Jack Elwood Evans was born on 7 July 1920 in Akron, Summit County, Ohio, USA, a son of George Elwood Evans (1894-1969) and Ada May Evans née Deffenbaugh (1895-1960). He was an elder brother to Quentin James Evans (1921-1959) and Douglas Barton Evans (1939-1991). The family address was 61 South Highland Street, Akron.
He was educated at Portage Path Elementary School in Akron from 8 September 1925 to 1 June 1934 and at John R. Buchtel High School, Akron from 10 September 1934 to 14 June 1938. From 1938 to 1940 he attended the Cleveland School of Art, 11441 Juniper Road, Cleveland, Ohio, that was affiliated to the Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
He worked for three companies: B. H. Hauserman Co. in Cleveland, Ohio, Meadow Dairy Co, in Chicago, Illinois and finally for the United States Stoneware Co, in Tallmadge, Ohio as a draughtsman, before moving to Canada where he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, as an Aircraftman Second Class (AC2) on 21 April 1941, His service number was R 98138. He was promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC) on 6 June 1941 and to Sergeant Pilot on 24 October 1941.
He came to England and having attended No.15 Service Flying Training School at RAF Kiddlington, Oxfordshire, he was attached to 56 Operational Training Unit on 10 February 1942. He was posted to No.32 Squadron on 21 April 1942 and to No.71 Eagle Squadron at Debden, Essex on 30 May 1942.
On 27 August 1942 he was flying his Supermarine Spitfire Mark Vb aeroplane, serial number AD196, on operation Circus 208, escorting a small force of bomber aeroplanes on a mission over an area south of Gravelines, France, when he was attacked by German fighter aircraft. He was seen by members of his own squadron to land on the on the sea in the English Channel, off Calais, France and climb into his plane's emergency rubber dinghy. A British Air-Sea Rescue aircraft dropped a more substantial dinghy and he was last seen getting into this. The Air-Sea Rescue plane then went to pick-up a seriously injured airman and on its return could find no trace of Sergeant Evans. Search patrols continued for several hours but without success and he was declared missing in action. It was not until 22 November 1943 that he was officially declared as presumed dead as no further information had been received about him.
On 18 October 1944 the Chief of Air Staff wrote to his father confirming that his son had been promoted to the rank of Flight Sergeant with effect from 24 April 1942. The letter stated 'This promotion is based on a policy inaugurated by the Royal Canadian Air Force, whereby aircrew members of the service who had been recommended previously by their Commanding Officer for the next higher rank and who would have received the promotion but for the intervention of untimely death, are promoted to that rank effective six months from the date of their last promotion'.
As he has no known grave he is commemorated on Panel 103 of the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Cooper's Hill Lane, Englefield Green, Egham TW20 0LB, on a memorial stone at Section B, Row 22 in the Ottawa River Cemetery, County Highway 18-R, Rimer, Putnam County, Ohio 45830, USA, on the American Air Museum in Britain website, in the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance, on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website, the Canadian Virtual War Memorial website and on the Royal Air Force Commands website, (the latter three that incorrectly show his middle name spelt as Ellwood).
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.