Army Air Forces Navigation School graduation announcement   Save
Army Air Forces Navigation School graduation announcement
Description: Graduation announcement for the Army Air Forces Navigation School class of 1944. C. Walder Parke was made a 2nd Lieutenant on the same day as his graduation. Parke includes a handwritten note inside the announcement expressing his relief at not being chosen as a flight officer. Charles Walder Parke was born on July 28, 1924, and grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces in 1942 intending to be a pilot during WWII, but spent most of his military career as a navigator on B-17 Flying Fortresses in the 94th Bombardment Group. Parke earned two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal with several Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his successful bombing missions, including some over Berlin. He is best known for being on board a B-17 which was shot down over France by German planes on June 25, 1944, during a non-combat mission. The crew managed to make an emergency landing, and everyone inside survived. After the war, Parke founded the Cleveland-based Laurel Industries Inc., which became a prominent supplier of antimony oxide to the plastics industry. He died of Lou-Gehrig’s Disease on September 15, 1996, at the age of 72. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: MSS1510_B02F01_006_01
Subjects: Commencement ceremonies; Military education; Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996--Correspondence
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