Pfc. Roy J. Flippen
    Pfc. Roy Flippen was born on October 6, 1917, in Ferris, Texas, to Lon S. Flippen & Virginia Mae Jordan-Flippen.  With his four sisters and two brothers, he resided on Fourth Street in Ferris, Texas.  He graduated from Ferris High School in 1937 and had the highest grade point average for a male student.  After high school, he worked construction after high school.
    Roy was inducted into the U. S. Army on March 21, 1941, in Dallas, Texas, and did his basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Afterwards, he went to Camp Polk, Louisiana, where he was assigned to the 753rd Tank Battalion which had been sent there from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
After the Louisiana maneuvers of 1941, the National Guardsmen in the 192nd Tank Battalion, who were 29 years old or older, were given the chance to resign from federal service.  Roy volunteered, or had his name drawn,  to join the battalion and was assigned to HQ Company.
    The decision for this move -  which had been made in August 1941 - was the result of an event that took place in the summer of 1941.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines, when one of the pilots, who was flying at a lower altitude, noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a flagged buoy in the water and saw another in the distance.  He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of an Japanese occupied island which was hundred of miles away.  The island had a large radio transmitter.  The squadron continued its flight plan south to Mariveles and returned to Clark Field.
     When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.  The next day, when another squadron was sent to the area, the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat - with a tarp on its deck - which was seen making its way to shore.   Since communication between the Air Corps and Navy was difficult, the boat escaped.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
    Roy returned home to say his goodbyes and married Virginia.  She had grown up in the next town over from Ferris, but she resided at 3409 Worth Street in Dallas when they married.  He returned to Camp Polk, awaited orders, and packed up the battalions equipment. 
    The battalion traveled west over different train routes and arrived in San Francisco, California, where they were taken by ferry to Ft. McDowell on Angel Island.  On the island, they were inoculated and given physicals.  Any man who needed some sort of medical treatment was held back and scheduled to join the battalion at a later date.  Other men were simply replaced.
    The battalion traveled by train to San Francisco, California, and was ferried, on the U.S.A.T General Frank M. Coxe, to Fort McDowell on Angel Island, where the soldiers were inoculated and given physicals by the battalion's medical detachment.  Those who had medical issues were replaced or scheduled to rejoin the battalion at a later date.
    The 192nd boarded onto the U.S.A.T. Gen. Hugh L. Scott and sailed on Monday, October 27th.  During this part of the trip, many tankers had seasickness, but once they recovered they spent much of the time training in breaking down machine guns, cleaning weapons, and doing KP.   The ship arrived at Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, November 2nd and had a two day layover, so the soldiers were given shore leave so they could see the island.
    On Wednesday, November 5th, the ship sailed for Guam but took a southerly route away from the main shipping lanes.  It was at this time it was joined by, the heavy cruiser, the U.S.S. Louisville and, another transport, the S.S. President Calvin Coolidge.  Sunday night, November 9th, the soldiers went to bed and when they awoke the next morning, it was Tuesday, November 11th.  During the night, while they slept, the ships had crossed the International Date Line.  On Saturday, November 15th, smoke from an unknown ship was seen on the horizon.  The Louisville revved up its engines, its bow came out of the water, and it shot off in the direction of the smoke.  It turned out the smoke was from a ship that belonged to a friendly country.
    When they arrived at Guam on Sunday, November 16th, the ships took on water, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables before sailing for Manila the next day.  At one point, the ships passed an island at night and did so in total blackout.  This for many of the soldiers was a sign that they were being sent into harm's way.  The ships entered Manila Bay, at 8:00 A.M., on Thursday, November 20th, and docked at Pier 7 later that morning.  At 3:00 P.M., most of the soldiers were taken by bus to Ft. Stotsenburg.  Those who drove trucks drove them to the fort, while the maintenance section remained behind at the pier to unload the tanks. 
    At the fort, they were greeted by Gen. Edward P. King, who apologized that the men had to live in tents along the main road between the fort and Clark Field.  He made sure that they all received Thanksgiving Dinner before he went to have his own dinner.
    For the next seventeen days the tankers worked to remove cosmoline from their weapons since they had been greased to prevent them from rusting during the trip to the Philippines. They also loaded ammunition belts, did tank maintenance, and prepared for maneuvers that were scheduled to take place.

