CUMBERLAND, MD — MSgt. William S. ‘Bull’ Evans, 33, of Cresaptown, MD, died suddenly on Sunday, May 16, 1954 while stationed at the U.S. Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. At his request, his remains were cremated and buried at the American Military cemetery near Yokosuka, Japan.
Born April 24, 1921, he was the son the late Felix E. Evans and Rosa B. (O”Brien) Evans. In addition to his mother, he is also survived by his wife, Chiyoko and son William Kazuya Evans of Yokohama, Japan; three brothers, Arthur Evans, Rawlings; Charles Evans, Cresaptown; Clarence Evans, Cleveland; and a sister, Mrs. Ethel Skinner, city.
Bill joined the Marine Corps at age 18 and was a veteran of WWII and Korea. During WWII, he was a member of the legendary Carlson”s Raiders, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division. He participated in action against enemy forces at Midway, Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Guam. While temporarily attached to the 1st Raider Bn., Bill participated in action on Tulagi, where his hometown friend and fellow Raider, Woodrow Barr was KIA.
Bill was wounded in action twice during the Pacific campaign. His first combat injury came on Nov. 11, 1942 during the Asamana Ambush on Guadalcanal, where he was hit by shrapnel; and again on July 22, 1944 at Guam where he was hit by gun fire in the right thigh. Bill also was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroism in the Battle of Piva Forks at Bougainville, operating behind enemy lines for 10 hours. As a Marine Raider, he earned the nickname “Bull” for going on rampages in the jungles and killing a great number of enemies.
During the Korean War, Bill was attached to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division, where he fought along the Korean front during the Second Korean Winter Campaign and the Summer-Fall Campaign of 1952. He was awarded the Gold Star (in lieu of a second Bronze Star) with combat V and was injured twice more in combat; the second and more serious injury coming from a combination of shrapnel and machine gun fire requiring 66 stitches in stomach, chest and arm.
In addition to the Bronze Star, the Gold Star, and four Purple Hearts, Bill was also awarded two Presidential Unit Citations, three Navy Unit Commendations, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four battle stars, Korean Service Medal with two battle stars, and numerous other service medals.
Sgt. Evans also received national attention in 1952 when he was allowed to keep his crop of whiskers as a symbol of the honor of the Marine Corps. When Major General John T. Selden, commanding officer of the 1st Marine Division became annoyed at the generally unkempt appearance of his men and ordered them to shave, members of one company petitioned their offices to permit Sgt. Evans to keep his beautiful crop. Major General Selden wrote that “For Honor and Distinction, MSgt. Evans will be exempt from this order and permission to let his beard grow is granted.” Officially, Sgt. Evans was the only Marine authorized to have a beard.