(Photo courtesy Phyllis Erwin Stoltz & Curtis Stoltz)
This web site is dedicated to the memory of my Cousin, Donald E Erwin and 31 of his shipmates who perished in the line of duty on 11 May 1945 as their ship was hit by 4 kamikazi planes off Okinawa. Also as a tribute to the entire crew that endured the terrible battle of 10 & 11 May 1945. Anyone wishing to contribute crew or other information to this site may E-mail me at: Billykr@aol.com
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(From VOL II pages 375-76 "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships")
The second Evans, DD-552 was launched 4 October 1942 by Gulf Shipbuilding Co. Chicasaw, AL and commissioned 11 December1943, Commander F. C. Camp in Command.
Evans reached Majuro 29 March 1944 from Pearl Harbor and the east coast, and after escorting Cimarron (AO-22) to a midocean fueling rendezvous, conducted independent antisubmarine patrols around Japanese-held atolls in the Marshalls until 13 May After training in the Hawaiian Islands, she departed Pearl Harbor 3 June to screen the fueling and aircraft replacement group supporting both the fast carrier task force and the carrier escort force during the assault and capture of Saipan which began 15 June She continued to screen this fueling group through the summer as the Marianas were won, returning to Eniwetok to replenish from time to time.
On 26 August 1944, Evans sailed from Eniwetok to screen the fueling and aircraft replacement group for the assault and occupation of the Palaus, and arriving at Ulithi 30 October, served on patrol and escort duty there through 11 January 1945. After a special assignment to hunt submarines near Yap and to bombard that island, from 11 to 13 January, Evans sailed to Saipan, from which she screened transports to the landings on Iwo Jima 19 February. She conducted shore bombardment and supported the troops ashore with harassing fire on Japanese positions, then screened escort carriers until 8 March, when she sailed to Ulithi.
Evans cleared Ulithi 21 March 1945 to screen escort carriers in preinvasion air strikes on Okinawa and served with them through the 1 April assault and until 2 May, when she put in to Kerama Retto. Eight days later, she got underway with Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774) for a radar picket station northwest of Okinawa. During the first night on station, 10-11 May, enemy planes were constantly in evidence, more than a hundred attacked the two destroyers and the two LCSs with them. Evans fought determinedly against this overwhelming assault, splashing many of the attackers but in quick succession, four kamikazes struck her. Evans' after engineering spaces flooded, and she lost power. With the same courage they had shown in fighting their ship, Evans' crew now strove to save her, using portable fire extinguishers and bucket brigades. They succeeded though 32 were killed and 27 wounded, and the ship was towed into Kerama Retto 14 May for repairs. She was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for high gallantry and achievement.
After emergency repairs at Kerama Retto, Evans was towed to San Francisco, where she was decommissioned 7 November 1945. She was sold 11 February 1947.
In addition to the Presidential Unit Citation, Evans received five battle stars for World War II service.
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