    On Monday, December 1st, the tankers were ordered to the perimeter of Clark Field to guard it against paratroopers.  The 194th Tank Battalion was assigned the northern half of the airfield while the 192nd protected the southern half.  At all times, two crew members had two remain with their tank or half track and received their meals from food trucks.
   At six in the morning, on December 8th, the officers of the battalion were called to the radio room at the fort.  They were ordered, with all the members of the tank and half-track crews, to the perimeter of Clark Airfield. 
When the members of HQ Company were told of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor they laughed.  Having been in the Philippines for eighteen days, they believed that this was the start of the extended maneuvers.  The company commander, Capt Fred Bruni, told them to listen up because what he was saying was the truth.  He again told them that Pearl Harbor had been bombed, and they were given guns and told to clean them.  As they did this, they still believed that they had started maneuvers.  It was around noon that this belief was blown away. 
The tankers watched that morning as the sky was filled with American planes.  At noon, the planes landed, to be refueled, lined up in a straight line, and the pilots went to lunch.  At 12:45, the tankers watched as 54 planes approached the airfield.  As they watched, the saw "raindrops" falling from the planes.  When bombs began exploding, the soldiers knew the planes were Japanese.  During the attack, the company members hid in a dry latrine that was near their tents.  They stayed in it until the attack was finished.
    When the Japanese had finished, there was not much left of the airfield.  The tankers watched as the dead, dying, and wounded were hauled to the hospital on bomb racks, trucks, or anything that could carry the wounded was in use.  When the hospital filled, they watched the medics place the wounded under the building.  Many of these men had their arms and legs missing.  The sight sickened them. 
    That night, there was one air raid after another. 
Since they did not have any foxholes, the men used an old latrine pit for cover.  Being that it was safer in the trench than in their tents, the men slept in the pit.  The entire night they were bitten by mosquitoes.  The next morning the decision was made to move the company into an tree cover area.  Without knowing it, Roy had slept his last night on a cot or bed.  From this point on, he slept in a blanket on the ground.  
    On December 23rd and 24th, the battalion was in the area of Urdaneta and found the bridge they were going to use to cross the Agno River was destroyed.  The tankers made an end run to get south of river and ran into Japanese resistance early in the evening, but they successfully crossed at the river in the Bayambang Province.  Later on the 24th, the battalions formed a defensive line along the southern bank of the Agno River with the 192nd on the right and 194th on the left.
    On December 25th, the tanks of the battalion held the southern bank of the Agno River from Carmen to Tayung, with the tanks of the 194th holding the line on the Carmen-Alcala-Bautista Road.  The tanks held the position until 5:30 in the morning on December 27th and withdrew, following the Philippine Army, to the Tarlec-Cabanatuan Line and was near Santo Tomas and Cabanatuan on the 28th and 29th.
    The tank battalions next covered the withdrawal of the Philippine Army at the Pampanga River.  The battalion's tanks were on both sides of the on December 31st at the Calumpit Bridge.
    On January 1st, conflicting orders, about who was in command, were received by the defenders who were attempting to stop the Japanese advance down Route 5 and allowing the Southern Luzon Forces to withdraw toward Bataan.  General Wainwright was unaware of the orders, since they came from Gen. MacArthur's chief of staff.
    Because of the orders, there was confusion among the Filipinos and American forces defending the bridge over the Pampanga River about withdrawing from the bridge with half of the defenders withdrawing.  Due to the efforts of the Self Propelled Mounts, the 71st Field Artillery, and a frenzied attack by the 192nd Tank Battalion the Japanese were halted.  From January 2nd to 4th, the 192nd held the road open from San Fernando to Dinalupihan so the southern forces could escape.
    At 2:30 A.M., on January 6th, the Japanese attacked at Remlus in force using smoke which was an attempt by the Japanese to destroy the tank battalions. That night the tanks withdrew into the peninsula with the 192nd holding its position so that the 194th Tank Battalion could leap frog past it, cross the bridge, and then cover the 192nd's withdraw over the bridge.  The 192nd was the last American unit to enter Bataan.
    The night of January 7th, the tank battalions were covering the withdrawal of all troops around Hermosa.  Around 6:00 A.M., before the bridge had been destroyed by the engineers, the 192nd crossed the bridge.
