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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Evans ship fought in World War II
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Roger Allen

    According to shipping records, there have been five vessels that have borne the name Evans.
    The first such vessel was the Wickes Class Destroyer DD-78, which was built and launched on Oct. 30, 1918 by the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine.
    The Evans spent time patrolling and then was decommissioned on May 22, 1922 and placed in the Reserve Fleet. Reactivated on April 1, 1930, the Evans sailed the Pacific Ocean ranging from Alaska all the way to Pearl Harbor.
    Evans was ordered to go out on "Neutrality Patrols" in the Caribbean Islands, and then was sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia. There, the Evans was decommissioned again and transferred to the British Royal Navy in one of the "Destroyers for Bases" exchange programs.
    Commissioned as the HMS Mansfield, a Town Class Destroyer, the former Evans was then lent to the Royal Norwegian Navy-in-Exile to participate in an attack on a fish oil plant in Oksfjord.
    Once the mission was complete, she was returned to the British Navy, who modified her, adding even more depth charges and the new Hedgehog weaponry to attack lurking German submarines.
    After her refit, she was then transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, as part of the Western Local Escort Force based at Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint Johns, New Brunswick. On June 22, 1944, she was decommissioned after serving in four nations navies during World War II.
    The next ship Evans was a motor-screw yacht weighing only four tons, which was built in 1942 in Owen Sound, Ontario. About this vessel not much more is known.
    The third Evans was one of the new Fletcher Class warships. DD 552 was built at the Gulf Shipbuilding Yards in Chickasaw, Ala., and was  commissioned on Dec. 11, 1943.
    Evans spent most of its time in the Marshall and Marianas Islands on anti-submarine patrols. As part of Task Force 52, the Evans single-handedly shot down 15 Japanese planes before four of the Kamikaze planes got through the defenses and struck the ship.
    The Evans was rescued by salvage ships the USS Arikara and Cree and towed to the U.S. Navy's repair facilities at Kerama Rhettto on Okinawa. The Evans eventually was towed by WSA tug M.V. Pigeon Point to the Mare Island Naval Yard.
    Once the seriousness of the damage to the Evans was fully realized, the Chief of Naval Operations ordered the Evans decommissioned.
    The fifth Evans was the new Dealey Class Destroyer Escort. DDE-1023 was built at the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company Yards in Seattle, Wash., and was commissioned on June 14, 1957.
    She weighed 1,314 tons, was 308 feet long and 37 feet across. The Evans weaponry included four three-inch guns and 50 caliber duals mounts, numerous gun batteries, anti-submarine rocket launchers, numerous torpedo tubes, as well as surface to air and surface to surface missile launchers.
    The Evans was detailed to serve the Commander who was overseeing the administration of her new Pacific Nations Trust Territories. Her second tour of duty included participating in joint exercises with the Philippines Navy and patrolling the Taiwan Straits.
    She eventually was decommissioned in September 1968 and entered the U.S. Navy's Reserve Fleet. She was eventually struck from the Navy list on Dec. 3, 1973 and was sold for scrap in 1974.
    The last vessel known to be named Evans was the Refrigerated Cargo vessel. Weighing in at 4944 tons gross, and more than 387 feet long and 59 feet wide, this vessel was built  in 1968 by the Fukuoka Shipbuilding Company in Fukuoka, Japan. Named the Mikawa Maru at first, and then the Evans, it is now named the Arctic Mariner.
    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at

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