Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro and Cmdr. Ray Evans are two men inextricably linked in Coast Guard history. They joined the service together in September 1939. They served side-by-side from the time they joined until that fateful day – Sept. 27, 1942 – when Munro lost his life at Guadalacanal with Evans at his side. Following the events at Guadalcanal, Evans continued his Coast Guard service, retiring as a commander. He crossed the bar on May 30, 2013, at the age of 92.
“Like others of the Greatest Generation, Cmdr. Ray Evans didn’t talk much about his experiences in World War II,” said Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Vice Adm. John Currier. “But we can talk about him today and we can ensure that his sacrifice and lasting legacy is woven into the fabric of the history of the United States Coast Guard.”
Earlier this year, the Congress designated our new headquarters the Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building. Today, in a ceremony befitting of the relationship between the two men, the Coast Guard named the conference center at headquarters in honor of Evans.
“I’m very proud of our heritage and our heroes like Ray Evans, whose example of dedication 71 years ago is embodied in our service ethos today,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp. “The CDR Raymond “Ray” J. Evans Conference Center honors his bravery and his career, and represents his lasting legacy for future generations of Coast Guardsmen to follow. It also permanently brings together two shipmates who sacrificed so much for their country.”
It only makes sense that the place where Coast Guardsmen, from the most junior to the most senior, will come together to honor the past, serve in the present and plan for the future would bear the names of two men connected by a love of country and a life dedicated to service.