: Photograph of three crew members of "Mission Mistress" standing beside a B-17 Flying Fortress at the 94th Bombardment Group reunion. The 94th was a subdivision of the 4th Combat Wing of the famous Eighth Air Force, which conducted many of the missions over France and Germany during WWII. From left to right are pilot Ray Graves, tail gunner Manny Grant, and co-pilot Vern Kreger. "Mission Mistress" was a different B-17 which was shot down over France with C. Walder Parke on board. 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_B02F06_004 Subjects
: 94th Bombardment Group; Veterans; Reunions; B-17 bomber Places
: Three crew members with B-17 at 94th Bombardment Group reunion