"Mission Mistress" crew with traded guns   Save
Description: Photograph of C. Walder Parke and the crew of the B-17 "Mission Mistress" a couple of days after returning to England. Their plane was shot down over northern France, and they traded goods with the Canadians stationed where they made their emergency landing. The guns in this picture are some of the items for which they traded. This crew belonged to the 410th Bomb Squadron of the 94th Bombardment Group in the Eighth Air Force. From left to right, those in the front row are: radio operator Henry B. Lence; bombardier Allen E. Silva; top turret gunner Raymond E. Cabel; tail gunner Manuel Grant; and waist gunner Norman Ratliff. Those in the back row, from left to right, are: waist gunner Clifford H. Eby; co-pilot Vernon R. Kreger; pilot Raymond J. Graves; Parke; and ball turret gunner Roland G. Attaway. 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_B03F02_016
Subjects: Military missions; 410th Bombardment Squadron; Surprise (Military science); Exchange
Places: Rougham (England)