Franck Taylor Evans
Captain, United States Navy
son of Robley Dungliston Evans and Charlotte
Taylor Evans, Franck Taylor Evans was born in 1875 and died in 1934.
He is buried with his family in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery,
under a private memorial which reads:
"Brave and brilliant and kind.
CAPTAIN F. T. EVANS, WAR VETERAN, DEAD
Son of Noted Rear Admiral, He Served Against Spain and in the World War.
WON MANY DECORATIONS
In 1917 Put Naval Air Station at Lakehurst Into Commission, Heading It 1921-1924.
Captain Franck Taylor Evans, U.S.N., retired, son of Rear Admiral Robley D. (Fighting Bob) Evans, died of pneumonia yesterday at Naval Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, at the age of 58. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American and World Wars and retired in 1930 after an adventurous career.
Captain Evans had long suffered from a heart malady and entered the Naval Hospital for treatment several months ago. He was progressing favorably until he caught a severe cold last Sunday when he left the hospital to visit his home at 52 East Sixty-seventh Street. The cold failed to yield to treatment and pneumonia developed.
Born in Switzerland on September 9, 1875, he belonged to a distinguished family. He was the great-grandson of General Morgan of the Morgan Rifles of the American Revolution. He was a nephew of the late Rear Admiral H. C. Taylor. One of his cousins is the wife of Rear Admiral W. R. Gherardi and another the wife of Captain E. S. Kellogg, U. S. N. (retired). President Cleveland appointed him to the Naval Academy, from which he was graduated in 1898. It was the year of the Spanish American War and the young ensign was assigned to the battleship Iowa, commanded by his father, who was then a Captain.
Fought in Battle of Santiago.
During the Battle of Santiago on July 3 the Iowa engaged the Spanish cruiser Vizcaya as she sought with the other Spanish warships to come out of Santiago Harbor. Her commander, Captain Antonio Eulate, was critically wounded in the fight, and when his ship was disabled he beached her to save the lives of his men. He was carried aboard the Iowa a prisoner and when he offered his sword to Captain Bob Evans the latter refused to accept it-an act which the Iowa's crew applauded.
When President Theodore Roosevelt visited Panama in 1906 Captain Evans acted as his spokesman. In 1908, when his father took the American fleet on its world cruise, Captain Evans was attached to the battleship Louisiana. While the fleet was in San Francisco young Evans was making a slumming tour in the Barbary Coast area when he saw two of his sailors about to be attacked by a gang in a dance hall. He drew his revolver and the roughs fled. A policeman appeared and Evans, who was in civilian clothes, was taken to a police station but later released.
At the entry of the United States into the World War Captain Evans was placed in command of the destroyer May. He served under Admiral William S. Sims in European waters in command of a destroyer division and as senior aide to Rear Admiral Hilary P. Jones in the Atlantic Coast patrol squadron. In 1918 Captain Evans was put in charge of the naval air station at Pauillac, near Bordeaux. He put the naval air station at Lakehurst, N. J., into commission in 1917 and received the ill-fated dirigible ZR-2 from Germany.
Once Brooklyn Navy Yard Captain.
After the World War Captain Evans served with the Pacific Fleet, returning to the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst as commander in 1921 and remaining there for three years. He was commander at the Newport Naval Training Station for two years and then went to Europe again, this time in command of the cruiser Pittsburgh. After two years as Captain of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in July, 1929, he took command of the battleship Idaho on the Pacific Coast. He was retired on Sept. 1, 1930, at his own request, after thirty-two years of service.
The Navy Cross for distinguished service during the World War was awarded him. He was an officer of the French Legion of Honor and held the Spanish Order of Naval Merit and Efficiency, third class, and the Cross of the Order of the Savior, conferred by the government of Greece. He also held Italian and Japanese decorations. Captain Evans was a member of the Army and Navy Club, the New York Yacht Club, the Loyal Legion and the Military Order of Foreign Wars.
He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Enid Scarritt Evans, a daughter of the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. William Russell Scarritt of Boston. She was his second wife. He also leaves two sisters, Mrs. Evans Sewall and Mrs. Charles Carleton March, both living in England, and two stepchildren, Nathaniel B. Wales, Jr. and Mrs. Kenelm Winslow of New York.
The funeral will be held in the chapel of the
Naval Hospital at the Brooklyn Navy Yard at 4 o'clock this afternoon. Burial
will be in the Arlington Cemetery, Washington, at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Admiral Robley D. Evans retired on 20 August 1908. At age 62, he was the described as the only active service naval officer who saw combat duty in the Civil War.
Shortly thereafter, Evans declined to intercede
in behalf of his son, Lieutenant Frank Taylor Evans, who was court martialed
18 November 1908. Lieutenant Evans had been in command of President Roosevelt's
yacht, the Slyph, before joining the USS Louisiana. He was charged with
"leaving his station on deck without permission, although he declared
it was to stop a disturbance below; disrespectful language to a superior
officer, and permitting two enlisted men to drink beer in his,
Evans's, room." He was sentenced to a public reprimand and reduction of
150 number in rank. Upon the death of his father on 1/4/12, he was
a Lieutenant Commander, commanding torpedo boat destroyer Monaghan at Boston
Navy Yard, but no other news article is found on Frank Evans until 18 April
1919 when, as Captain Frank T. Evans, he commanded the Hamburg-American
liner Kaiserin Auguste Victoria as the first enemy ship turned over to
the U.S. and used to transport troops back to New York.
Evans, Franck T.
Captain, U.S. Navy
Commanding Officer, U.S.S. May
Date Of Action: World War I
The Navy Cross is awarded to Captain Franck
T. Evans, U.S. Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession
as commanding officer of the U.S.S. May and later off the U. S. Naval Aviation
Station at Pauillac, France.
Captain Evans as the First Commanding Officer of Lakehurst
Naval Air Station, New Jersey, 1921.
Photo Courtesy of the United States Navy
Photograph By M. R. Patterson, October 2002
Updated: 9 December 2000 Updated: 18 March 2002 Updated: 10 October 2002 Updated: 26 July 2003 Updated: 22 December 2006
Updated: 22 January 2008
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003