C. Walder Parke "short snorter" information card   Save
C. Walder Parke
Description: Index card with information on C. Walder Parke's "short snorters" written in his own hand. The card was intended as a label for a portion of the C.W. Parke collection. The folder in question consists of "short snorters," or foreign paper currency on which Parke collected fellow airmen's signatures and wrote the dates and locations of his assignments and missions with the Army Air Forces. The tradition of military flight crews collecting signatures of their members on paper currency dates to the 1920's. The documents acquired their name due to a playful understanding between signers that if one man was not able to readily show another a signed bill with his signature on it from a previous flight, he owed him a dollar or a drink. Drinks were referred to as "short snorts" because airmen were limited to small amounts of alcohol, and the objects themselves soon took on the same name. Several banknotes in Parke's folder are simply examples of money from other countries, and contain no handwritten content. 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_B01F34_004
Subjects: Metadata; Paper money; Military missions
Places: C. Walder Parke "short snorter" information card