On 24 March 1945, the USS Luce DD-522, departed Leyte escorting and screening units of TF 51, which landed heavy artillery on Kelse Shima for the support of the main landings on Okinawa. She was detached from this duty April 1 and assigned radar picket duty off Kerama Retto. About 0740, May 4, 1945, Japanese suicide planes were intercepted by the combat air patrol in the vicinity of Luce. Two enemy planes avoided the interceptors and attacked her from the portside. Luce shot down one, but the explosion from the bomb it carried caused a power failure. Unable to bring guns to bear in time, she was struck in the after section by the second kamikaze. The port engine was knocked out, engineering spaces flooded, and the rudder jammed. At 0814 Luce took a heavy list to starboard and the order to abandon ship was passed. Moments later she slid beneath the surface in a violent explosion carrying 126 of her 312 officers and men with her.

Memorialized at Honolulu Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii

Parents: James and Francis Shelby
Siblings: James Shelby, Wiley Shelby, Bertha Shelby, and Isabelle Shelby

Leroy Shelby is sorely missed by his brother Reverend Wiley E. Shelby of Knoxville

  • Rank: Seaman First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 16 June 1925
  • Date of death: 4 May 1945
  • County: Union
  • Hometown: Maynardville
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Luce (DD-522)
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XIV, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Leroy Shelby

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