Carrier Crew Honors WWII Veteran with Burial at Sea

By The Maritime Executive 07-18-2017 04:52:31

[Brief] During the carrier USS Ronald Reagan’s recent transit of the Coral Sea, the Reagan’s crew held a burial at sea ceremony for World War II veteran Julius Harry Frey and his wife Jerry. Julius Frey (1923-2016) was a yeoman aboard the carrier USS Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea, and his ashes were laid to rest at the coordinates of the Lexington's final resting place.

The Lexington was an early aircraft carrier, initially designed as a battleship during the First World War. Her hull  was converted and launched as a carrier in the early 1920s, and she went on to serve as an early test-bed for U.S. naval aviation. 

In World War II, she saw several months of action off Papua New Guinea and New Britain. During the Battle of the Coral Sea, May 4-8, 1942, her air wing helped sink the Japanese carrier Shoho and damaged the carrier Shokaku. However, Japanese counterstrikes left her crippled, and after a series of explosions and uncontrollable fires, her crew were forced to abandon ship and she was scuttled. The enemy attack killed 216 out of her crew of 2950 men.