: Letter from Colonel Dougher recommending C. Walder Parke as a navigational instructor. As of this letter, Parke had just completed his tour of duty in Europe, and needed to be re-assigned to a U.S. location. Dougher praises Parke for his superior service as a navigator between May 13 and August 8 of 1944. The letter notes that Parke is a decorated airman with two Bronze Battle Stars and an Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. Parke would later earn his fourth Oak Leaf Cluster and the Distinguished Flying Cross, as Dougher suggests he should. 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_B01F14_001 Subjects
: Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996; Military operations, Aerial; Military decorations; Flight navigators, Military Places
: Colonel Charles B. Dougher recommendation letter for duty assignment, August 11, 1944