    The next day, the battalion was between Culo and Hermosa and assigned a road to enter Bataan on which was worse than having no road.  The half-tracks kept throwing their rubber tracks and members of 17th Ordnance assigned to each battalion had to re-track them in dangerous situations.  After daylight, Japanese artillery fire was landing all around the tanks.
    The next day, a composite tank company was formed under the command of Capt. Donald Haines, B Co., 192nd.  Its job was to protect the East Coast Road north of Hermosa open and to stop Japanese tanks attempting to use it to overrun the next defensive line that was forming. While in this position, the tanks were under constant enemy artillery fire.  The rest of the tanks were ordered to bivouac south of the Abucay-Hacienda Road.
    When word came that a bridge was going to be blow, all the tanks were ordered out of the area, which included the composite company.  This could have resulted in a catastrophe, but the Japanese did not take advantage of the situation.
    The tanks bivouacked south of the Pilar-Bagac Road and about two kilometers from the East Coast Road.  It had almost been one month since the tank crews had a rest and the tanks had maintenance work done on them by 17th Ordnance.  It was also on this day that the tank platoons were reduced to three tanks per tank platoon.  The men rested and the tanks received the required maintenance.  Most of the tank tracks had worn down to bare metal and the radial engines long past their 400 hour overhauls.
    It was at this time the tank battalions received these orders which came from Gen. Weaver, "Tanks will execute maximum delay, staying in position and firing at visible enemy until further delay will jeopardize withdrawal.  If a tank is immobilized, it will be fought until the close approach of the enemy, then destroyed; the crew previously taking positions outside and continuing to fight with the salvaged and personal weapons. Considerations of personal safety and expediency will not interfere with accomplishing the greatest possible delay."
    The battalions were sent to cover the junctions of the Back Road and East Road with the Abucay-Heicienda Road on January 25th.  While holding the position, the 45th Infantry, Philippine Scouts, fought its way to the position at 3:00 A.M.  One platoon was sent to the front of the the column of trucks which were loading the troops.  The tanks provided heavy fire so that the infantry could withdraw and inflicted heavy losses on the Japanese.
    Later on January 25th, both the 192nd and 194th held a defensive line on the Bakanga-Cardre-BaniBani Roads until the withdraw was completed at midnight.  They held the position until the night of January 26th/27th, when they dropped back to a new defensive line roughly along the Pilar-Bagac Roads.  When ordered to withdraw to the new line, the 192nd found that the bridge at Balanga, that they were suppose to use had been destroyed by enemy fire.  To withdraw, they had to use secondary roads to get around the barrio and tanks were still straggling in at noon.
    The tank battalions, on January 28th, were given the job of protecting the beaches.  The 192nd was assigned the coast line from Paden Point to Limay along Bataan's east coast, while the battalion's half-tracks were used to patrol the roads.  The Japanese later admitted that the tanks guarding the beaches prevented them from attempting landings.     
    Companies A & C were ordered to the west coast of Bataan while B Company - which was held in reserve - and 17th Ordnance held the southern shore of Bataan.  The tankers were awake all night and attempted to sleep under the jungle canopy, during the day, which protected them from being spotted by Japanese reconnaissance planes.  During the night, they were kept busy with repeated threats both on and off shore.
    On one occasion, a member of the company, who had gotten frustrated by being awakened by the planes, had his half-track pulled out onto the beach and took pot shots at the plane.  He missed the plane, but twenty minutes later, Japanese planes appeared over the location and dropped bombs that exploded in the tree tops.  Three members of the company were killed.
    The tank battalions, on their own, took up the job of protecting the airfields at Cabcaban, Bataan, and Mariveles, since Japanese paratroopers were known to be available.  The tanks and half-tracks were well hidden in the jungle around the airfields and different plans were in place to be used against Japanese forces.  There was only one major alert in March when 73 Japanese planes came over.
    The battalion also took part in the Battle of the Pockets to wipe out Japanese soldiers who had been trapped behind the main defensive line.  The tanks would enter the pocket one at a time to replace a tank in the pocket.  Another tank did not enter the pocket until a tank exited the pocket.  Doing this was so stressful that the tank companies were pulled out and replaced by one that was being held in reserve.
