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Raymond J. Evans

Date of birth: February 2, 1921
Date of death: May 30, 2013
Burial location: Lakewood, Washington
Place of Birth: Washington, Bellingham
Home of record: Seattle Washington

Ray Evans joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939 when seven slots became available, meeting Douglas Munro who was filling another of the slots. In 1942 Evans volunteered to help build and operate a beach signal station, and landed with U.S. Marines on Guadalcanal on August 7. On September 27 he was reunited with Munro on a landing craft in an action that earned Munro the only Medal of Honor in Coast Guard history. A bout with malaria following that action sent Evans home where he was unaware he would receive the Navy Cross. It was to be presented by Vice Admiral Joseph Stika, Commander of the Coast Guard Training Station in Alameda. The Navy Cross sent from Headquarters for that presentation did not arrive, so Admiral Stika improvised, pinning his own Navy Cross earned during the Gillespie Plant Explosion in 1918 on Signalman Evens chest. Evans continued to serve, retiring as a Commander. The "Commander Ray Evans Outstanding Coxswain Trophy" is presented by the Coast Guard each year to an enlisted coxswain who demonstrates exemplary performance and superior technical, professional, leadership, and seamanship abilities while operating a Coast Guard boat.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Chief Signalman Raymond J. Evans, United States Coast Guard, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty in action against the enemy while serving as a member of the crew of a HIGGINS boat assisting in the rescue of a group of Marines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, FIRST Marine Division, who had become surrounded by enemy Japanese forces on a beachhead of Guadalcanal, Solomons Islands, on 27 September 1942. Although he knew that his boat was to be used for the purpose of drawing enemy fire away from other craft evacuating the trapped Marines, Chief Signalman Evans, with utter disregard for his own personal safety, volunteered as a member of the crew. Gallantly remaining at his post during the entire evacuation and with every other member of his crew killed or wounded, he maintained control of the boat with one hand on the wheel and continued to fire his automatic machine gun with the other, until the last boat cleared the beach. By his great personal valor, skill and outstanding devotion to duty in the face of grave danger, he contributed directly to the success of his mission by saving the lives of many who otherwise might have perished.

Action Date: September 27, 1942

Service: Coast Guard

Rank: Chief Signalman

Battalion: 1st Battalion (Attached)

Regiment: 7th Marines

Division: 1st Marine Division