Michael A Flynn
Michael A. Flynn Way street dedication

What a great turnout as many of the soldier's third and fourth generation relatives met with a great-grandson for the first time, swapping tales and sorting lineage.


Michael Flynn, of Belleville, NJ, died enroute home from WWISept. 24, 2016, Belleville, N.J. -- We are here today to honor Michael Flynn. But Michael’s story is not his own. It is a story of two Belleville best friends.

According to the American Battle Monuments Commission, of the 136,516 Americans that lost their lives during World War I, there were 4,452 Missing In Action.  The population of Belleville in 1920 was 15,696. Twenty-one Belleville Sons died in the Great War.

Here, two stories:

Ed Crowell and Mike Flynn were boyhood chums in Belleville. When Crowell enlisted in the Army on June 17, 1917, he wanted his childhood friend to enlist with him, but Flynn was rejected because of his teeth. He saved his money to have his teeth fixed, reapplied and was in the Army.

While in Europe, Crowell and Flynn were reunited and had a picture taken together with Flynn’s bunk mate.

Crowell’s grandnephew, Ed Morrows recalled his grandmother saying her brother had the nickname of “Whitey”. When asked about his nickname, she said that the war had turned the 25-year-old’s hair white.

 The soldiers met again when Crowell was being evacuated to an aid station because of his wounds. Flynn wanted to escort his buddy to the hospital but instead followed rejoined his unit which was heading back to the battle front.

Nearly 100 years ago, Belleville paid final tribute to two of its war heroes at the joint military funerals of Private Edward Joseph Crowell, Jr. son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Crowell, 19 Factory Street, and Private Michael A. Flynn, son of Police Chief Flynn, 11 Washington Street.

To honor these heroes, both of whom had been decorated for valorous conduct in fighting, the American Legion Post, the George Younginger and Abraham Lincoln Posts, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, united to escort the procession.

Belleville paid final tribute to two of its war heroes at the joint military funerals of Private Edward Joseph Crowell, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Crowell, 19 Factory Street, and Private Michael A. Flynn, Jr.,  son of Belleville Police Chief Flynn.

Belleville Pays Tribute To War Heroes - Michael Flynn and Edward Crowell, 1918

The photo shows the body of Private Flynn in the foreground,
as the procession was passing the Town Hall -
Newark Star-Eagle

Throngs lined Washington Avenue as the cortege proceeded from St. Peter's Catholic Church to St. Peter's Cemetery. The bodies were borne on gun caissons.

It was the largest military funeral service in six decades since Belleville buried Captain Henry Benson who died of his wounds on a Civil War battlefield.

The young soldiers’ remains, Crowell was 25, Flynn only 20, were borne on gun caissons to St. Peter’s Catholic Church and lastly to St. Peter’s Cemetery.

Private Crowell died of wounds in Brest, France, on August 4, 1919. Private Flynn died in France on Dec. 7, 1918.


Belleville Township Street Dedication Video

 


Sources:

Ed Morrows, grandnephew of Edward Crowell, Newspaper clippings

Newark Star-Eagle

St. Peter's Church, Belleville, New Jersey - 150 Years

State of New Jersey Dept. of State Div. of Archives & Records Management: World War I Casualties: Descriptive Cards and Photographs

Township of Belleville

Belleville Sons Honor Roll

  A Place of Honor and Remembrance 
In the Home of the Brave

Belleville, New Jersey


World War I


BELLEVILLE SONS HONOR ROLL

Belleville Sons Honor Roll, Belleville, N.J.

Contact/Join Our Email List

BellevilleSons.com copyright © 2003-2016 By Anthony Buccino. All rights reserved. Permissions & other snail mail: PO Box 110252 Nutley NJ 07110


Support this website by buying a book

BELLEVILLE SONS HONOR ROLL - Remembering the men who paid for our freedom

Belleville and Nutley in the Civil War - a Brief History

Anthony Buccino