November 5, 1944
A WWII Navy gunner is buried at sea in the plane he was killed in.
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 II.More here.
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. AMM 2C Deen was decapitated as a result.
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.