Shipmates: L-R

Herman Reid Liles

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Raymond F. "Ray" Merrigan

Ray Merrigan was in the real estate and construction business with his son, Gary, and son-in-law, Darryl LeFebvre. He lived in Connecticut in the summer and in Florida on Estero Island in the winter.

 

 

 

 

 

The photograph above, sent in by Ray Merrigan, shows, Evans shipmates (from left) Elmore Bowden, an unidentified shipmate and Merrigan.

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John Donald Meyer, F1c

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Norman Mathias Miller

 

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Leo Anthony Mislak

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Harry Montgomery

Harry was born on March 25, 1919 and raised in Hazelwood, PA. On May 3, 1940 he married Stella Dolatowski of Pittsburgh, PA. They have three children, Robert (who was two years old when his Father joined the Navy), Jim (also served in the Navy and regularly attends the U.S.S. Evans reunions) and Barbara (who attended the 1999 U.S.S. Evans reunion banquet).

A chemical technician in the Alloys Research Department, Harry retired from U. S. Steel on August 31, 1980 where he worked for 42 years. Collecting stamps, model railroads, CB radios, gardening and feeding the “birds” are a few of his hobbies.

He is a life member and past commander of Bushy Run Legion Post 260 and also a life member of the Veterans for Foreign Wars at the Delmont, PA chapter. Even open-heart surgery on March 11, 1999, did not prevent Harry from attending the USS Evans reunion banquet in Pittsburgh of that year. The Evansreunions are very important to Harry and he says, “I live to go to the reunions!”

Harry Montgomery was a selective volunteer in the Navy. On April 1944, he attended Bainbridge, MD boot camp. Ultimately, he was assigned to the gun handling room for projectiles on the USS Evans. During his tour of duty on the Evans, the ship was hit (May 11th 1945). He recalls when they were given the order to lighten the ship that the “beer” was not thrown overboard.

Harry was transferred temporarily after the hit to an ammunition ship, which eventually was sent to General Quarters. The USS Evans was towed to Kiamoredo, where Commander Archer sent a message to the Evans crew for all to return to the ship. The Commander wanted his crew to return home together on their ship.

While Harry was on leave in August 1945 the war ended. He returned to San Francisco to receive his orders. Christmas Eve 1945 he was discharged. Harry proudly served one year and eight months in the United States Navy. The Presidential Unit Citation and four battle medals were awarded to him. Harry has yet to receive his medal for the battle of Philippines.

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Jim Pangburn

Jim Pangburn was discharged from the Navy in March, 1946, as a Fire Controlman 3rd Class USNR.

He joined the Undine Rowing Club on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. He was a member of an eight-oared shell crew and participated in many races. Jack Kelly, Grace Kelly’s brother, was rowing at this time for the Vesper’s Boat Club which was located next door to Undine.

In June 1950, Jim graduated from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, where he participated in many sports. He was captain of the 1950 varsity track team and belonged to Sigma Chi Fraternity. Jim was employed by the United States Steel Corporation in the Homestead District Works near Pittsburgh where for a short time he worked in the Metalurgical Department and got to see Harry Montgomery, a member of the Evans Crew who also worked in this department. He was transferred to the Industrial Engineering Department and worked in open hearths, reheating pits, rolling mill, structural mill, plate mill, finishing mill, wheel and axle division, and the Central Wharf. During this time, he saw groups of Japanese businessmen touring the facility who later put US Steel out of business. In 1957, Jim married his wife, Gloria, of Lynchburg, VA, and went to work for the then-brand-new General Electric Co. Communications Department as an Industrial Engineer. He was one of the first to be hired at the facility. In 1965, Jim moved to Lewisburg, PA, where he was employed by the JPM Company, located in Lewisburg. JPM is a manufacturer of Wire and Cable Assemblies with several other plants in this country and one in Mexico. He retired in 1995 after 44 years of employment. Jim and Gloria have two sons, Don Cross and James R. Pangburn.

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Leo F. Peters

Blanche Peters writes of her husband, who died of cancer in 1992: “We were living on Mare Island [Mare Island, CA where the Evans was decommissioned] when the war ended. When the ship was hit, he was one of the sailors on board to help bring it back to the states. Leo had a choice of going on to communication school, but during the time he had to make up his mind, the war ended and he was ready to come home.

“Leo did enjoy his navy life and living on Mare Island was quite a change for a little country school teacher. We did enjoy our time there and I was able to meet several of his friends.

“Shortly before he got out of the Navy, Leo grew a beard. We didn't recognize him as he got off the train with a group of sailors.

“Leo picked up his discharge papers at St. Louis, MO, and we returned to Trenton, MO. We bought a house here and Leo went to work for Perry Electrical Service, thanks to the navy for the schooling he received at Perdue University and Edison Electric.

