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July 11th, 2017

Going Home, Burial At Sea

There is a reason they are called, ‘The Greatest Generation!’

Loyce Edward Deen, an Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class, USNR, was a gunner on a TBM Avenger. On November 5, 1944, Deen’s squadron participated in a raid on Manila where his plane was hit multiple times by anti-aircraft fire while attacking a Japanese cruiser. Deen was killed.

The Avenger’s pilot, Lt. Robert Cosgrove, managed to return to his carrier, the USS Essex. Both Deen and the plane had been shot up so badly that it was decided to leave him in the plane.

It is the only time in U.S. Navy history (and probably U.S. military history) that an aviator was buried in his aircraft after being killed in action.

Aviation Machinist Mate (Gunner) 2nd Class Loyce Edward Deen

The sailor was 23 year old Loyce Edward Deen, an Aviation Machinist Mate (Gunner) 2nd Class enlistee from Altus, Oklahoma who served in VT-15 squadron assigned to the carrier USS Essex. Loyce was a remarkable young man and here is his story…

Most appreciatively lifted from Jeffery at The Feral Irishman with Special Thanks to Dale in Ohio.