Rene Flory Jr.

Sgt. Rene J. Flory, Jr., Killed In Korean War

Belleville Youth Was Altar Boy at Holy Family Church for 10 years

(June 22, 1951) – “Mother, I know you have been plenty worried since I’ve been over here, but believe me, now the worst is over,” wrote Rene Joseph Flory to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Rene J. Flory of 40 Center Street, Belleville, N.J., in a letter they received last week from Korea.

Yesterday afternoon, the Florys received a telegram from the War Department which said, in part, “Deeply regret to inform you that your son, Corporal Rene Joseph Flory Jr., USMC was killed in action June 9, 1951, in the Korean Area in performance of his duty and service of his country.”

The letter received before the telegram was dated Korea, June 6 and was from a rest camp area. In the letter he described conditions in the camp and his chief concern was whether his pants would dry.

The youthful soldier was born in Newark but had resided in Belleville for 11 years. He attended Belleville Schools and before graduation from Belleville High School three years ago was president of the Student Council and a member of the National Honor Society. He also served as an altar boy at the Holy Family Church, Nutley, for ten years before he was called into service.

He was sworn into Federal service on Sept. 7, last year, came home on furlough and reached Korea in April. Flory likely received a field or posthumous promotion.

Sgt. Flory was a member of Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Regiment, First Marine Division. He served with other youths from this area who were members of the Marine Reserves training at Dover.

At one period, when the United States forces were having a rough time in Korea, he saw 56 days of continuous action in the front lines.

Sgt. Flory was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Service Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal.

Born on Feb. 27, 1930, Sgt. Rene J. Flory, Jr. is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey, USA.

A monument honoring Flory was rededicated during a Veterans Day ceremony at School 7 on Nov. 11, 1999. Erected in 1952, the plaque and stone on the Joralemon Street side of the school had become over grown with shrubbery. The growth was cut down and the area was cleaned up recently on the recommendation of Schools Superintendent Joseph Ciccone.         

The Belleville-Nutley Chapter 22 Disabled American Veterans and the board of education took part in the rededication ceremony, which was open to the public.

Belleville reopens shrine

A monument honoring Rene Flory, a Belleville High School graduate who was killed in the Korean War on June 9, 1951, will be rededicated during a Veterans Day ceremony at School 7 today (Nov. 11, 1999) at 11:30 a.m.

Erected in 1952, the plaque and stone on the Joralemon Street side of the school had become overgrown , with shrubbery. The growth was cut  down and the area was cleaned up recently on the recommendation of Schools Superintendent Joseph Ciccone.

The Disabled American Veterans of Belleville and the board of education will take part in the rededication ceremony, which is open to the public.

In Memory Of

Sgt. Rene Flory Jr. USMC

Born February 27, 1931

Died in Service of His Country

In the Battlefield of Korea

June 9, 1951

And All Other Sons of Belleville

Who Made The Supreme Sacrifice

Photos taken Nov. 11, 2003 by Anthony Buccino

Belleville renews Korea vet memorial - Star Ledger

Rene Flory Remembered

I went to high School with Rene Flory.  In almost every class we sat together because of the way the teacher arranged the seating.  I still think of him fondly and am still saddened at the fact that he was killed in that war.  It just seemed that he had a very fine future ahead of him.  I still often pray for him and his family as well.  I'm glad that I found him honored in this memorial, but wish it had been that he never had the need to be honored in this way.

What I remember most about Rene was his constant smiling and politeness.  At the beginning of my freshman year, my father passed away.  Rene was always supportive and found ways to make me either smile or laugh.  He kept himself involved in school  projects and we often worked together on many of them.  It was never a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship; just a good friend relationship.  I don't know the details of his passing other than that it was during the Korean War, but he certainly has found a place in heaven.  I look forward to meeting him there again.

Emily Armstrong (Beck)

December 2007


American Battle Monuments Commission


The Belleville Times:

"Belleville folks hear son killed in Korean action" June 21, 1951, p.1
"Family takes part in dedication of Rene Flory memorial" Nov 29, 1951 p.1 (illus)
"Granite bench to be memorial for Korean hero" Nov 8, 1951 p.1
"Marine veterans will take part in dedication" Nov 15, 1951 p.1
"Missing youth is second Korean War casualty" Jan 4, 1951 p.1
"Pfc. J. F. Gordon listed as missing in Korean action" July 5, 1951 p.1 (illus)
"Postponed rites at memorial will be held today" Nov 20, 1951 p.1+

The Belleville Public Library

The Nutley Sun:

"Cpl. R. J. Flory Killed June 6 In Korean War" June 22, 1951

The Star Ledger, November 11, 1999.

Belleville Sons Honor Roll

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

Belleville, New Jersey

Korean War


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