Life in the Navy

Missions on the Ship

Postwar Life and Reflections


Lewis S. Evans was born in April 1925. He went to boarding school during the Great Depression and played football and wrestled. His parents both immigrated from Wales [Annotator's Note: Wales, United Kingdom]. His father worked in steel mill, and sometimes Evans worked there during the summers. Evans enlisted in the Navy in 1943 for the Aviation Cadet Program or V-5 program [Annotator’s Note: V-5 US Navy Aviation Cadet Program, 1939 to 1943]. The Navy sent him to college for two semesters before sending him to pre-flight school at Wesleyan University [Annotator's Note: in Middletown, Connecticut]. After the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot [Annotator's Notes: The Battle of the Philippine Sea, 19 and 20 June 1944], the Navy shut down the program and he was transferred to bootcamp and then to quartermaster school in Bainbridge, Maryland. Evans was assigned to USS LCI-443 and met his ship at Leyte [Annotator's Note: Leyte, Philippines] in April 1945. He was assigned as a quartermaster for the ship. Along with acting as the helmsman, he also ran the telegraph. His ship soon left Leyte and headed to their home base at Corregidor Island [Annotator's Note: Corregidor, Philippines] where they assisted in transporting submarine crews to Manila [Annotator's Note: Manila, Luzon, Philippines] for their liberty [Annotator's Note: an authorized absence for a short period of time]. Evans went to Okinawa [Annotator's Note: Okinawa, Japan] in August 1945, soon after the end of the war, transporting LCTs [Annotator's Note: Landing Craft, Tank]. On VJ-Day [Annotator's Note: Victory Over Japan Day, 15 August 1945], Evans recalled being in Manila Harbor with 200 Japanese prisoners of war in quarantine. He took pictures of the prisoners with his camera. Evans spent most of his time on the ship reading and writing letters. [Annotator's Note: Video skips at 0:13:55.000.]


Lewis S. Evans wrote letters to his girlfriend back at school, and there was one time that he did not receive any for about six weeks until he returned to Subic Bay [Annotator's Note: Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippines]. While he was on the USS LCI-443, his ship had to ride out a typhoon for five days in Buckner Bay, Okinawa [Annotator's Note: Okinawa, Japan] with other ships. Some of the ships sank or flipped during the storm. His ship transported troops to Zambia, Philippines. Evans recalled the maximum speed they travelled was ten knots. They also carried Japanese prisoners of war and hauled Filipino civilians back to their islands after the war. Evans returned to the United States in on Christmas Eve 1945 at San Diego [Annotator's Note: San Diego, California] after island hopping. The ship was decommissioned in April 1946. Evans was discharged from the Navy and returned to college. He used the G.I. Bill and graduated in 1949. He worked for General Motors for 37 years then became an assistant harbor master for 18 years. [Annotator's Note: The video skips at 0:27:25.000.]


Lewis S. Evans served as assistant harbor master for his community in Massachusetts after he retired. He answered the radio when people called for help and took care of the floats. Evans enjoyed his time in the Navy. He believes that we are the most generous nation in the world and not appreciated for it. Evans believes World War 2 changed the world. He thinks that The National WWII Museum [Annotator's Note: in New Orleans, Louisiana] is important because many Americans have no idea about the war. Evans stayed in the Reserves and during the Korean War he took the officer's test and passed. He eventually became a Commander in the Reserves.

All oral histories featured on this site are available to license. The videos will be delivered via mail as Hi Definition video on DVD/DVDs or via file transfer. You may receive the oral history in its entirety but will be free to use only the specific clips that you requested. Please contact the Museum at if you are interested in licensing this content. Please allow up to four weeks for file delivery or delivery of the DVD to your postal address.