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Halsey's Typhoon

It was like it was raining airplanes!

Another kamikazes plane attacks Evans

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Monpat was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He went to E.D. White High School for one year then quit and went to trade school to learn to be a printer. He graduated from Delgado [Annotator's Note: Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana] and went into the printing business until the war started then he went back, finished his apprenticeship, and stayed with it.Monpat joined the Naval Reserve in 1937 when he was 17 years old. He enlisted because some of his friends had joined and he wanted the adventure of going on 2 week cruises aboard destroyers once a year; plus money was hard to come by at that time.He enlisted in 1937 for a 4 year enlistment but before his enlistment was up he was called to active duty. This was in May 1941. He was in the Navy Reserve all the way through the war.Prior to the war, they would go to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Guantanamo Bay [Annotator’s Note: Cuba] would send out a tug boat and they would have target practice. On one cruise they went down to Panama and he had 2 nights of liberty there. He was rated as an apprentice seamen, then Fireman 3rd class or Fireman 1st class.After being called to active duty they were sent as a group to boot camp in San Diego. They had called up 2 divisions. There were 3 divisions here [Annotator's Note: on the Gulf Coast of the US], the 1st, 2nd, and 6th. The 1st and 2nd were called up. Monpat was in the 1st Division. After boot camp in San Diego they were sent as a unit to Corpus Christi, Texas where a new air base had just opened. From there the group was broken up and sprinkled all around.Monpat did not want to go to sea and he did not want to go to war. The war started in December [Annotator's Note: December 1941] and in January [Annotator's Note: January 1942] he got married so he was a newlywed. Monpat was lucky for the next 2 years. He was assigned to different shore bases. He went to diesel school at the Norfolk naval base. He was put on a patrol boat in Pensacola, Florida when the war started. He went to another diesel school at the University of Houston and after finishing that he was sent to Fort Morgan, Alabama where he went aboard the USS Evans [Annotator's Note: USS Evans (DD-552)] which had been built in Mobile.Monpat drove the Liberty Bus up to Mobile every Saturday. They would go to Mobile or to the little town of Foley, Alabama.When Monpat returned he was told that he was being transferred to the USS Capps [Annotator's Note: (DD-550)]. He reported into the section base in Mobile and recognized several of the guys. When his orders were pulled he discovered that he was actually being assigned to the USS Evans which was still 6 months away from being ready. They gathered the crew and went to Chickasaw, outside of Mobile, where the ship was being built. Monpat left Fort Morgan in June [Annotator's Note: June 1943] and by December the ship was ready to be commissioned. He stayed with the USS Evans for the rest of war.After a shakedown cruise to Bermuda they went to the Charleston Navy Yard where they got a camouflage paint job. They could tell where they were going by the paint job they got. With all grey they knew you would be going to the Atlantic or with the 2 tone they knew they were going to the Pacific. The Evans got a 2 tone paint job. They went up to Providence, Rhode Island, where they picked up a convoy then to the Panama Canal and right out to Pearl Harbor. By that time, he was was rated a 1st class machinist mate.They had liberty in Pearl Harbor and were then sent down to the Marshall Islands which the Marines had just taken. Monpat's ship spent a month on antisubmarine duty circling around the islands that had been bypassed to keep submarines from bringing in supplies. They then returned to Pearl Harbor to make preparations for the Mariana invasion which was Saipan, Tinian, and Guam.Then it was to the next invasion at Peleliu then the Philippine Islands, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In between those invasions they would deliver mail and escort tankers. They were busy all the time. 

