517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team

Lt. Flave Joseph Carpenter Sr.

I Company

Flave Joseph Carpenter Sr.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 7:39 PM CDT

Flave Joseph Carpenter Sr., 89, of Searcy, formerly of Arkadelphia, AR, passed away Oct. 15, 2007.

Flave was born to the late Flave McRae and Ted Reaves Carpenter on June 4, 1918 in Clark County. He spent time at both Ouachita Baptist College and Henderson State Teachers College before embarking on a twenty-eight year military career that ended with his retirement in 1966.

Flave was preceded in death by his dear wife Salene, and is survived by his three children, Diane McKenzie of Colorado Springs, Colo., Jan Davis of Brazil, South America, Flave Jr. of Searcy, fourteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren , a sister Carolyn Jane Berry of Arkadelphia, sister-in-law Louise Cain of Hot Springs, brother-in-law Ernest Nipper and his wife Rosemary of Hot Springs, along with four nephews, three nieces and a host of friends.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Arkadelphia where he served in many capacities including deacon and elder.

During World War II, Flave received two battlefield promotions as a member of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He made 104 parachute jumps, including one some twenty-six miles behind enemy lines. He also served two tours of duty in Korea, one of which was during the war. His military decorations include a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, three Commendation medals, and numerous combat stars.

Upon his retirement from the military as Lt. Colonel, he, Salene, and the three children returned to Flave's hometown of Arkadelphia. Three months later, he embarked on a new career as the Public Relations Officer for Citizens First State Bank of Arkadelphia. One year later, he was asked to become the Executive Director of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, where he remained until his second retirement at the end of 1975.

In 1980, the Chamber Board again asked Flave to serve as Executive Director. He worked in that capacity until 1985 when he left to become the full-time Executive Director of the Clark County Industrial Council. In 1991, he retired from the CCIC to devote his time to his wife Salene, who had been diagnosed with cancer. Following Salene's death in September of 1993, Flave was lured back to take over the reigns of the CCIC where he remained until his fourth and final retirement in 1995 at age 77.

During his years of public service, Flave received many honors. He became a member of the Arkadelphia Rotary Club in 1967, serving the club as Secretary and then President. He was later recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. In 1971 he was appointed to the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Commission by then Gov. Dale Bumpers. He was a member of the Commission until 1980 and served as Chairman from 1973 to 1974. He was elected Chairman of the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce Directors in 1974 and was a member of that organization throughout his years as Executive Director of the Arkadelphia Chamber. In 1984, he was inducted into the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Hall of Fame by then Gov. Bill Clinton. He was selected for the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce President's Award in 1990. Flave was a member of the then Industrial Developers of Arkansas beginning with his time as Executive Director of the CCIC until his retirement and was recognized in 2002 for Lifetime Leadership in Economic Development by the Arkansas Economic Developers.

Flave loved the outdoors and the companionship of his friends as a member of the Clarks Squirrel Head and Joan Hunting Clubs.

Throughout his life Flave was a devoted man; to Country, State, Community, family, friends and God.

A Memorial Service will be held 11 a.m. Friday Oct. 26, 2007 at The First Presbyterian Church, Arkadelphia under the direction of Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home. A family visitation will follow after the service. A private interment will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery.

A Memorial Service will also be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 at The First United Methodist Church, Searcy.

Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Arkadelphia, Ark.; Flave and Salene Carpenter Scholarship Fund at Henderson State University; or First United Methodist Church, Searcy, Ark.

from: http://www.thedailycitizen.com/articles/2007/10/18/news/obituaries/obit01.txt

October 18, 2007

 Past MailCall notes from Howard Hensleigh:

Another Note to Dick Havill -- You are right; Flave Carpenter was 1st Sgt. of I Company at Manhay.  He received a battlefield commission, possible for his actions at Manhay.  I remember his being universally respected.  Although I am not sure I can speak for your guys regarding your top kick.

Note to Flave J. Carpenter, Jr. Your message in Mail Call was a 2005 gift to all of us who knew your father. He earned his stripes and bars with the 517th, remedying the mistake of the Infantry School in not recognizing a born leader of men. As he left us in Joigny after the fighting was over, he cracked a few ribs at his farewell dinner by being "witty and engaging." At Manhay he got the lead elements of I Company to the objective after our own artillery gave us a taste of what they could do to us, virtually wiping out Stott’s platoon.

Dear Ben: We need more stories about other battles and people, but one thing leads to another as our memories are tickled. Here is one for the I Company guys about your top kick, Flave Carpenter. The scene was the outdoor officers club at Joigny (down by the train station) after VE Day (May 8, ‘44). Flave was leaving the outfit with points. He must have had plenty. A dinner was served in honor of the "departees". Flave made a departure speech. Here is the gist of it. He first referred to his days at Perl Harbor, where he was a "big dog" with a staff car. He lived through the Japanese attack on December 7 . Sometime after that, his superiors sent him to OCS at The Infantry School, Ft. Benning, Ga. Following a hard day in the field, lights were out in the barracks and most of the OCs were getting the sleep needed for the next day. One guy with a load on came in, turned on all the lights and made a loud mouthed nuisance of himself. Flave told him three times to douse the lights and quiet down. The third time he told him with his fists. The guy survived, but he and Flave were kicked out of OCS. Flave ended his departure speech with: "Why was I kicked out of OCS? For fighting! Why did they commission me an officer and a gentleman? For fighting!" There was applause.

Dick Havill’s thinking: if Flave is crazy enough to go in (Manhay), we’ll follow him.