Raymond "Ray" John Skelly

Navy Badge
  • Name: Raymond "Ray" John Skelly
  • Location of Birth: Cohasset, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: July, 1917
  • Date of Death: October 24, 1944 (28 years old)
  • Parents: Owen and Agnes Skelly
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: LTJG (Lieutenant Junior Grade)
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In:
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Distinguished Flying Cross
    Purple Heart
    Combat Action Ribbon
    World War II Victory Medal
    American Campaign Medal
    Navy Presidential Unit Citation
    Navy Good Conduct Medal
    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
    Navy Expeditionary Medal

  • Military Highlights:
    Ray was shot down in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines and was declared dead while missing.

    News article from Grand Rapids Herald Review, dated November 15, 1944:
    "Reported Missing
    Two Cohasset young men have been reported missing in action within the past few days. In neither case has there yet been a report of death.
    Lt. (j.g) Raymond Skelly, son of Mrs. Agnes Skelly, was reported missing in action in the South Pacific. A pilot on a carrier based torpedo bomber, Lt. Skelly has been in the South Pacific since last February.
    Pvt. Ted Morency, son of Mr. and Mrs. Axel Morency is reported as missing in action in Holland since October 29. Pvt. Morency is serving in a tank corps. He went overseas last April.
    Further word about these two young men is awaited by their relatives and friends."

    Raymond J. Skelly's torpedo bomber, attacking from the starboard, received a direct hit and broke up in the air, slamming into the sea. The entire crew perished.

    Information taken from IJN Battleship Musashi: Tabular Record of Movement by Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

    "1029: MUSASHI is attacked by a division of six Grumman TBM-1C "Avengers from INTREPID'S VT-18. Inoguchi orders a hard starboard turn. Lt(jg) Raymond J. Skelly's torpedo bomber, attacking from the starboard, receives a direct hit and breaks up in the air; slamming into the sea; the entire crew perishes. Ens Willard M. Fletcher's Avenger" is likewise hit by a 127-mm shell, but he manages to drop his Mk 13-2A torpedo which hits MUSASHI at 1030 starboard amidships, slightly abaft the bridge, in way of the boiler room 11." (Toshihira Inoguchi was a Japanese Vice Admiral who served as the commander of the MUSASHI)

    The Battle of Leyte Gulf is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest navel battle in history. It was fought in waters near the Philippine Islands of Leyte, Samra and Luzon from October 23-26, 1944, between combined American and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. At the end, the losses in the battle of Leyte Gulf included more than 1,000 sailors and aircrewmen of the Allied escort carrier units killed or missing

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:
    Circumstances attributed to "Missing in Action or Lost at Sea"

  • Civilian Life:
    Ray is memorialized at the Walls of the Missing, World War I and is memorialized at Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Manila, Philippines. There is a marker at Wildwood Cemetery in Cohasset, Minnesota. (Plot c26)

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):