872 65 82
|HOME OF RECORD:
5371 Wabada Avenue, St. Louis, MO
|NEXT OF KIN:
Parents, William & Ethel Evans
|DATE OF BIRTH:
1943 – 1946
|DATE OF DEATH:
Bronze Star, Purple Heart with Gold Star
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Pharmacist’s Mate, Third Class
Bennie Evans was born in Missouri; he enlisted in the Navy at the age of 19, and was soon on his way to training in California.
Evans’ service in the Navy got off to a rocky start. He was selected for medical training and studied with Company A, Field Medical School at Camp Elliott in California; however, he took off from the base on the morning of January 17, 1944 and did not return during the month. This was a serious infraction, and Evans found himself shipped out to the replacement battalion of the Fifth Amphibious Corps. In May, he was assigned to First Battalion, 24th Marines – less than a month later, he was making his first combat landing on Saipan in the Marianas Islands.
Bennie Evans was wounded on August 1, 1944, while fighting on Tinian. His injury was not life threatening, but enough to earn him a Purple Heart, awarded on October 30. Evans was also promoted to Hospital Apprentice First Class.
It was on Iwo Jima that Evans would really shine. Although wounded a second time in March 1945, Evans earned a Bronze Star and a long-awaited promotion to Pharmacist’s Mate, Third Class – he sewed on his petty officer’s insignia the day after receiving a gold star for his Purple Heart medal.
Evans left the battalion on October 6, 1945; he was transferred back to California for another assignment. He left the service on March 7, 1946.
Bennie Evans returned to Missouri after the war; he died in Eldon in the year 2000 and is buried in Dooley Cemetery.