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The Evans [Annotator's Note: US Navy destroyer USS Evans (DD-552)] was a Fletcher Class destroyer of 2100 tons.Life on a destroyer was fine if they did not run into bad weather. They went through 1 typhoon [Annotator's Note: Typhoon Cobra, also known as Halsey's Typhoon, formed and dissipated in December 1944] and lost 3 destroyers, the Hull , the Spence, the Monaghan. They had a convoy of tankers and were to rendezvous with the fleet. They got the tail end of it but still had 50 to 60 foot waves and for 3 days they just kept their engines ahead, heading into the storm.Ships were running out fuel. When they ran out of fuel they would get in the trough of the waves and over they went. Of the 900 men [Annotator's Note: aboard the vessels that went down] they could only save about 90. Any men below decks were killed.Monpat says the waves were 50 or 60 feet. Some people say they were 70 foot waves. It was miserable. He did not get seasick enough to throw up but did get dizzy and a pounding in his head and he could not eat. They were only serving sandwiches. He would go down to the engine rooms so he could eat. Down by the keel there was not as much of the rocking. He would go down to the engine room even if he was not on watch. They did not receive much structural damage. Paint was messed up but nothing that required repair.While at sea Monpat was in charge of the after engine room for the 2nd watch. There was a chief in the forward engine room since that was the controlling engine room. There was no passage through the bulkhead, so they had to go up on deck and then go back down. The 1st class in charge of the watch in the after fire room would have to light it off to get it underway and get it out to sea. There were 7 men in the engine room including Monpat. There were 9 first class machinist mates to take up all the watches, and out of the 9 he was junior except to 2 of them. He had guys on his watch that had over him as far as time in rate.They would come into port and secure the engine room. Monpat was in charge of repairs in the engine room. He had a chief over him who was regular Navy with 20 years in, and shipped over for 4 more while they were out there. The chief took a liking to Monpat. He would come down to the engine room with a list of repairs and would then leave him to make the changes. That was his days work. He would either be in charge of the watch or make repairs and maintenance.Monpat's ship was mostly with the Third Fleet but was mostly with the support group, not with the battleships and cruisers. They were either with tankers or aircraft carriers. At Saipan they were with a fleet of tankers. At Iwo Jima they were with a fleet of fast carriers but they were pulled off screening duty and sent to bombard on the day of the invasion. That night they fired over 1800 rounds of ammunition into Iwo Jima. They had a spotter in a plane spotting for them during the day because they could not see over the mountains and hills. At night they had a Marine spotting for them on shore.Monpat has the transcript of the communication between the guy at night and his skipper which he has donated to The National World War II Museum.He was down in the engine room but could tell that they were firing. They would fire a couple rounds and the fellow on shore or the plane would call out any adjustments. Once they hit their target they would holler rapid fire and all 5 guns would fire until told cease fire. Then they would pick up another target and do it again.

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During the night the Japanese must have started a push because the ship [Annotator’s Note: the destroyer USS Evans] began to rapid fire. They were not moving, just staying steady in the water to keep the broadside to the island. The next morning they ran out of ammunition. The chief sent Monpat up to see what was going on. There were cruisers and battleships farther out shooting over their heads. Their ship was in so close he could see what was happening on the beach. Monpat did not see any of the big 14 inch shells flying over head but he heard them.Another destroyer was sent to relieve them and they went back to screening carriers. The first thing they did was go to an ammunition ship. They took on their ammunition then they brought ammunition to the aircraft carriers for the airplanes.Shortly after Iwo was Okinawa. They were with aircraft carriers so they arrived before the invasion so the planes could go in and bombard the shore. They were there about a week before the invasion and stayed with the carriers.The invasion was on 1 April [Annotator's Note: 1 April 1945]. For all of April and the beginning of May they stayed with the same group of carriers. They developed a bad steam leak in the after engine room. They were given availability at an island that had been taken. After they were repaired they figured that they would go back to their carriers.All the while that they were with the carriers they were getting reports of destroyers being sunk and damaged out on picket duty and they did not want any part of that. After they got their steam leak fixed they went alongside an ammunition ship, transferred their ammunition, got a new type of ammunition, and went out on radar picket duty. Of all the places to pick they were sent to radar station 15 in the northwest quadrant, right in the direct line from Japan. They did not last very long. They got there on the 10th, around 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon, and relieved the other 2 destroyers that were there.Right around dusk one plane came in and they shot it down. All night long they [Annotator's Note: Japanese aircraft] would come in close enough to be picked up on radar so the ship stayed at general quarters all night.Right before the invasion Monpat transferred from the after engine room to the forward engine room because he had bitched about being in charge of men who over rated [Annotator's Note: out ranked] him. He wanted out of there. It was a lot of responsibility. He transferred to the forward engine room where he had a chief over him. The chief insisted that Monpat have his battle station in the after engine room where the chiefs was. This is the same chief that took a liking to him.Monpat was on the 8 to 12 watch [Annotator's Note: on 10 May 1945]. When the first class he relieved in the forward engine room went to get his morning chow the after guns started firing. The order was given to cease firing because the plane was believed to be friendly but it was not and the gun crew knew it and kept firing. Finally they sounded general quarters.The man returned so Monpat could get to his battle station in the after engine room. The guy [Annotator's Note: the Japanese pilot] was coming in on the port side with his engine off, gliding in. One of the 5 inch shells got him. It was one big blast and that was the end of him.Monpat went down into the after engine room. After that, they started coming in 2 and 3 at a time. It was just katy bar the door for the next hour. Like one guy said “it was like it was raining airplanes.”They were credited with 19 [Annotator's Note: shooting down 19 Japanese planes] with assists from the USS Hadley [Annotator's Note: USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774)] which was the other destroyer that was with them, plus the 4 that hit them. In total, the Evans was credited with 26 Japanese planes, 2 shore bombardments, and 5 battle stars for the five engagements they were in.

