In honor of Loyce Edward Deen, USN

Please watch the video, then read the information below for the complete story.

US Navy TBF Avenger gunner, Loyce Deen, from the USS Essex is buried at sea with his aircraft during World War II.

A Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber of VT-15 Torpedo Air Group, approaches and lands on the deck of the USS Essex (CV-9) during the Battle of Manila Bay, in World War II.

Upon landing, Lt. Robert Cosgrove (Pilot) and Sailor Digby Denzek (Radioman) can be seen in their respective forward and middle crew positions.

But the rear gunner position, occupied by Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class, Loyce Edward Deen (Gunner) has been completely destroyed by enemy 40mm shell fire. AMM 2C Deen was decapitated as a result.

As the aircraft is parked amongst others, with wings folded, sailors of the Essex take fingerprints and cut dog tags from the body of AMM2C Loyce Deen in the gunner position.

Captain Carlos W. Wieber, Commanding Officer of the Essex, and her crew, participate in funeral services on the deck. A chaplain conducts the services from beside the aircraft, where Loyce Deen’s remains in the gunner’s position have been shrouded.

Closeup view of Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman during the burial service. A bugler sounds taps. Beside the bugler is David L. McDonald, who was XO of the USS Essex (and later Chief of Naval Operations in the 1960s).

Deen’s remains are then buried at sea in the TBF avenger in which he perished. The aircraft floats off the fantail for a short time before sinking from view. Two TBF Avengers are seen flying overhead , in tribute. Crew members then disband and return to their duties. Location: Manila Philippines. Date: November 5, 1944.

Please visit LoyceEDeen.org, sign the guest book, and learn about this chapter in our history.

We are safe today, here in the United States, because of the courage, discipline and sacrifices made by the very young men and women of the Greatest Generation.

Please, I ask everyone, don’t let their sacrifices for our freedoms be in vain.

They bled and died for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Keep our freedoms and insist that our politicians do as well.

BZ

 

 

8 years on: my father passes

My father, Col Richard L Alley, passed away eight years ago today, at the age of 88. I clearly recall the one thing he said about his own father, who passed away in the front yard at the age of 80: “I just want to live longer than he did.”

And so it was.

My mother and father met in Sacramento when Dad was training at Mather Air Field. He ended up flying missions for the 8th AF in B-17s, made his missions in one piece and returned to the states, where he became an instructor in B-25s.

Here Dad is being trained to fly.

Dad’s father, Verto, served in World War I.

Verto and Kathleen married soon after. This photo got Verto through WW I.

My father, left, with his brother Jim in Kansas City, Missouri, 1925. All three brothers served in World War II. Dad chose the Air Force, Uncle Jim served in the army and Uncle Bill in the navy.

I miss my father every day and honor his service. Col Richard L. Alley, USAF, 1920 to 2009, WWII and Vietnam.

The same folded flag above is in a polished cherry walnut case no more than four feet from me as I write, with three of the brass casings fired at his salute.

BZ

 

I almost forgot

RL & JS Alley, About 1925, 5509 Holmes St., KC., MO.0

My father (L) and his brother Jim, in front of their house at 5509 Holmes Street,   Kansas City, Missouri, in 1925.

5509 Holmes Street Today, KC, MO

5509 Holmes Street today (R), same sidewalk in foreground.  You can see the two-story house, upper left, is the same as the one above.

And that concerns me.

I wrote this post late Thursday night of the 11th, in anticipation of posting it this past weekend because, almost before that day had passed, I realized what I’d not done.  Because of the stream of news and events, I’ve waited to post it until now, Sunday.

I’d not remembered that was the day my father passed away in 2009, seven years ago.  My God, seven years ago.  In a way it seems like yesterday; in another, it seems like a vast, chasmic distance in the past.

Today my father, had he lived, would be 95 years old.  As it was, he lived to 88.  He once told me that all he wanted to do was live longer than his father, who passed away in the front yard of his house in Dallas at the age of 83.  His father served in World War I, having been born in 1895.

