Friday, May 22, 2009

"The War In Iraq is Lost"

Whenever I recall Harry Reid's defeatist statement, I rejoice that he is neither in command of our troops or defending us in the field. He probably would have surrendered to the Japanese after Pearl Harbor.

Happily, then we had men who valued America more than their lives, or their tawdry political careers.

For example, Captain E. E. Evans, United States Navy.

On October 25, 1944, Evans commanded the destroyer USS Johnson, part of a task force of destroyers and small air craft carriers defending the US invasion force in Leyte Gulf. The bulk of Admiral Halsey's fleet had been drawn off by a Japanese diversion. All that stood between a major Japanese task force and the invasion forces was Evans and his companion vessels.

Fortunately for us, Captain Evans was made of sterner stuff than Mr. Reid. Hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, Evans attacked.

The Japanese attack was turned back. Captain Evans received a Medal of Honor, posthumously. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Johnston in action against major units of the enemy Japanese fleet during the battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. The first to lay a smokescreen and to open fire as an enemy task force, vastly superior in number, firepower and armor, rapidly approached. Comdr. Evans gallantly diverted the powerful blasts of hostile guns from the lightly armed and armored carriers under his protection, launching the first torpedo attack when the Johnston came under straddling Japanese shellfire. Undaunted by damage sustained under the terrific volume of fire, he unhesitatingly joined others of his group to provide fire support during subsequent torpedo attacks against the Japanese and, outshooting and outmaneuvering the enemy as he consistently interposed his vessel between the hostile fleet units and our carriers despite the crippling loss of engine power and communications with steering aft, shifted command to the fantail, shouted steering orders through an open hatch to men turning the rudder by hand and battled furiously until the Johnston, burning and shuddering from a mortal blow, lay dead in the water after 3 hours of fierce combat. Seriously wounded early in the engagement, Comdr. Evans, by his indomitable courage and brilliant professional skill, aided materially in turning back the enemy during a critical phase of the action. His valiant fighting spirit throughout this historic battle will venture as an inspiration to all who served with him

To add a bit of context to Evans' gallantry: His torpedoes had a range of five miles. The Japanese guns were accurate and effective at twice that distance.

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