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.