JOHN T. EVERSOLE, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Eversole '38

Date of birth: April 17, 1915

Date of death: June 4, 1942

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:

Obituary

From Find A Grave:

John Jacob Eversole married Sarah W. Ralston on 26 Jun 1912 in Benton county, AR. They had at least 2 children; John Thomas and Gladys M. Eversole. John died on 10 May 1943 and his wife Sarah died 42 years later in 1985. Sarah raised her only grandchild, Thomas (Aikers) Eversole, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1965 and became a navy pilot like his uncle.

John T. Eversole received a US Naval Academy appointment from Idaho and entered the Academy on 12 Jun 1934. …

Tom graduated from the USNA 02 Jun 1938 with a commission as an Ensign, USN. After graduation Ensign Eversole reported aboard the light cruiser USS Cincinnati (CL-6) on 29 Jun 1938. After several years aboard the Cincinnati where he attended a course in Torpedo instruction, Ensign Eversole was transferred to the USS Crowinshield (DD-134). He was detached from the Crowninshield in August 1940. That tour was brief as Crowninshield was transferred to the British Navy on 09 Sept 1940 and renamed the HMS Chelsea (I35) and subsequently to the Soviet Navy where she was renamed Derzkiy. Shortly thereafter, Ens. Eversole reported to NAS Pensacola to begin aviation training. He completed his aviation training and received his naval aviator wings before 7 May 1941 when Eversole reported to Torpedo Squadron Six (VT-6) aboard USS Enterprise (CV-6). He was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade (Ltjg) on 02 Jun 1941.

On the morning of 4 Jun 1942, pilot Ltjg Eversole and his radioman-gunner RM2 John Udell Lane launched their torpedo plane from Enterprise along with other crews of VT-6 and Air Group Six to attack the Japanese striking force that was approaching Midway. Separated from their covering fighter protection, VT-6, comprised of 14 torpedo planes, had to thread their way through a gauntlet of swarming enemy fighters and a hail of anti-aircraft fire. One by one the planes of VT-6 were shot down. Of the fourteen torpedo planes that took off from the Enterprise that morning only four survived the attack. Ens Eversole and Petty Officer Lane did not return. Their remains were unrecoverable. They were listed as missing in action until 05 Jun 1943 when they were reported as "presumed dead."

Wartime Service

From TBD Devastator Units of the US Navy by Barrett Tillman,

Torpedo Six lost an aircraft on 18 February [1942] when LT(jg) John T Eversole became disoriented in high winds and made a water landing about 60 miles from the task force. Happily, the crew of "Tare 18" was rescued by a destroyer the next day and returned to Enterprise.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade John Thomas Eversole (NSN: 0-81215), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron SIX (VT-6), attached to the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Participating in a vigorous and intensive assault against the Japanese invasion fleet, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Eversole pressed home his attack with relentless determination in the face of a terrific barrage of anti-aircraft fire. The unprecedented conditions under which his squadron launched its offensive were so exceptional that it is highly improbably the occasion may ever recur where other pilots of the service will be called upon to demonstrate an equal degree of gallantry and fortitude. His extreme disregard of personal safety contributed materially to the success of our forces and his loyal conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 309 (December 1942)
Action Date: June 4, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6)
Division: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)

Namesake

USS Eversole (DE 404) was the first ship named for John; the ship was sponsored by his mother, Sarah. USS Eversole (DE 404) was sunk on March 21, 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

USS Eversole (DD 789) was also named for John; she, too, was sponsored by his mother. Following decades of service with the US Navy, the ship was transferred to the Turkish Navy, where she served for another 22 years. She is now preserved as a museum ship.


Class of 1938

John is one of 69 members of the Class of 1938 in Memorial Hall.