Navigator, pilot, and bombardier   Save
Navigator, pilot, and bombardier
Description: Photograph of C. Walder Parke with his crew's pilot, Ray Graves, and bombardier, Al Silva. All three were aboard the B-17 "Mission Mistress" when it went down over northern France. 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_B03F02_014
Subjects: Flight crews; Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996; Graves, Raymond J.; Silva, Allen E.; United States Air Force; Military uniforms; Air pilots, Military
Places: Navigator, pilot, and bombardier