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 the plane. Deen had been decapitated. 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.
The Essex is one of five ships in U. S. Naval history to carry the name.
The aircraft carrier Essex was decommissioned in 1969 after serving in the Apollo recovery efforts and sold for scrap in 1973.
- USS Essex (1799) was a 32-gun sailing frigate launched in 1799 and captured in 1814
- Essex Junior was a British whaler captured by Essex and put into service until recaptured in 1814
- USS Essex (1856) was an ironclad steamer during the American Civil War and sold in 1865
- USS Essex (1874) was a wooden screw steamer launched in 1876 and sold in 1930
- USS Essex (CV-9) was an Essex-class aircraft carrier commissioned in 1942 and served through World War II, the Korean War, and Apollo 7 before being decommissioned in 1969
- USS Essex (LHD-2) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship commissioned in 1992 and currently in active service
The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Essex (CVA-9) takes spray over the bow while steaming in heavy seas. Essex, with assigned Carrier Air Group 10 (CVG-10), was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea from 7 August 1959 to 26 February 1960. A Grumman TF-1 Trader COD plane is readied for launch from the angled flight deck. Several Douglas AD-6 and AD-5W Skyraider and Douglas F4D-1 Skyrays are parked behind the island. An AD-5 (BuNo 132463) assigned to United States Fleet Activities Naples, Italy, is parked on the elevator.