    To exterminate the Japanese, two methods were used.  The first was to have three Filipino soldiers ride on the back of the tank.  As the tank went over a Japanese foxhole, the Filipinos dropped three hand grenades into the foxhole.  Since the grenades were from WWI, one out of three usually exploded.
    The other method to use to kill the Japanese was to park a tank with one track over the foxhole.  The driver gave the other track power resulting with the tank spinning around and grinding its way down into the foxhole.  The tankers slept upwind of their tanks.
    In March, the amount of gasoline was reduced to 15 gallons a day for all vehicles except the tanks.  This would later be dropped to ten gallons a day.  At the same time, food rations were cut in half again.  Also at this time, Gen. Weaver suggested to Gen. Wainwright that a platoon of tanks be sent to Corregidor.
    The Japanese lunched an all out attack on April 3rd.  On April 7th, the 57th Infantry, Philippine Scouts, supported by tanks, attempted to restore the line, but Japanese infiltrators prevented this from happening.  During this action, one tank was knocked out but the remaining tanks successfully withdrew.  C Company, 194th, which was attached to the 192nd, had only seven tanks left.
    The tanks became a favorite target of the Japanese receiving fire on trails and while hidden in the jungle. and could not fight back.  The situation was so bad that other troops avoided being near the tanks, and the 26th Cavalry turned down a tank company's offer of assistance in a counter-attack.    
   It was at this time that Gen. King decided that further resistance was futile.  Approximately 25% of his men were healthy enough to fight, and he estimated they would last one more day.  In addition, he had over 6000 troops who sick or wounded and 40000 civilians who he feared would be massacred.  At 10:30 that night, he sent his staff officers to negotiate surrender terms.  
    Tank battalion commanders received this order, "You will make plans, to be communicated to company commanders only, and be prepared to destroy within one hour after receipt by radio, or other means, of the word 'CRASH', all tanks and combat vehicles, arms, ammunition, gas, and radios: reserving sufficient trucks to close to rear echelons as soon as accomplished." 

    The evening of April 8th, Capt. Fred Bruni, the commanding officer of HQ Company, called his men together.  He informed them that they would surrender to the Japanese the next morning at 7:00 and instructed them to destroy any weapons or supplies that the Japanese could use.  He instructed the sergeants, to destroy the three tanks assigned to the company, but that they should not to destroy the company's trucks.  As he spoke, his voice choked and he turned away from his men for a moment.  When he turned around and face them again, he continued and emphasized that they would surrender together.  Somehow, Bruni came up with enough bread and pineapple juice for the men to have what he called, "Their last supper."    
    On April 9, 1942, Bataan was surrendered to the Japanese at 7:00 A.M.  The members of the HQ Company remained in their bivouac, until
April 11th, when the first Japanese soldiers appeared at HQ company's encampment.  Roy was now a Prisoner of War.  A Japanese officer ordered the company, with their possessions, out onto the road that ran in front of their encampment.  Once on the road, the soldiers were ordered to kneel along the sides of the road with their possessions in front of them.  As they knelt, the Japanese soldiers, who were passing them, went through their possessions and took whatever they wanted from the Americans.
    The company boarded their trucks and drove to just outside Mariveles and walked to Mariveles Airfield and where they were ordered to sit and wait.  As they sat, the POWs noticed a line of Japanese soldiers forming across from them.  They soon realized that this was a firing squad and the Japanese were going to kill them.  
    As they sat watching and waiting to see what the Japanese intended to do, a Japanese officer pulled up in a car in front of the soldiers.  He got out of the car and spoke to the sergeant in charge of the detail.  The officer got back in the car and drove off.  The Japanese sergeant ordered the soldiers to lower their guns.
    Later in the day, the POWs were moved to a school yard in Mariveles.  The POWs were left sitting in the sun for hours, and the Japanese did not feed them or give them water.  Behind the POWs were four Japanese artillery pieces firing on Corregidor and Ft. Drum.  These two islands had not surrendered.  Shells from these two American forts began landing among the POWs, but the POWs could do little since they had no place to hide.  Some of the POWs who hid in a small brick building died when it took a direct hit.  The American guns did succeed in knocking out three of the four Japanese guns.
