C. Walder Parke V-mail letter to parents, April 6, 1944   Save
C. Walder Parke V-mail letter to parents, April 6, 1944
Description: V-mail letter from C. Walder Parke to his parents regarding the note he had dropped over Cleveland two days earlier. Parke had folded a note in a cardboard package and let it go almost directly over Shaker Heights, where his family lived. He was on his way overseas for the first time to Stone, England. This V-mail letter acknowledges the dropped package, and asks if anyone had picked it up and delivered it to the Parke family yet. Such "victory mail" was a WWII-era invention designed to save cargo space for more valuable wartime supplies. V-mail letters were microfilmed, sent in condensed form, and then restored to their original size upon reaching their destinations. 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_B01F10_001
Subjects: Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996--Correspondence
Places: Cleveland (Ohio); Cuyahoga County (Ohio);