“Leo worked for this business a full year. During this time an idea kept growing in his mind that we could run a business of our own. This idea kept growing until sometime in 1954 he resigned and Peters Electric and Refrigeration Service was started. He returned to school for more refrigeration knowledge at Hilyard Technical School. He spent two years here going to school at night and working during the day. This was a busy, busy time for us as we were the parents of four children, but it was a very happy time. As I look back, I don't know who we got it all done, but we did. Later on, Leo sent our son and one of the men that worked for him to Hilyard so they could get their certification in refrigeration.”

“In 1968, the teacher of the refrigeration school (Chillicothe Technical School) quit in the middle of the year and the board came to ask Leo if he would finish the school term for them. He finally decided to help them out and stayed for four more years. Our son managed the business during this time with Leo figuring the contracts and Lee bossing the crew. Leo also helped with service calls during the evening. Leo finally came to the conclusion that being shut in four walls wasn't his cup of tea and resigned, returning to the business full time where he remained until his death on January 25, 1992.

“Leo had cancer and finally, about four and a half months before his death, he had to use a walker, then a wheel chair and finally was confined to bed. During those last three weeks, we were able to keep him at home with the help of family and friends. I was so thankful we were able to do this.

“Now to our children of which I would write pages and pages, could brag and brag abut as I know there are a lot of other shipmates on the USS Evans that are just as proud of their children as we are of ours.“Cheryl, our oldest, works at Wright Memorial Hospital here in Trenton and lives here at home.

“Lee and his wife Laura operate two stores here in town. They have two daughters and a son.

“Then along come the twins. Barbara is a teacher in St. Louis. She is married to Don Schneider who is a teacher and a coach. They have two sons.

“Beverly is also a teacher in St. Louis. Her husband, Rick Nauman, works in the engineering department of a computer company. They have one son.

“Leo was a good husband, father and grandfather. He was just a super guy and we miss him a lot.”

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Hamilton Horton Potter

Hamilton H. Potter enlisted in the U.S. Navy at Louisville, KY on 2 August
1935 and attended "boot camp" at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, IL. Duty stations included Norfolk, VA; New York, NY; Portsmouth, RI; San Diego, CA; Charleston, SC; and Pearl Harbor, HI. He served on the following ships: USS Tattmall, USS Dickerson, USS Phelps and the USS Evans. Hamilton Potter was serving aboard the destroyer USS Phelps at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 during the Japanese attack that led the United States into World War II.

Chief Machinist Mate Hamilton Potter was killed in action on 11 May 1945 by a Japanese attack on the destroyer USS Evans, 40 miles off the NW coast on Okinawa. He received the Purple Heart (posthumously) and is buried alongside his parents at Lee Memorial Cemetery, Woodway, Lee County, VA. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Betty Lee (Vaughn) Potter, son Jimmy Hamilton Potter (now deceased) and daughter Orpha Glynn Potter.

Hamilton Potter had 3 brothers who followed him in service to their country in the U.S. Navy (two served during WWII and one served during the "cold war"): Chief Petty Officer Charles J. Potter, USN (ret); Seaman Fred H. Potter, USN and Merchant Marine; and Seaman William "Mac" Potter, USN.

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Donald Arthur Raun

From Linda Raun, daughter:

My father was a Coxswain on the USS Evans. He died in 1976 at the age of 52, leaving his widow, Geraldine (Gerry) and 6 children. He didn't often speak of his experiences - probably he felt we were too young to hear about the war. The one thing that is memorable is that he married my mother after knowing her less than a month. They met at Mare Island where my mother was employed. His friend and shipmate, David Stanfield, was best man at the wedding.

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Ernest B. Robert

The following was submitted by Gerald Robert, brother of Ernest Bruno Robert:

Ernest was born on July 15, 1922 to Henry and Colombe (Riel) Robert of Cohoes, NY.  He was the brother of John (Veronica) Robert, Leo (Betty) Robert, Louis (Marion) Robert, Lauretta (Wesley) Lampman, Rita (Frank) Metzner, Thomas Robert, Alice (Harold) Vadney, and Gerald (Catherine) Robert.

Four of his brothers also served in the military in WWII.  Leo and Gerald served in the U.S. Navy.  Louis and Thomas served in the U.S. Army.

Ernie grew up in Cohoes, NY, and attended Cohoes High School.  He was an avid baseball player and fan.

Ernest was one of the 32 men killed in the Kamikaze attack on the USS Robley D. Evans.  He served on the Evans from December 11, 1943 until May 11, 1945.He was buried in the Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, New York.

He was a recipient of the following military awards:

  • PURPLE HEART
  • NAVY PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION
  • NAVY GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
  • ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL

Current survivors are Gerald and Catherine Robert, Marion Robert, and several nieces, nephews, as well as great nieces and nephews.

Gerald H. Robert visits the grave of his brother at the Woodlawn National Cemetery, in Elmira, NY.

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