    The POWs were ordered to move again, by the Japanese, and had no idea that they had started what became known as the death march.  During the march, the POWs received no water and little food.  It took the members of HQ Company six days to reach San Fernando.  Once there, the POWs were put into a bull pen that had a fence around it.  In one corner was a slit trench to be used as a toilet by the POWs.  The surface of the trench moved since it was covered in maggots.  The POWs had enough room to sit, but they could not lie down.
During their time in the bull pen, the POWs watched the Japanese bury three POWs.  Two were still alive.  When one of the men attempted to climb out of the grave, he was hit in the head with a shovel and buried him.  The POWs were formed into detachments of 100 men and marched to the train station.
At the train station, the POWs were put into small wooden boxcars used to haul sugarcane.  The cars were known as "Forty or Eights," since each car could hold forty men or eight horses.  The Japanese packed 100 men into each car and closed the doors.  The POWs were packed in so tightly that those who died remained standing until the living climbed out of the cars at Capas.  From Capas, the POWs walked the last ten miles to Camp O' Donnell.
    Camp O'Donnell was an unfinished Filipino training base that the Japanese pressed into service as a Prisoner of War camp.  It turned out to be a death trap with as many as fifty POWs dying each day.  There was only one working water faucet for the entire camp.  To get a drink, men stood in line for days.  Many died while waiting for a drink.  To get out of the camp, POWs went out on work details.
    The dead, at Camp O'Donnell, were taken to the camp cemetery and buried in shallow graves.  The reason for this was that the water table was high and the POWs could not dig deep.  Once a body was put in the ground, it was held down with a pole until it was covered by earth.  The next day, the POWs, on the detail, found wild dogs had dug up the bodies or the bodies were sitting up in the graves.

    The death rate in the camp got so bad that Japanese opened a new POW camp at Cabanatuan.  Roy, being one of the healthier POWs was sent to the camp.  It appears Roy became ill, since hospital records show that he was in the camp hospital on July 23, 1942.  At that time, he was tested for tuberculosis.  His results were negative.
    According to Roy's family, Roy's cousin, M.C. was a Marine who was captured on Corregidor when it surrendered on May 6, 1942.  M.C. - after he was liberated at the end of the war - told his family that his POW detachment was marching toward the POW camp when they saw another POW detachment marching in the opposite direction.  As the detachments passed each other, M.C. saw that Roy was one of the POWs marching in the other direction.  M.C. was the last member of the Flippen family to see Roy alive.     
    It is known that Roy went out on a work detail to Bataan on what was called "The Bataan Detail.," which appears to have been a scrap metal detail.  The POWs collected the scrap metal and took it to a central location so it could be sent to Japan.  While on the detail, Roy was working with John Koleczek, HQ Company, when both men had their fingers crushed.  In Roy's case, it was the fingers on his right hand.  He was sent to the Naval Hospital at Bilibid Prison and was admitted on May 21, 1943, and was discharged on June 28th and sent to Cabanatuan.

    After returning to Cabanatuan, Roy was sent, as a replacement worker, to Neilsen Airfield to build runways.  At the airfield, the Japanese built four Nipa barracks for the POWs.  Each barracks was 150 feet long by 20 feet wide.  Although they were large, the POWs still slept shoulder to shoulder since part of the barracks were used for officers quarters and sick wards.  The entire POW compound was 300 feet by 200 feet.   When work was completed at Nielson Field, the POWs were sent to Camp Murphy, where they built a runway at Zablan Field.
    On August 20, 1944, Roy was selected to be sent to Japan.  He and the other POWs were sent to Bilibid and housed in Building 12 which was designated as "the Casual Group."  He was admitted to the hospital on September 1, 1944, from Building 12.  When he was considered to have recovered, he returned to Building #12 at Bilibid.  By the time he was discharged, the original POW draft he had been a member of had already sailed for Japan.     
   In early October, Roy was one of the prisoners taken to the Port Area of Manila.  When they arrived their ship, the Hokusan Maru, was ready to sail but not all of the POW detachment had arrived.  There was another detachment of POWs scheduled to sail on the Arisan Maru which was not ready to sail.  Roy's cousin, M.C. was in this detachment.  The Japanese switched detachments so that the Hokusan Maru could sail.   When all the POWs in Roy's detachment had arrived they were boarded onto the Arisan Maru.  The POWs were packed into the ship's first hold which comfortably could hold 400 men.  During the first two days, five POWs died.
