: Photograph of class 44-1-7, the graduating class of 1944 at the Navigation School at Hondo, Texas. C. Walder Parke was made a 2nd Lieutenant on the same day as his graduation. Every graduate except Parke included his signature in pen on this copy of the photograph. Legible names include: Bob Neumer, W. M. Page, George Proctor, Harold Lebo, Floyd Prilliman, Fred Price, Johnny Mathers, Don Nichols, David Pfeiffer, Clarence English, Art Nicholson, Paul Nipper, and Norman Moss. 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_B03F02_018 Subjects
: Navigation School (Hondo Army Air Field, Texas); Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996; Flight navigators, Military; Signatures (Writing) Places
: Hondo (Texas); Medina County (Texas)