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The 2nd plane [Annotator’s Note: the 2nd kamikaze on 10 May 1945] that hit them hit the after engine room. He came in on a dive and the skipper swung the ship trying to make him over shoot. It hit right alongside of the ship. When the bomb the plane was carrying went off it blew the wreckage of the plane up onto the fantail. The bomb went off under the engine room below the water line. With all the racket going on, Monpat does not remember the explosion. When it happened the lights went out. They were in total darkness. By the time he realized what had happened the water was already up to his waist and coming up fast.There were only 2 ways out. One was the regular way in the forward part of the room and the other way, which they never used, was through a little narrow passageway in the back of the room. That's the way the water had pushed him. He grabbed a hand rail and let the water float him up to the top. They had very little head room. The rest was flooded. When he got to the escape hatch one of the fellows was already there. He'd push up on it and it would slam back down. The hatch finally opened and when it did Monpat realized what had been happening. The hatch led up into the number 3 ammunition handling room for the number 3 gun and the gun crew was standing on Monpat's hatch because their ladder was right there. Whoever designed that did not think very much. The guys went up through the hatch, through the ammunition handling room, through the head [Annotator's Note: naval term for toilet], through the ammunition handling room for the number 4 gun, then out on deck. That's where he saw the wreckage of the plane with the Japanese pilot still in the wreckage.Monpat saw the throttle man [Annotator's Note: a man named or nicknamed Ziggy] from his engine room standing against the lifeline holding his leg in pain. Monpat went over to him and the man told him that he thought he broke his ankle. Just as Monpat began to help his friend to the sickbay somebody hollered out that another plane was coming in - starboard aft. Monpat saw the plane with its machine guns firing. Ziggy told Monpat to run then jumped overboard even though the ship was still moving. Monpat ran up port side. The plane came in and hit the starboard side right by the number 1 smoke stack. At the same time another plane came in forward and both planes hit the number 1 stack at the same time. 1 of the planes was carrying a 500 pound bomb that went through the forward boiler room and killed everyone in there. It blew the bulkhead over into the forward engine room and killed the guy Monpat had just relieved plus 4 other fellows. Fires were burning. They had no power. The handy billy portable pumps would not pick up the suction because it was too far down to the water, so they started a bucket brigade. The chief metalsmith told him later at a reunion that there were so many buckets being thrown around that he had to handle 3 buckets just to get through the line.After it died down, the man in charge of the auxiliary generator, MacDonald, ran up to Monpat asked for help. The 2 men went below to see if they could get the diesel generator started. They bumped into the engineering officer who told him to forget it. They were to take care of themselves because they were on fire and sinking.They got the fire under control. They had 2 LCS's, [Annotator's Note: Landing Craft, Support] transport boats. 2 of the boats would follow the Evans [Annotator's Note: USS Evans (DD-552)] and 2 would follow the Hadley [Annotator's Note: USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774)]. It was claimed that the boats were there for extra fire support but Monpat believes that they were only there to pick up survivors because the higher ups knew damn well that they were going to get hit.One came alongside and started pumping water on the fires. It died down so MacDonald and Monpat went to see where the first plane hit up forward. They were up on the forecastle [Annotator's Note: the upper deck of a ship forward of the foremast] looking over and the skipper hollered to clear the forecastle because there was a bogey dead head. Sure enough, there was one [Annotator’s Note: another kamikaze] coming in but it had a Marine pilot on its tail and he was peppering the plane with bullets. The Marine must have killed the pilot because the pilot did not make his turn into the ship, he just flew straight into the drink [Annotator's Note: slang for water]. There was a 40 millimeter with 2 young guys working it manually that was putting shots into him too. When the plane hit the water Monpat told MacDonald that one day he'd like to meet that pilot and shake his hand because if the Evans had taken one more hit she probably would have been done. About 10 years ago, Monpat met the pilot and they became good friends. The marine lives in Lafayette [Annotator's Note: Lafayette, Louisiana]. Monpat learned from the marine's wife that he retired from the Marine Corps as a major and went to work for an oil company flying helicopters. Now the man is deaf.The Evans was dead in the water. The LCS left and another destroyer came along side and had pumps on board to pull out the water. Another LCS came up on the port side. That is where Monpat saw his executive officer. When the 2 planes hit at the same time, it blew him overboard and the LCS picked him up and brought him back. The doctor on the ship was working on him. Monpat thought there was a white towel on his legs, but it was his bones. All the meat was blown off his leg. He eventually lost his leg. One of the guys had jumped overboard and saved him until the rescue boat picked him up. 

