An Oklahoma Sheepdog Fights to the Death in Defense of his Flock

Today in History, October 26, 1944:

OKLAHOMA PROUD.

Did you know that we Okies make up only a little over 1% of the US population? And we’ve been around as a territory or state for less than half our nation’s history. Yet I keep finding that we’ve given a much larger accounting of ourselves in courage, commitment and love of our neighbors than that…much more than our 1% share.

Whether its the Sooners in the Great Land Rush, US Marshal Bill Tilgman, Will Rogers, the survivors of the Dust Bowl, OKC in ’95, our many astronauts, or the man in the photo, Ernest E. Evans, we are everywhere.

During the Battle Off Samar, in the Battle of Leyte Gulf (Oct. 24-26, 1944), Commander Evans (Oklahoma Cherokee) found his tiny destroyer and a couple of others, the only defense for the light carriers of “Taffy 3” from a massive Japanese force that included battleships, cruisers and destroyers.

For 3 hours he and his crew fought so hard that the enemy thought they were fighting a much larger combatant. In the end, the enemy retreated from the fierce American defense. Evans and his crew continued until they were sunk, and Evans went down with his ship. He was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Commander Evans knew his tiny ship did not stand a chance against the larger ships, but he placed himself and his crew between the enemy and his helpless charges…a true Sheepdog.

An Impactful Day

Today in History, October 26: 

 Such a huge day! I couldn’t pick. So…

1774 – The First Continental Congress adjourns. They hadn’t yet declared Independence, but…

1775 – King George III of Great Britain goes before Parliament to declare that the American colonies are in rebellion and to order a military response. 

 1825 – The Erie Canal, man-made water passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie, opens. 

 1861 – The Pony Express ends it’s 18 month run. 

 1881 – The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, AZ. 

 1940 – The P-51 famous Mustang makes it’s maiden flight. 

 1942 – During the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands takes place…The USS Hornet is sunk and the USS Enterprise, now the only American carrier in the Pacific to hold the line against the Japanese, is badly damaged. 

 1944 – The Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest sea battle in history encompassing several days, comes to an end with Japanese defeat. 

1958 – A Pan American Airways Boeing 707 makes the aircraft’s first commercial flight between New York and Paris.