Preston Loftus Bunch
Age 22. Inducted U.S. Navy in August 1942. Attended Young High School, Baptist Church. Brother of Miss Tressie Bunch, Route No. 5, Knoxville.
-Served aboard the USS Belleau Wood
-Served in the Pacific Theater
-Battles: Occupation of Baker Island, Raid on Tarawa, Raid on Wake Island, Invasion of Gilbert Island, Seizure of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshall Islands, Truk raid, Saipan-Tinian-Rota-Guam raids, Palau-Yap-Ulithi-Woleai raid, Sawar and Wakde Island raids in support of the landings at Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura), New Guinea, Truk-Satawan-Ponape raid, occupation of Saipan, 1st Bonins raid, Battle of the Philippine Sea, and 2nd Bonins raid, the last stages of the occupation of Guam, strikes in support of the occupation of the southern Palaus, Philippine Islands raids, Morotai landings, Okinawa raid, northern Luzon and Formosa raids, Luzon strikes, and the Battle of Cape Engano.
On 30 October 1944, while Belleau Wood was patrolling with her task group east of Leyte, an island in the Philippines, she shot down a Japanese suicide plane which fell on her flight deck aft, causing fires which set off ammunition. Before the fire could be brought under control, 92 men, including Bunch, had either died or gone missing.
He was buried at sea. Memorialized at Manila American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio, Philippines.