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They started taking off the most severely wounded. Another APD [Annotator's Note: a destroyer or destroyer escort converted into a high speed transport], APD-100 [Annotator's Note: USS Ringness], arrived. Shuttle boats started picking up the wounded and bringing them to the APD. A make shift hospital had been set up, taking care of the wounded. Monpat ended up there and was taken into the harbor. He does not remember how but five of them got on the supply ship where they spent the night. The next day they were transferred to the hospital ship Solace [Annotator's Note: US Navy hospital ship USS Solace (AH-5)] that took them to an army hospital on Tinian.They volunteered to go back to the ship. Not because they were being heroes but because they knew the ship was damaged enough to where it had to come back to the States to get repaired.One of the men went to the captain of the port and asked where the Evans was. They were told that the Evans was at Guam. When they got there they found out that it was the wrong Evans. That was the Frank Evans not the Robley Evans. They flew back to Okinawa.Monpat was wounded in the engine room. When the bomb went off metal splattered all over the place and he suffered from multiple fragment wounds. The one behind his knee was the one that worried him. The doctor put him on the APD. They X-rayed it but did not remove it.When they got back to the Evans, she was floating. He and the guys with him went aboard a supply ship across the harbor from where the Evans was located. The OD [Annotator's Note: officer of the deck] asked the men who had the orders. Monpat explained what had happened so the OD told them to grab a bunk. He asked about transportation to get over to the Evans but was told it was too late. The next morning he saw a tugboat moving the Evans away. He did not want to be stuck on the supply ship and miss the Evans leaving. He rounded up the other guys and went to the OD who said there were no boats available to take them to the Evans. Monpat saw a motor whale boat coming along side and they were running down a cargo net for supplies. He found the coxswain and asked him to take him to the Evans. Monpat was pointed to an ensign who was in charge of the boat. He told the ensign that his group would help load the supplies if they would give them a ride to the Evans. The ensign agreed and that is how Monpat's group got back to the ship.When Monpat got back on board he was in marine fatigues, shoes, and baseball cap and the executive officer did not know who he was at first. Monpat told him they had just come from the hospital. The executive officer said they did not have room for them that they had to go on a transport. Monpat said they just spent 3 days trying to get back.The skipper happened to walk past and stopped to speak with them. When they told him they had just come back from the hospital the skipper wanted to know how the rest of the men were. The skipper said he would put other guys off before they asked Monpat's group to leave the ship.The OD told the skipper that they just sent all of their baggage to be shipped out on a mail ship. The skipper told him to get their baggage back. So they were able to stay.

