- When you go home, tell them of us and say
- For their tomorrow, we gave our today.
- Inscription on the Memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Division at Kohima
Hattip to Ace of Spades. As we go about our daily lives it is good to remember that we stand on the shoulders of giants. One of those giants is a 23 year old sailor who died 73 years ago:
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.
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.
Go here to a website with a great deal of information about Machinist Mate Deen. Prior to his last flight he had been wounded in the foot. He could have honorably avoided combat and stayed on a hospital ship until it healed. Instead, he wrapped it up and ignored it to stay in the fight. We are all made in the image of God. Some of us, and Mr. Deen is a prime example, do our best to live up to that glorious fact.