: Letter from C. Walder Parke to his family in Shaker Heights. This brief note was not mailed by the postal service, but folded up in a small cardboard box and dropped over Cleveland, Ohio, as Parke was flying overhead en route to England. Parke attempted to drop the package over the area of Cleveland where his family lived, but he expresses doubt in the note that it will reach its intended recipients or even arrive on the ground intact. The plane on which Parke was traveling had left for Bangor, Maine, shortly beforehand and was eventually bound for Stone, a town in Staffordshire. 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_B01F10_002 Subjects
: Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996--Correspondence; Aircraft; Cleveland (Ohio) Places
: Cleveland (Ohio); Cuyahoga County (Ohio);