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They had the Evans floating and had an auxiliary generator running; that meant lights and refrigeration. They were being towed because there was no power at all. A navy tug hooked on to them. They had 2 destroyers on both sides of them and one behind them. The destroyers were damaged but had their own power. One of them had no superstructure from the bridge forward. The number 1 and number 2 guns were gone. The navy tug took them across to Saipan. There they picked up some more guys from the hospital and a navy tug took over. He kept breaking down and they did not have an escort after that. They were out of the war zone and the Japanese did not have many submarines left.The auxiliary generator broke a valve leaving them with no electricity. So rather than lose the meat they served it all. They ate steaks and hamburgers until that ran out then it was spam.They got to Pearl Harbor and fixed the generator so they electricity all the way to San Francisco. They put in at Mare Island and had repairs done. They sent the first half of the crew home on leave. Monpat was in the first group and while he was home on leave the war ended. He had to report back to the ship.When they first got back they wanted to rate Monpat as a chief, but he refused it. He figured that he was a good first class but he was not ready for the next step up, so he turned it down. When he got back to the ship after the war ended the assistant engineering officer was there. He checked Monpat's points and he had enough points for the both of them. The officer told him to hang around until the end of the month and they would rate him a chief and he could go home a chief. Monpat said no.Monpat got transferred to Mare Island and from there to Algiers Naval Station and then the Lakefront where he was discharged. When he was in Algiers, he learned that he was to be in charge of a draft of 90 men going back out to California to San Diego. The guy told Monpat to straighten it out. Monpat went to see the yeoman said he was not going. There was a lieutenant there and Monpat told him that he just got back from California. He asked Monpat how he got mixed up in this and asked where he had enlisted. Monpat told him that he joined the naval reserve in New Orleans and had left from New Orleans. But the problem was that he shipped over San Diego so they thought he was from there. They got it straightened out and Monpat did not have to go.The dead from Monpat's ship [Annotator's Note: USS Evans (DD-552)] were buried on Ie Shima. They have a room aboard the USS Alabama [Annotator's Note: US Navy battleship USS Alabama (BB-60)]. Monpat took a picture of the cemetery and made a list of the names and created a memorial which he put on a metal plate. That is in the room on the Alabama. They lost 32 men. 29 or 27 men were wounded. The executive officer who had his left leg cut off survived. They just had a reunion in May and there were only 9 men that attended. They invited the men's children and grandchildren. They have been putting on the reunions. It was in Mobile, that was the 3rd time.Monpat guesses that there are no more than 15 survivors of the Evans. One of them is an Italian boy named Pascualo Costanza. They talked at a reunion. He was on a 20 millimeter located right above the engine room where Monpat was when the plane came in and hit close to him. He asked Costanza how close the plane was before he stopped shooting and he said he did not stop shooting. He kept firing until it hit the water. Costanza received the bronze star medal for bravery because an officer saw him hooked up to the 20 millimeter and saw him continuing to fire.Pascual was from Cleveland, Ohio. He would come to the reunions alone. He would work the reunions Thursday through Sunday. Saturday morning was a memorial service, either on a ship or near the water. Costanza would come Friday night and stay until after the memorial service and then he would leave. He did not stay the whole way through.

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The Evans [Annotator's Note: US Navy destroyer USS Evans (DD-552)] was a Fletcher Class destroyer of 2100 tons.Life on a destroyer was fine if they did not run into bad weather. They went through 1 typhoon [Annotator's Note: Typhoon Cobra, also known as Halsey's Typhoon, formed and dissipated in December 1944] and lost 3 destroyers, the Hull , the Spence, the Monaghan. They had a convoy of tankers and were to rendezvous with the fleet. They got the tail end of it but still had 50 to 60 foot waves and for 3 days they just kept their engines ahead, heading into the storm.Ships were running out fuel. When they ran out of fuel they would get in the trough of the waves and over they went. Of the 900 men [Annotator's Note: aboard the vessels that went down] they could only save about 90. Any men below decks were killed.Monpat says the waves were 50 or 60 feet. Some people say they were 70 foot waves. It was miserable. He did not get seasick enough to throw up but did get dizzy and a pounding in his head and he could not eat. They were only serving sandwiches. He would go down to the engine rooms so he could eat. Down by the keel there was not as much of the rocking. He would go down to the engine room even if he was not on watch. They did not receive much structural damage. Paint was messed up but nothing that required repair.While at sea Monpat was in charge of the after engine room for the 2nd watch. There was a chief in the forward engine room since that was the controlling engine room. There was no passage through the bulkhead, so they had to go up on deck and then go back down. The 1st class in charge of the watch in the after fire room would have to light it off to get it underway and get it out to sea. There were 7 men in the engine room including Monpat. There were 9 first class machinist mates to take up all the watches, and out of the 9 he was junior except to 2 of them. He had guys on his watch that had over him as far as time in rate.They would come into port and secure the engine room. Monpat was in charge of repairs in the engine room. He had a chief over him who was regular Navy with 20 years in, and shipped over for 4 more while they were out there. The chief took a liking to Monpat. He would come down to the engine room with a list of repairs and would then leave him to make the changes. That was his days work. He would either be in charge of the watch or make repairs and maintenance.Monpat's ship was mostly with the Third Fleet but was mostly with the support group, not with the battleships and cruisers. They were either with tankers or aircraft carriers. At Saipan they were with a fleet of tankers. At Iwo Jima they were with a fleet of fast carriers but they were pulled off screening duty and sent to bombard on the day of the invasion. That night they fired over 1800 rounds of ammunition into Iwo Jima. They had a spotter in a plane spotting for them during the day because they could not see over the mountains and hills. At night they had a Marine spotting for them on shore.Monpat has the transcript of the communication between the guy at night and his skipper which he has donated to The National World War II Museum.He was down in the engine room but could tell that they were firing. They would fire a couple rounds and the fellow on shore or the plane would call out any adjustments. Once they hit their target they would holler rapid fire and all 5 guns would fire until told cease fire. Then they would pick up another target and do it again.

