C. Edward (Ed) Flora Jr. passed away Sunday September 15, 2013 at the Powell House Assisted Living home in Payson, Arizona surrounded by his daughter, son, and brother. Ed was born on August 20. 1941, in Brunswick, Md. He was the son of the late Carroll E. Flora Sr. and Frances Anders Flora.|
He enlisted in the US Army on June 11, 1959, and was trained as an Infantry Scout until his honorable discharge in May 1962. He reenlisted on July 24, 1964. After completing airborne school he was assigned as an Infantry Scout with the 2nd Battalion of the 509th Infantry Regiment in West Germany from October 1964 to June 1966.
His next assignment was Squad Leader with the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, Ga., from June to December 1966. He was then deployed with his unit to South Vietnam. Sgt. Flora transferred to the 5th Special Forces Group MASC SOG in South Vietnam in August 1967.
On July 21st 1967 while on a special mission he was shot and captured by the Viet Cong. Sgt. Flora was listed as Missing in Action for his entire captivity of 2,055 days. After his return and treatment for the injuries he sustained, he then served as an MP Supervisor with the 111th Military Police Company at Fort McClellan, Alabama from August 1973 until April 1974.
He attended the US Army MP School at Fort Gordon, Georgia and served as 1st Sergeant, 111th Military Police until June 1975. His final assignment was as 1st Sergeant of the 236th MP Detachment in Washington DC. He retired from the Army June 13th 1977.
During his military service he was decorated with many citations including the Silver Star, Bronze Star w/V device and 2OLC, Purple Hearts w/2OLC, Good Conduct Medal w/5 Loops, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Palm, Presidential Unit Citation and the Meritorious Unit Citation.
The inscription on his Silver Star reads: Sergeant First Class Carroll E. Flora Jr. distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action as a Prisoner of War in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia during July 1967. With profound courage and a strong conviction in the Code of Conduct he escaped from an enemy prisoner of war camp, knowing that the odds for success were slight and that if recaptured he would receive torture and long periods in solitary confinement. The success of his escape was short lived and he was recaptured and punished. The soldier's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflected great credit on himself and the United States Army.
After his retirement from the Army he attended college and worked in the Banking industry until his final retirement.
Ed is survived by daughter Teresa LaFratte and husband Barry of Charles Town, West Virginia, son Dwayne Flora of Payson, Arizona. Brother Frank Flora and wife Louise of Westminster, Md., 2 Sisters Carol Ann Sivic and husband Rick of Cumberland Md., Dixie Lipscomb and husband Roy of Brunswick, Md., Grandson Adam LaFratte of Inwood WV., and Great grandson Landen LaFratte of Inwood WV. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Ed is also remembered fondly by his first wife, mother of his children and friend JoAnn Flora May.
The cremation was provided for by the Messinger Payson Funeral Home in Payson Arizona.
The family will hold a private Celebration of his Life at a time to be determined. As were his wishes he was cremated and a private service was held at the Powell House in Payson Arizona, as well as at his home in Vernon, Arizona. Internment of his ashes will be at the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington Virginia in the Spring of 2104 with full Military Honors.
Published in The Frederick News-Post on Sept. 29, 2013