VR Alley, 1917.0Above is a photograph of my father’s dad, Verto Alley, who was a bugler and served overseas in Germany and France.  Verto was born in 1895, in Minnesota. Though I met him about three times, I remember little if anything about my grandfather because I was young, and because my grandparents on my father’s side lived so far away.  I’m pretty sure I factored not at all into his life either.

Thru War

As you can see, my grandfather Verto carried this photo of his wife Katy throughout his assignments in World War I.

On the other hand, Dad’s mother, Katherine, was born in 1899 in Missouri and liked me.  Those same three times I may have encountered my grandmother, I only remember good things about her.  I can remember being in the back seat of our 1958 Oldsmobile 88 with grandma.  I’d just had a haircut.  Dad always cut my hair with the Wahl electric clippers that I have to this day; he would do it with me perched on the yellow stool perched in the middle of the kitchen on the linoleum floor.

1958 Olds 88 BlueGrandma was in the back seat of the Olds with me.  She leaned over, scrappled my short hair and called me her “towhead.”  Then she kissed me on top of my head.

Dad, Sepia, Open Cockpit, Standing-A Dad, Standing, Propeller-AThe above photographs are my father in primary flight school, where he learned that the US Army Air Corps considered him to be, after evaluation, bomber material.  Dad wanted to be a fighter pilot — who didn’t? — but the USAAC said he was a “team player” kind of guy, not a lone wolf.  To multi-engine planes he went and the B-17.

Mom & Dad WWII Photo B&WAfter surviving his missions, Dad came back and the married my mother on April 24th of 1942.  In its infinite wisdom the US decided to make Dad a B-25 instructor.  Go figure.  Above is a photo of my mother and father a short time after their marriage in Reno, Nevada.  Below is my father seated in a B-25 Mitchell.

Dad In Cockpit, Pilot Seat-ABelow, Captain Dad poses with his friend Joel Kuykendahl, while assigned as flight instructors at Roswell Army Air Field (AAF).

Dad, Sepia, Capt, Roswell Flt Inst, With Joel Kuykendahl-A I reminisced about Dad recently with my wife and her sister, when she came to visit for the past three weeks as I recuperated from foot surgery.

To this day I miss Dad terribly.

Col Richard Lee Alley, USAF
1920 – 2009
WWII, Vietnam

BZ

 

73 years ago today: “Lest we forget”

Pearl Harbor SurvivorPearl Harbor Survivor 2014, Rose Petals on WaterPearl Harbor 1 Pearl Harbor 2 Pearl Harbor 3 Pearl Harbor 4 Pearl Harbor 5 Pearl Harbor 6 Pearl Harbor 7 Pearl Harbor 8 Pearl Harbor 9In Fornicalia, there are fewer than 40 Pearl Harbor survivors alive.  Any sailor living in 1941 would have been roughly 18 to 20 years old, putting them in their 90s now.  In a few years, there won’t be any Pearl Harbor survivors at all.  Will we recall and honor their sacrifice?

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

– Naval Marshal General Isoroku Yamamoto

The men who fought were indeed The Greatest Generation.  God bless them, and God bless all our current warriors who fight abroad, and those who work the streets nationally.

I believe it is incumbent upon us as Conservatives to do our duty, to ensure this country does not collapse from within due to the malfeasance and ministrations of those who would in fact attempt to change and convert this country from one of strength, influence, vigor and pride to one of dependence, subservience and a secondary world status.

We as Conservatives must fight to ensure that those lives from The Greatest Generation in World War II were not lost for nothing.  It is our responsibility and our obligation.

BZ

USS Arizona Memorial, AbovePearl Harbor MemorialP.S.
Facts about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.  Pearl Harbor survivor, Jim Carter, still remembers that fateful dayMaurice Storck tells his personal story here; a great piece by Servative Twitter: @servative.  And like that fateful day, today is Sunday.

FDR Cabinet DocumentationUS Navy Dispatch