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9/29/17

Death of a ClassMate - Colonel Ernest E. Evans Jr. USMC (Ret) - 5th Co.



 Colonel Ernest E. Evans Jr. USMC(Ret)  died 15 September 2017 of pulmonary complications. He was born and raised in Long Beach, California. His USNA appointment was under PL 228 (sons of Medal of Honor awardees). During the Battle off Samar, his father, USNA '31, was the Captain of USS Johnston (DD557) whose decisive actions in the battle influenced the Japanese to abort their attack on the landing beaches at Leyte. LtCdr.  Evans did not survive.  "The apple never falls too far from the tree."  At USNA, Ernie was in 5th company, third wing, Bancroft Hall.  He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, USMC.  After training at The Basic School, Quantico, he was a Platoon Commander, Reconnaissance Company, 1st MARDIV, Camp Pendleton, California.   In 1956, he became a Guard Officer, MB Guam.  He then trained new Marines at MCRD San Diego. Ernie then became C.O. H&S Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st MARDIV, Camp Pendleton.  When they moved to Okinawa Ernie was C.O., E Company, and later Assistant Operations Officer. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Battalion deployed on the LPH USS Iwo Jima. Back at Camp Pendleton, Ernie became Assistant Training Officer, Division General Staff, then C.O. Replacement Company MCB.   Afterward, he was Marine Officer Instructor, NROTC, IIT, Chicago.   In 1968 in Vietnam, Ernie became the Battalion operations officer, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines combating the NVA 320th Division. Three days later, they repulsed an NVA regimental assault after a heavy barrage of artillery/mortars. The 320th became combat ineffective. Ernie became Regimental Operations officer, then 3rd Battalion C.O. It was very successful in combat.  Ernie returned to Camp Pendleton as Operations Officer, 5th MARDIV.  He then attended graduate school, University of Rochester, and received an MBS.  The next five years were in the Fiscal Division, HQMC.  In 1976 he reported to MCDC Quantico in long-range plans.  Then he assisted the Secretary, Tactical Warfare, Office of Secretary of Defense.  Ernie retired 1 October 1983, and established his consulting corporation in Virginia.  Awards include: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit w/V, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, PUC, two NUC's, and the RVN Gallantry Cross w/Palm.  Ernie was predeceased by Jean, his loving wife of 51 years, whom he married after graduation from USNA. Surviving children are Deborah, Ernest E. III, Rebecca, and Michael, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Ernie will be interred with his wife in Arlington National Cemetery. "Semper Fi"

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