Hondo Army Air Field documents for C. Walder Parke   Save
Hondo Army Air Field documents for C. Walder Parke
Description: Three documents created during the process of appointing C. Walder Parke as a commissioned officer in the Air Corps. The first document is a certificate of proficiency confirming Parke's graduation from the navigation school at Hondo, Texas. The certificate displays Parke's grades on the right, and notes that a grade of 70 is considered passing. The second document is a letter to Parke from Randolph Field officially appointing him as a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant. The third document is a qualification report intended to assess Parke's abilities as a navigator in order to assign him to the correct place, now that he is an officer. Parke was required to be formally discharged as an enlisted man so he could be commissioned as an officer. All three documents date to the same day, largely to create a record of his change in status. 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_B01F05_003_01
Subjects: Student records; Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996; United States. Army. Air Corps; Flight navigators, Military; Military appointments
Places: Hondo (Texas); Medina County (Texas); San Antonio (Texas); Bexar County (Texas)