Edward Flynn
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Arlington National Cemetery
1 Memorial Drive
Arlington, Virginia, United States

Obituary of Edward Thomas Flynn


Edward T. Flynn Jr., M. D.

CAPT MC USN (Retired)


Age 77, of Great Falls, Virginia died peacefully at WRNMMC, February 9, 2019 following a three-year valiant battle with metastatic cancer. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of fifty years, Janet-Beth McCann Flynn, daughter Erin Flynn, grandsons Robert Burrage and Frank Gormley and sister Anne Pytel. His younger brother Richard died in 2002 


Ed was born in Hartford, CT on September 18, 1941 and grew up in nearby town of Farmington. He graduated from Farmington High School in 1959 and from Trinity College in Hartford in 1963. He then moved to Philadelphia where he earned his M.D degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967.


Ed was an internationally recognized expert in the field of deep-sea diving medicine. Following medical school, he joined the U.S Navy and embarked on a 27 year active duty career that included internship, and residency training in anesthesiology at the Naval Hospital, Bethesda MD, fellowship training in respiratory physiology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and tours of duty at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, the Naval Medical Research Institute, and the Naval School, Diving and Salvage His research and practice touched all aspects of undersea medicine including basic physiologic studies the effects of immersion, gas temperature, gas density, and oxygen partial pressure on a diver’s respiratory and cardiovascular performance, development of procedures for saturation-excursion diving to 1000 feet, studies of the pathophysiology and treatment of oxygen toxicity, decompression sickness and arterial gas embolism and the use of hydrogen for very deep diving. Ed retired from active duty in 1994 as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Medical Research and Development Command., an assignment that put him in charge of all the Navy’s medical research laboratories world-wide. He was twice awarded the Legion of Merit.


Following retirement, Ed embarked on a second career working for the Navy as a civilian. He was also appointed a Research Associate Professor of Anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine He developed decompression procedures to support the Navy’s new Submarine Rescue System, revised the Navy’s surface-supplied helium-oxygen decompression procedures to allow the successful salvage of the civil war ironclad USS MONITOR off Cape Hatteras, and developed an innovative suite of air decompression procedures to replace 50 year old tables that were considered unsafe by modern standards.


During his career, Ed authored or co-authored more than 100 journal articles, research reports, and book chapters including a seminal paper in 1984 introducing probabilistic modeling into the field of decompression risk analysis. He also wrote the Diving Medical Officer Student Guide, a large Navy textbook that was used to train a generation of undersea medical officers.


Medals awarded include: The National Defense Medal; The Meritorious Service Medal with Star; and the Legion of Merit.


Burial at Arlington National Cemetery is planned for a later date.


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