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During the night the Japanese must have started a push because the ship [Annotator’s Note: the destroyer USS Evans] began to rapid fire. They were not moving, just staying steady in the water to keep the broadside to the island. The next morning they ran out of ammunition. The chief sent Monpat up to see what was going on. There were cruisers and battleships farther out shooting over their heads. Their ship was in so close he could see what was happening on the beach. Monpat did not see any of the big 14 inch shells flying over head but he heard them.Another destroyer was sent to relieve them and they went back to screening carriers. The first thing they did was go to an ammunition ship. They took on their ammunition then they brought ammunition to the aircraft carriers for the airplanes.Shortly after Iwo was Okinawa. They were with aircraft carriers so they arrived before the invasion so the planes could go in and bombard the shore. They were there about a week before the invasion and stayed with the carriers.The invasion was on 1 April [Annotator's Note: 1 April 1945]. For all of April and the beginning of May they stayed with the same group of carriers. They developed a bad steam leak in the after engine room. They were given availability at an island that had been taken. After they were repaired they figured that they would go back to their carriers.All the while that they were with the carriers they were getting reports of destroyers being sunk and damaged out on picket duty and they did not want any part of that. After they got their steam leak fixed they went alongside an ammunition ship, transferred their ammunition, got a new type of ammunition, and went out on radar picket duty. Of all the places to pick they were sent to radar station 15 in the northwest quadrant, right in the direct line from Japan. They did not last very long. They got there on the 10th, around 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon, and relieved the other 2 destroyers that were there.Right around dusk one plane came in and they shot it down. All night long they [Annotator's Note: Japanese aircraft] would come in close enough to be picked up on radar so the ship stayed at general quarters all night.Right before the invasion Monpat transferred from the after engine room to the forward engine room because he had bitched about being in charge of men who over rated [Annotator's Note: out ranked] him. He wanted out of there. It was a lot of responsibility. He transferred to the forward engine room where he had a chief over him. The chief insisted that Monpat have his battle station in the after engine room where the chiefs was. This is the same chief that took a liking to him.Monpat was on the 8 to 12 watch [Annotator's Note: on 10 May 1945]. When the first class he relieved in the forward engine room went to get his morning chow the after guns started firing. The order was given to cease firing because the plane was believed to be friendly but it was not and the gun crew knew it and kept firing. Finally they sounded general quarters.The man returned so Monpat could get to his battle station in the after engine room. The guy [Annotator's Note: the Japanese pilot] was coming in on the port side with his engine off, gliding in. One of the 5 inch shells got him. It was one big blast and that was the end of him.Monpat went down into the after engine room. After that, they started coming in 2 and 3 at a time. It was just katy bar the door for the next hour. Like one guy said “it was like it was raining airplanes.”They were credited with 19 [Annotator's Note: shooting down 19 Japanese planes] with assists from the USS Hadley [Annotator's Note: USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774)] which was the other destroyer that was with them, plus the 4 that hit them. In total, the Evans was credited with 26 Japanese planes, 2 shore bombardments, and 5 battle stars for the five engagements they were in.

