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Burial at Sea, a Moving Tribute

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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.
Location: Manila Philippines. Date: November 5, 1944.


By an Angel’s Kiss, Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class,Loyce Edward
Deen (Gunner) 
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About the Author:

Vietnam era Army JAG, Asia, 17-yr Cold Warrior in Soviet-China Bloc green zone, Been shot at and hit, but in crime, not war; twice-broken nose for lying (same fellow) hence good law school candidate; Could have been Somebody in Corporate world and politics, but at every crossroad chose to be a man with a tawdry past instead. Gave up law and am now a redeemed American.
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