Evans and Munro reunited in Coast Guard fleet

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

The commissioning of Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

In September 1939, best friends Raymond Evans and Douglas Munro waited side-by-side for their opportunity to serve their nation as members of the U.S. Coast Guard. Three years later, Evans was at his best friend’s side when Signalman 1st Class Munro lost his life protecting a Marine detachment’s withdrawal at the Battle of Guadalcanal, a sacrifice that would be recognized with the only Medal of Honor ever awarded to a Coast Guardsman. Evans would survive the war, retire from the Coast Guard as a full commander and live a full life before being laid to rest in 2013 at the age of 92. Over the weekend, the two friends were reunited as the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans became the latest addition to the service’s cutter fleet.

Commissioing ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Commissioing ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans is a fast response cutter capable of deploying independently to conduct missions that include port, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. The fast response cutter, state of the art additions to the cutter fleet, are rightly named for heroes who helped define the modern day Coast Guard.

“Raymond Evans’ memory, character and legacy is a part of our Coast Guard culture,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Nothing could be more fitting than to commission a fast response cutter in his name – his spirit will live on in the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans.”

Evans was a beloved member of the Coast Guard community long after he hung up the uniform. He dedicated much of his free time to ensuring the legacy of his best friend was never forgotten. In the seven decades between their deaths, the Coast Guard named a barracks at Training Center Cape May, a 378-foot high endurance cutter and the brand new Coast Guard headquarters building for Munro. Now, it is Evans’ memory and legacy Coast Guard men and women will take responsibility for carrying on.

Sgt. Perry “Roy” Pugh, Marine and Veteran of Guadalcanal, presents a long glass to MK2 William Vesely during a commissioning ceremony at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., Sept. 6, 2014. Pugh was among a group of approximately 500 Marines evacuated by Higgins boats operated by Signalman 1st Class Raymond Evans and other personnel. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Sgt. Perry “Roy” Pugh, Marine and Veteran of Guadalcanal, presents a long glass to MK2 William Vesely. Pugh was among a group of approximately 500 Marines evacuated by a Higgins boats operated by Signalman 1st Class Raymond Evans. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

“It was a wonderful experience to attend the commissioning of the CGC Raymond Evans,” said retired Coast Guard Cmdr. Doug Sheehan, Munro’s nephew. “As I watched the ceremony, I could not help thinking that Ray and Doug were looking down on the ceremony from Heaven, and Ray was shaking his head in mild irritation, and my uncle Doug was laughing at him, saying that it was about time. Doug would be saying that he has been putting up with it for over 70 years, and it is only fitting that Ray has his turn!”

Bill Evans, grandson of the cutter’s namesake came to the commissioning ceremony after visiting his grandmother Dorothy, widow of Raymond Evans, who was not able to travel for the ceremony but is relishing her role as the ship’s sponsor, nonetheless.

“It was truly a humbling and very emotional experience to be there, representing my family, for the commissioning ceremony,” said Bill Evans. “My grandmother is very emotional over the whole thing. She asked me to tell [Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans commanding officer] Lt. Cavanaugh that she loves every crewmember and knows that they will do this name a great justice.”

William "Bill" Evans, grandson of Raymond Evans, presents Lt. Drew P. Cavanagh a plaque during the commissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans at Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., Sept. 6, 2014. Evans was awarded the Navy Cross following his heroism at Guadalcanal during WWII. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney.

William “Bill” Evans, grandson of Raymond Evans, presents Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans commanding officer Lt. Drew P. Cavanagh with a plaque during the commissioning ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney

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