AOM3 Lloyd Edgar Acree

AOM3 Lloyd Edgar Acree

Birth
Beggs, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 12 Oct 1942 (aged 22)
Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
Burial Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot Walls of the Missing--Buried at Sea
Memorial ID 56786532 · View Source
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SHIP NAMED FOR TULSA HERO TO BE LAUNCHED

A destroyer escort vessel named for the late Lloyd Edgar Acree, aviation ordnanceman 3/c, U. S. Navy, of Tulsa, will be launched at Consolidated Steel Corp., shipbuilding division, Orange, Texas, March 21. Sponsor of the vessel will be his mother, Mrs. E. A. Acree.

Acree, 24, enlisted in the navy in October, 1940, and later was transferred to an aviation unit. He died as a result of enemy action October 1942. The Tulsa youth was awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart medals posthumously, and is entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp and the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal.
(From The Daily Oklahoman, issue dated 15 Mar 1944, page 10.)

Lloyd's parents were Elza A. and Leora Tina "Ora" Tapp Acree: siblings were Eddie Alton, Paul Hershell Acree, Roy E. Acree, and Betty Chlorine "Corky" Acree Hunt.
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LLOYD E. ACREE WAS A PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR.

Several days after the attack that killed more than 2,000 US servicemen, he sent a message to his family in Tulsa: "All OK."

Almost a year later, he was killed during a furious night battle with the Japanese near Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific Ocean on Oct. 12, 1942. He was buried at sea at the age of 22.

Acree, a third-class Navy aviation ordnanceman, was loading a shell into a gun on the USS Salt Lake City, when he was struck in the abdomen by enemy shell fragments. He held on to his shell to keep it from rolling aboard deck and harming his shipmates.

Acree's memory lives on aboard a destroyer escort named in his honor, in the fading yellow pages of a scrapbook kept in his sister's cedar chest and in the memories of his family and friends.

Sand Springs resident I.M. "Red" Puryear, his best friend, was there during the last night of Acree's life.

Before the battle, "He never had a negative attitude," Puryear said. "But that night, he was sitting on top of the hoist loading shells into a 5-inch battery. The first thing he told me, 'I won't make it through the night.'

"I said, 'Lloyd, you've got to be kidding. We're going home.'"

It was the most memorable, terrible event of the war for Puryear, also a Pearl Harbor veteran.

The USS Lloyd E. Acree was launched and commissioned in 1944. She went to duty with the Seventh Fleet during World War II and escorted the troop and supply convoys that were important to the success of the Allied offensive in Luzon, Philippines, in 1945.

The ship later conducted weather patrols off the Philippines and trained and supported the Chinese Nationalists during their struggle with Chinese Communists in 1946.

The Acree was decommissioned on Oct. 10, 1946, and was deactivated in November wen she joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet. The ship was stricken from the Naval Register on Jan. 15, 1972.

"It's safe to say, but I cannot confirm without a doubt, that the ship was sold for scrap metal," said Lt. Mark Walker, a Navy spokesman in Washington, DC

Acree's sister, Betty "Corky" Hunt, said having a ship named after her brother did not ease the grief caused by his death but gave it some dignity.

"It sure made us proud that he died for saving his country and his shipmates," the Tulsa resident said.

Tears still come to her eyes when she remembers the brother who kept her from spankings and rocked her with she was sick.

"I followed him around like he was God," Hunt said. "I followed him on his paper route. I went everywhere with him and his friends."

Hunt, the youngest of 10 children, was 12 when she learned that her brother had been killed.

It was 7 a.m. on a Sunday when the messenger delivered the dreaded letter that read: "The Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son...."

"Dad and I were reading the paper. I was reading the comics," Hunt recalled. "There came a knock on the door."

Acree misread the letter and thought his son had only been injured.

"Naturally I hated the Japanese," Hunt said. "But then I realized they were doing what they were told to do like my brother. I'm not bitter anymore."

Tulsan Roy Acree, 67, Lloyd's youngest brother, joined the Navy in 1943. He asked to be stationed aboard the same ship that his brother was killed on, but never was.

"I just wanted to go in the Navy. I guess I just wanted to be on the ship because of the idea that he served on it," Acree said.

He was living at home when Hunt told him their brother had been killed. He was sad and angry at the same time.


"He was my brother and I loved him," Acree said. "Just like any family, we were pretty close. He was outgoing, friendly and was good at sports."

In his last letter home, Acree wrote he was looking forward to coming home: "Some day, when the war is over...."

But for him, the day never came.
(Source: Tulsa, Oklahoma's "Tulsa World", Dec. 8, 1991
by Melanie Busch, World Staff Writer
Contributed by SLC Veteran Charles F. Kepper, AMM1c)

NAVY CROSS CITATION
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lloyd Edgar Acree (3563872), Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving on board the Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25), during action against enemy Japanese naval forces off Savo Island during the Battle of Cape Esperance on the night of 11 - 12 October 1942. On that date Task Group 64.2, of which the U.S.S. SALT LAKE CITY was a unit, engaged a Japanese force of cruisers and destroyers. Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class Acree was a relief fuse pot loader on five-inch gun #1. During the action, he was struck by shell fragments in the arm and abdomen, causing him to fall to the deck. Despite his injuries, he continued to hold the shell and to protect the base and primer with his hand. Both the main arm and 5-inch batteries of the ship were firing at the same time, and a shell rolling loose on the deck would have constituted a serious hazard to personnel and might well have hampered the effectiveness of the forward five-inch battery. During the next lull, he was given first aid, but died shortly thereafter. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


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Gravesite Details Entered the service from Oklahoma.

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  • Maintained by: Don J
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56786532
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for AOM3 Lloyd Edgar Acree (31 Jul 1920–12 Oct 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56786532, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by Don J (contributor 47106048) .