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The 2nd plane [Annotator’s Note: the 2nd kamikaze on 10 May 1945] that hit them hit the after engine room. He came in on a dive and the skipper swung the ship trying to make him over shoot. It hit right alongside of the ship. When the bomb the plane was carrying went off it blew the wreckage of the plane up onto the fantail. The bomb went off under the engine room below the water line. With all the racket going on, Monpat does not remember the explosion. When it happened the lights went out. They were in total darkness. By the time he realized what had happened the water was already up to his waist and coming up fast.There were only 2 ways out. One was the regular way in the forward part of the room and the other way, which they never used, was through a little narrow passageway in the back of the room. That's the way the water had pushed him. He grabbed a hand rail and let the water float him up to the top. They had very little head room. The rest was flooded. When he got to the escape hatch one of the fellows was already there. He'd push up on it and it would slam back down. The hatch finally opened and when it did Monpat realized what had been happening. The hatch led up into the number 3 ammunition handling room for the number 3 gun and the gun crew was standing on Monpat's hatch because their ladder was right there. Whoever designed that did not think very much. The guys went up through the hatch, through the ammunition handling room, through the head [Annotator's Note: naval term for toilet], through the ammunition handling room for the number 4 gun, then out on deck. That's where he saw the wreckage of the plane with the Japanese pilot still in the wreckage.Monpat saw the throttle man [Annotator's Note: a man named or nicknamed Ziggy] from his engine room standing against the lifeline holding his leg in pain. Monpat went over to him and the man told him that he thought he broke his ankle. Just as Monpat began to help his friend to the sickbay somebody hollered out that another plane was coming in - starboard aft. Monpat saw the plane with its machine guns firing. Ziggy told Monpat to run then jumped overboard even though the ship was still moving. Monpat ran up port side. The plane came in and hit the starboard side right by the number 1 smoke stack. At the same time another plane came in forward and both planes hit the number 1 stack at the same time. 1 of the planes was carrying a 500 pound bomb that went through the forward boiler room and killed everyone in there. It blew the bulkhead over into the forward engine room and killed the guy Monpat had just relieved plus 4 other fellows. Fires were burning. They had no power. The handy billy portable pumps would not pick up the suction because it was too far down to the water, so they started a bucket brigade. The chief metalsmith told him later at a reunion that there were so many buckets being thrown around that he had to handle 3 buckets just to get through the line.After it died down, the man in charge of the auxiliary generator, MacDonald, ran up to Monpat asked for help. The 2 men went below to see if they could get the diesel generator started. They bumped into the engineering officer who told him to forget it. They were to take care of themselves because they were on fire and sinking.They got the fire under control. They had 2 LCS's, [Annotator's Note: Landing Craft, Support] transport boats. 2 of the boats would follow the Evans [Annotator's Note: USS Evans (DD-552)] and 2 would follow the Hadley [Annotator's Note: USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774)]. It was claimed that the boats were there for extra fire support but Monpat believes that they were only there to pick up survivors because the higher ups knew damn well that they were going to get hit.One came alongside and started pumping water on the fires. It died down so MacDonald and Monpat went to see where the first plane hit up forward. They were up on the forecastle [Annotator's Note: the upper deck of a ship forward of the foremast] looking over and the skipper hollered to clear the forecastle because there was a bogey dead head. Sure enough, there was one [Annotator’s Note: another kamikaze] coming in but it had a Marine pilot on its tail and he was peppering the plane with bullets. The Marine must have killed the pilot because the pilot did not make his turn into the ship, he just flew straight into the drink [Annotator's Note: slang for water]. There was a 40 millimeter with 2 young guys working it manually that was putting shots into him too. When the plane hit the water Monpat told MacDonald that one day he'd like to meet that pilot and shake his hand because if the Evans had taken one more hit she probably would have been done. About 10 years ago, Monpat met the pilot and they became good friends. The marine lives in Lafayette [Annotator's Note: Lafayette, Louisiana]. Monpat learned from the marine's wife that he retired from the Marine Corps as a major and went to work for an oil company flying helicopters. Now the man is deaf.The Evans was dead in the water. The LCS left and another destroyer came along side and had pumps on board to pull out the water. Another LCS came up on the port side. That is where Monpat saw his executive officer. When the 2 planes hit at the same time, it blew him overboard and the LCS picked him up and brought him back. The doctor on the ship was working on him. Monpat thought there was a white towel on his legs, but it was his bones. All the meat was blown off his leg. He eventually lost his leg. One of the guys had jumped overboard and saved him until the rescue boat picked him up. 

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