: "Being a Man" is an anonymous poem about mothers' impressions of their sons published in a military newspaper. The poet's message is that men do not have to be perfect, but must strive to at least be as good as they seem in their mothers' eyes. C. Walder Parke wrote letters and telegrams to his parents quite often himself, and specifically remembered to write for Mother's Day in 1944. 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_B02F03_003 Subjects
: United States. Army; Poetry; Military life; Military Ohio Places
: 'Being a Man' poem