: Military orders from the U.S. Army Air Forces at Randolph Field confirming 2nd Lieutenants C. Walder Parke and Clarence English as Aerial Navigators as of January 15, 1944. Parke was required to officially leave the military on January 14, purely for the convenience of record-keeping, and be appointed as a commissioned officer the next day to fulfill the instructions on these orders. 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_B01F04_001 Subjects
: Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996; Military education; Flight navigators, Military Places
: San Antonio (Texas); Bexar County (Texas); Hondo (Texas); Medina County (Texas)