Lt. General Edward M. (Fly) Flanagan, United States Army (Ret.), 98, made his final jump on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at his home on Lady’s Island.
He spent his life in daily acts of adoration of his wife and devotion to God. A three-star Army General, accomplished author and military historian, he most liked to admire the river, do crosswords, and wear khakis with a blue sweater as often as possible. He loved his family well and leaves his wife of 74 years, Marguerite (Farrell) Flanagan; his children, E. Michael Flanagan III and wife Donna, Maureen A. (Flanagan) McNeill and husband Dan, Terrence G. Flanagan and wife Cheryl, and twins Patricia M. Flanagan and Kathleen M. Flanagan and husband Benjamin; three grandchildren Dan K. McNeill Jr. and his wife Sarah, John Flanagan, and Alison Salisbury; two great grandchildren, Paige McNeill and Maeve McNeill, many nieces and nephews and many close friends.
After graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1943 he became a paratrooper and fought in the Pacific during World War II. He had a combat jump into the Philippines with the 11th Airborne Division and participated in the occupation of Japan at the end of the war. He met his wife, Marguerite Farrell while on leave from West Point and they were married in 1945 when he returned from the war.
He had a distinguished military career, rising to the rank of Lt. General and his commands included the 25th Infantry Division (Assistant Division Commander), 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army center for Special Warfare and U.S. Army Special Warfare School (Green Berets), Eighth United States Army and Sixth United States Army. He retired from active duty in 1978 and lived with his wife on Lady’s Island and worked for a time at the Dowling Law Firm in Beaufort. During his retirement he did extensive research and wrote a number of military history books including Angels at Dawn; The Los Banos Raid; Airborne” A Combat History of American Airborne Forces; and Lighting: The 101st in the Gulf War.
Lt. General Flanagan was devoted to his wife, his family and was a devout Catholic. He was a lector at the churches he attended including St. Peter’s and the Holy Cross Mission church where he enjoyed the weekly Saturday evening mass.
An avid tennis and squash player, he played both singles and doubles tennis well into his 90’s and was a senior squash champion when he lived in California.
A Memorial Mass of the Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 11, 2019 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Lady’s Island, with a private burial at a later date at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Peter’s Catholic School.