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 Deen 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 action.



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ABOUT THE USS WASP ASSOCIATION
The USS WASP ASSOCIATION is an association of former crew members of the USS WASP CV18 AND LHD1. The association was founded in 1985 and chartered as a non-profit organization. Any person who was attached to either vessels bearing the name USS WASP in a permanent or temporary status, whether ship's company, squadrons or staff, may become a member of the organization. more