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Monday, July 10, 2017

Burial At Sea 72 Years Ago

Here's footage you'll see only once in a lifetime. Just imagine being there to witness it! Tough times, tough people!

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. Click HERE for his story.

Here's a sea burial you may not have read about: 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.
 For the video of the funeral  click  http://loyceedeen.webstarts.com/uploads/GoingHome.mp4

Thanks to Dale in Ohio


  1. Hey Irish;

    I remembered that one, How the the medic handle getting the fingerprints off the deceased gunner. It was a different time and the men back then were made of steel. It was sobering to see.

    1. It was indeed a different time and different men for the most part. Not very long ago, I was told a story by our past sheriff who was also a WW2 naval veteran and served on the USS California. On January 1, 1945 he told their ship was hit by a kamikaze pilot killing 44 men. Due to the fact the ship was in a combat area and under fire, the bodies of the men were kept in the dining area of the ship until they could be buried at sea. He said that was a sobering sight to see those bodies under sheets on stretchers and to go about one's business of eating a meal.


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