AMM2 Loyce Edward Deen

AMM2 Loyce Edward Deen

Altus, Jackson County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 5 Nov 1944 (aged 23)
At Sea
Memorial Site* Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Tablets of the Missing - Navy
Memorial ID 56787731 · View Source
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Served in Torpedo Squadron {Vt-15} USS Essex {CV-9}
Killed by anti aircraft fire over Manila Bay while serving as a Torpedo Plane gunner.
Has cenopath memorial

ABMC record:

Loyce E. Deen
Aviation Machinist's Mate, Second Class, U.S. Navy
Service # 6712310
United States Naval Reserve
Entered the Service from: Oklahoma
Died: 5-Nov-44
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery
Manila, Philippines
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart - Buried at Sea


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 it.

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 actionUS Navy TBF Avenger gunner from USS Essex is buried at sea with his aircraft during World War II.

Loyce Edward Deen Tribute

Location: Manila Philippines
Date: 1944, November 5

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 2. 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.

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.

Family Members

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Oklahoma.
  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56787731
  • Joseph StCloud Irwin
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for AMM2 Loyce Edward Deen (24 Apr 1921–5 Nov 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56787731, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by War Graves (contributor 6) .