    The ship sailed on October 10th but instead of heading for Formosa it headed south to Palawan Island where the ship dropped anchor in a cove to avoid American planes.  During the time in the cove, the ship was attacked once by American planes.  The POWs, in the hold, realized the the ligh bulbs had been removed, but the power to the lights had not be turned off, so they hot wired the hold's ventilation system into the lights.  For two days they had fresh air until the Japanese discovered what they had done and turned off the power.  The situation grew worse and many of the POWs developed heat blisters.  It was at this time that the Japanese opened the second hold and transferred POWs into it.  During the transfer, one POW tried to escape and was shot.
    The Arisan Maru returned to Manila on October 20th and joined another eleven ships to form a convoy.  The ship sailed again on October 21st as part of the convoy.  The second day at sea, the Japanese issued each POW a life jacket which would keep a man afloat for two hours.  Doing this confirmed the belief many of the POWs had that they would never reach Japan.
    In the South China Sea, the convoy came under attack by American submarines.  Since the POW ships were not marked with red crosses to indicate they were carrying POWs, the subs had no idea if there were POWs on any of the ships.  The U. S. Military, which could read the Japanese code, also did not inform the POWs that there were POWs on some of the ships.  They did this so that the Japanese had no idea that they had broken their code.
    On Tuesday, October 24, 1944, around 5:00 P.M., some POWs were on deck cooking dinner for the other prisoners.  The ship was in the Bashi Channel of the South China Sea off the coast of China when sirens suddenly the POWs heard bells rang.  The Japanese guards ran to the bow of the ship and watched as a torpedo went wide of the bow.  The guards next ran toward the stern of the ship and watched as a second torpedo went wide of the stern.  The next two torpedoes hit the ship amidships,in a hold where there were no POWs, which caused the ship to stop dead in the water.
    The Japanese guards chased the POWs on deck into the holds by aiming their guns at them.  Once in the holds, the Japanese  covered the holds and cut the rope ladders into the holds, but they did not tie down the hatch covers.  After the Japanese had abandoned ship, some of the POWs in the second hold were able to make it on deck.  They reattached the ladders so the other POWs could get out. 

    On the ship's deck an American major spoke to the POWs, he said, "Boys, we're in a hellva a jam - but we've been in jams before.  Remember just one thing: We're American soldiers.  Let's play it that way to the very end of the script."  Right after he spoke, a chaplain said to them, "Oh Lord, if it be thy will to take us now, give us the strength to be men."
    Since a number of POWs could not swim, they raided the ship's food lockers, since they wanted to die with full stomachs.  As the ship slowly sank lower in the water, one group of POWs swam to a Japanese destroyer.  When they reached the ship and the crew realized the men were Americans, they were pushed away with poles or hit with clubs as they climbed onto the ship.        

    Sometime after dark, the ship split in two but stayed afloat for two hours.  Those who could swim attempted to build rafts from what they found on the ship's deck.   The exact time of the ship's sinking is not known since it occurred after dark.  Before it sank, many of the POWs took to the water on anything that would float.  A storm had just passed, so the waves were as high as five feet.  Three POWs made it to an abandoned life boat and managed to climb into it.  Since the boat had no oars, they could not maneuver it to help others in the water.  The survivors stated, that as the night went on, the cries for help became fewer and than there was silence.  The next morning they found two other POWs clinging to wreckage and pulled them into the boat.
    Of the 1783 POWs on the ship, only nine survived the sinking of the Arisan Maru.  Of the nine, eight saw the end of the war.  Pfc. Roy Flippen was not one of these men.  Since he was lost at sea, Pfc. Roy Flippen's name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at the new American Military Cemetery outside of Manila. 
His wife later received his Purple Heart.
    It is worth mentioning that Roy's family kept in touch with Roy's wife, Virginia, while he was a POW.  Once the news of his death reached them, and Virginia, they slowly lost touch with each other.  They did know that she moved away and remarried.
    In 2014, Virginia's son, from her second marriage, contacted the Flippen family.  He told them that he had Roy's Purple Heart and wanted to return it to his family.  He returned the medal to Roy's sister, Edna, and told her that as a child he found the medal and a few other possessions of Roy's.  When he asked his mother who the medals belonged to, she told him that she was holding the things for a friend.  He also said his mother never spoke about Roy until near the end of her life on her death bed.

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