The USS Evans (DD-552) served in the U.S. Navy for a few years in the mid-20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans who commanded the Great White Fleet on part of its voyage around the world in 1907. Evans was laid down as a member of the Fletcher class of destroyers.
Evans was laid down at Chickasaw, Alabama by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation in July 1941, launched in October 1942, and commissioned in December 1943 with Commander F.C. Camp in command. Armed with five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 1.1-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, Evans was 376 feet, five inches long and carried a crew of 273. She was driven by Westinghouse turbines and had a cruising speed of 38 knots, with a range of 6,500 nautical miles at 15 knots.
Evans began her wartime naval service escorting Cimarron to an ocean refueling point in March 1944. The destroyer was then assigned to anti-submarine patrols in the Marshall Islands until May, and after that deployment, screened fuel ships to support aircraft carriers during the capture of Saipan in June. Evans continued this service throughout operations in the Mariana Islands, as well as during the assault and occupation of Palaus.
Evans conducted patrol and escort services at Ulithi from October 1944 to January 1945, and went on to bombard Yap Island and also conducted searches for submarines. In February, Evans resumed screening duties for troop transports during the Iwo Jima operation, and provided shore bombardment while troops were deployed onshore.
Prior to the invasion of Okinawa, Evans protected escort carriers during air strikes on the island, and operated as a radar picket station northwest of Okinawa during the invasion. During this deployment, Evans was hit by four kamikaze aircraft and lost power, but the crew managed to save the ship. Evans lost 32 crew members and was repaired at Kerama Retto, having received the Presidential Unit Citation for her service. The destroyer was also awarded five battle stars for her service in World War II. Evans was decommissioned in November 1945, struck from the Navy list in November, and sold for scrap in February 1947.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Evans (DD-552)
Many sailors serving aboard the USS Evans, in a number of occupations, were potentially exposed to some level of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). However, certain jobs risked a greater chance of asbestos exposure; crew members working in the engine room, handling machinery, dealing with fire, or dealing with battle damage were more likely to be exposed to asbestos than those performing administrative duties. Dock and shipyard servicemen were also at risk of being exposed to asbestos while performing ship repairs, overhauls or refits.
Scientists have established a conclusive link between the inhalation of asbestos and the development of malignant mesothelioma. Those serving on board this ship and who have developed this life-threatening illness may be eligible to receive compensation for their injury. Please fill in the form on this page and we will send you information explaining various options that are available.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-552.
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd552txt.htm) Retrieved 20 January 2011.
NavSource Naval History, USS Evans (DD-552).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/552.htm) Retrieved 20 January 2011.