JOSEPH L. EVANS, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Joseph Evans '36

Date of birth: September 12, 1912

Date of death: July 9, 1940

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1936 Lucky Bag:

Loss

From naval aviation researcher Richard Leonard on December 29, 2017:

Tracked down his loss to while he was in VS-72, USS Wasp (CV-7), killed in an at sea crash near Guantanamo, BNR, 7/9/1940

From the Shamokin News Dispatch on July 10, 1940:

Joseph Lewis Evans, son of James C. and Grace (Lewis) Evans, was born here September 12, 1912. His maternal grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. H. Theodore Lewis, pioneer Shamokin settlers, and his paternal grandfather was the late Joseph Evans, widely known coal operator here. He attended Shamokin High ‘School and was graduated in the Class of 1930 after starring in football and basketball throughout his local scholastic career.

Following graduation, Evans entered Mercersburg Academy and graduated from that institution in ' 1931. He then entered Severn Military Academy, at Severn-on-the-Potomac, and graduated from the academy in 1932. He entered United States Military Academy at Annapolis and during his four years in the institution | Was prominent in athletics. He earn,ed a place on the Navy Plebes football team in his first year, and through his athletic ability gained a varsity berth on the football team during the years of 1933, 1934 and 1935, He played against Army during his senior year and earned the covted “star” for participating in the annual service contest.

Joseph Evans also starred at lacrosse during his four years at school and distinguished himself in that sport, gaining another coveted “star” in participating against the United States Military Academy. In football he was a back, and because of his unusual physique played a defense halfback, During his closing year at school he was used at fullback position, because of his exceptional charging ability.

Following graduation from United States Naval Academy Evans was ordered to the Pacific coast and assigned as a lieutenant on the United States cruiser Chicago. Two years ago he was ordered East and was assigned to a post on the United States destroyer Dunlap, but only served four days, after which he was called to Pensacola, where he entered the United States Naval Air Training School and was graduated in 1939.

The young naval officer then went to Norfolk, Va., where he was stationed from September, 1939, to May 31, of this year. Two weeks ago he left with members of the crew of the naval air carrier Wasp, for southern waters. He was communication officer onthe Wasp and was second in command of aviation on the vessel. Recently Lieutenant Evans completed a course in chemical warfare at Edgewood Arsenal and was well versed in modern war tactics and technology.

Fraternally Lieutenant Evans was a member of Shamokin Lodge No. 295 of Masons. He was also a member of the old Phi Rho Sigma fraternity.

Surviving are his parents and two sisters, Miss Suzanne, at home, and Louise, of Pittsburgh.

The article also mentioned that his aircrewman was also lost, and that this was the third crash he had experienced.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1936

Ensign, USS New York

Others at this command: LT Douglas Smith '25, ENS Clark Hood, Jr. '35, ENS David Zabriskie, Jr. '36, ENS James Southerland, II '36, ENS John Hunter '36, and ENS Richard Meyers '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Archibald Greenlee '32 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B) and ENS George Nicol '34 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

January 1937

Ensign, USS New York

Others at this command: LT Douglas Smith '25, ENS Clark Hood, Jr. '35, ENS David Zabriskie, Jr. '36, ENS James Southerland, II '36, ENS John Hunter '36, and ENS Richard Meyers '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Archibald Greenlee '32 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B) and ENS George Nicol '34 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

April 1937

Ensign, USS Chicago

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Harry Bauer '27 (Cruiser Division 5) and ENS James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S).

September 1937

Ensign, USS Chicago

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (Cruiser Division 5), LT Francis Black '26 (Scouting Force), and ENS James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5).

January 1938

Ensign, USS Chicago

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (Cruiser Division 5), LT Francis Black '26 (Scouting Force), ENS James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5), and ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35 (Cruiser Division 5).

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Squadron (VS) 72, USS Wasp

Others at or embarked at USS Wasp: LCDR Rogers Elliott '22 (USS Wasp), LT John Eldridge, Jr. '27 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 71), LT Charles Ostrom '30 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 71), and LTjg James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 7).

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Squadron (VS) 72, USS Wasp

Others at this command: LTjg Mark Eslick, Jr. '35.

Others at or embarked at USS Wasp: LCDR Rogers Elliott '22 (USS Wasp), LT John Eldridge, Jr. '27 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 71), LT John Burke '28 (USS Wasp), LTjg Dewitt Harrell '35 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 71), LTjg James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 7), LTjg Webster Johnson '36 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 7), ENS John Smith '38 (USS Wasp), ENS William Cook '38 (USS Wasp), and ENS Lester Wall, Jr. '39 (USS Wasp).


Class of 1936

Joseph is one of 39 members of the Class of 1936 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.