefly in 1949 it was not until three months after the outbreak of the Korean War that FRANK E. EVANS returned to active duty. On January 2, 1951, the ship left for combat duty with the Seventh Fleet. As part of the fifty ship armada EVANSparticipated inthe longest sustained Naval bombardment in history. During one of eleven duals the ship engaged with enemy shore batteries at Wonsan FRANK E. EVANS was hit causing damage to its super structure and injuries to four of the crew. In the early months of our Naval blockade 754 left the comparative safety of Task Force Seventh-Seven and steamed along the enemy coast. This operation brought to the ship the nicknames " The Gray Ghost " and " Lucky Evans " . EVANS again entered into the enemy held harbor of Wonsan and with the cruiser and three other destroyers inaugurated a day night siege that was lifted only at the time of the Korean Armistice. On the fifth of bombardment enemy shore batteries took EVANS under fire from three sides.

Page 8 text:

RECOLLECTIONS Brigadier General Frank E. Evans, USMC, was born in 1876 in Franklin, Pennsylvania. He served in the Marines first as an infantryman in the Philippines during the Spanish- American War. After the war he entered Princeton University. Upon being graduated from Princeton, he accepted a commission as Second Lieutenant in 1900. During World War I he served in France with the Sixth Regiment of Marines as Regimental Adjutant and Commander of Camp Benicart and as Regimental Adjutant and Operations officer in the Toulouse sector where he participated in the Aisue Marne defensive. In recognition of his services in France, General Evans, an often decorated fighting man, was awarded the Navy Cross and a Meritorious Service Citation for his action against the enemy at Belleau Woods. His post war service included duty in Haiti where he commanded the Constabulary Detachment and was Chief of the Gendarmerie d ' Haiti. Retiring from active service December 1, 1940, General Evans made his home in Honolulu where he died at the Pearl Harbor Naval Hospital on November 25, 1941, twelve days prior to the beginning of World War II. His destroyer namesake 754 slid down the ways at the Bethlehem Steel Company yard, Staten Island, New York on October 3, 1944, with Mrs. Frank E. Evans, the general ' s widow and ship ' s sponsor present.

Page 10 text:

Ninety minutes later 754 ' s five inch guns silenced all batteries. After Wonsan, EVANS proceeded to the Communist held port of Songju. With two other United Nations destroyers the ship took the harbor under fire and rendered the harbor and supply center useless. In the closing months of her first Korean tour EVANS ranged the coastline conducting Naval gun fire missions at the bombline in frontline support of United Nations forces ashore. During this period, she coordinated clay and night bombing missions for allied planes, interdicted communist supply lines and sunk many sanpans and junks. Besides her devastating gunfire against the enemy, she aided in the rescue of six United Nations pilots off the east coast of Korea. FRANK E. EVANS then headed home bringing back with her the fighting nick- name, a reputation for luck that was largely earned excellence and a new collection of battle ribbons to add to her World War II awards. Within a year 754 returned to Korea. At this time she embarked Commander United Nations Blockade and Escort Forces. She returned to the enemies coastline and again became the avenging Gray Ghost in the eyes of the Communist who sighted her in rapid succession along the bombline and off Manchuria. During her tour she conducted off shore patrols and continuous bombardment of enemy strongholds at Hungnam, Sungjiu, Tanchon, Yongdon, Conjin, Wonsan, Kojo, and the front lines themselves. For her participation in the Korean conflict the destroyer earned the Korean Service medal with three engagement stars for participation in the first U.N. counter offensive, the Combat China Spring Offen- sive and the U.N. Summer Fall offensive. Since the Korean conflict FRANK E. EVANS has frequently operated in the Western Pacific area as a member of the Seventh Fleet. In 1954 she received world wide publicity when Pulitzer prize corre- spondent Homer Bigart acclaimed 7.14 for its single handed rescue of a Chinese personnel transport ship in the Taiwan straits. Again in 1960 she was nationally

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