: Photograph of C. Walder Parke and fellow crew members of the B-17 named "Mission Mistress" at a reunion for the 94th Bombardment Group. "Mission Mistress" was shot down over France, but successfully landed on a friendly Canadian air strip. The 94th was a subdivision of the 4th Combat Wing of the famous Eighth Air Force, which conducted many of the missions over France and Germany during WWII. From left to right are co-pilot Vern Kreger, tail gunner Manny Grant, Parke, and bombardier Al Silva. 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.
: MSS1510_B02F06_003 Subjects
: 94th Bombardment Group; Veterans; Reunions Places
: Four crew members at 94th Bombardment Group reunion