LT Colonel Evert Erwin Stong
– 26th Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Infantry Division –
As the son of Ralph Culbertson and Martha Blanche (Erwin) Stong, Evert was born on November 7th, 1912 in a sod house on the family farm near Supply, Oklahoma. The family moved to Oklahoma City in 1920, where Evert graduated from Classen High School in 1930. Evert Attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1934 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with Aeronautical option.
Active in ROTC, “Reserve Officers Training Corps”, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. On June 1st, 1935 in Oklahoma City, he married Mary Alice Coon, whom he met while attending high school. They were married for 64 years until her death in 1999. After his graduation from college, he worked as an engineer for the Thompson Aircraft Company in Kansas City and as the chief engineer for the Wiley Post Aircraft Company in Oklahoma City. Subsequently, he was the County Engineer for McLain County, Oklahoma.
In 1940, Evert volunteered for active duty, serving initially as a First Lieutenant in the 26th Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, before becoming the Intelligence Officer for the 60th Field Artillery Battalion. Promoted to Captain in 1941, he became a Major and the Operations Officer of the 9th Infantry Division Artillery in 1942, participating in the North African Campaign.
In 1943 he received a Battlefield Promotion to Lieutenant Colonel after the Battle of Kasserine Pass and following the end of combat in Sicily, he commanded the 26th Field Artillery Battalion in Sicily, France and Belgium until November 1944. Evert then served on the General Staff of the War Department in Washington, D.C. as the Chief of Operations Subsection of the European Section, preparing daily action reports on activity in the European Theater Of Operations. He was released from active duty in November 1945 and promoted to Colonel in the Reserve Army in 1946.
Colonel Stong’s decorations included the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Croix de Guerre with Palms, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Theater Service Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal with 5 battle stars.
In 1946 Evert formed Phillips & Stong Engineering Company (later Phillips, Stong & Coon), an engineering and surveying company that worked principally in the Oklahoma City Metropolitan area, but also in Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. He served as City Engineer for Edmond, the Village and War Acres and retired in 1983. Evert remained active in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1946 to 1972, serving in the 95th Infantry Division, first as executive officer and then as commander of the Division Artillery, and finally as Assistant Division Commander. He attended the Command and General Staff College. He had numerous hobbies, including golf, traveling and woodcarving. In later years he became very interested in computers and taught computer courses for senior citizens.
Colonel Evert Erwin Stong passed away at the age of 96 on January 8th, 2009, peacefully at his home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Colonel Stong is considered to be one of the finest Commanders in the 9th Infantry Division according to many of the men who served under him.