: Letter from the Continental Air Command in Denver confirming C. Walder Parke's official discharge from the U.S. Army. Parke had not been on active duty since 1945, but he was a member of the Officers' Reserve Corps from that point until September 29, 1955. The Officers' Reserve Corps was part of the Organized Reserves, a forerunner to today's Army Reserve. The Army Reserve is comprised both of trained soldiers prior to participation in conflict, and of seasoned soldiers who remain ready to return to the field if necessary. 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_B01F33_002 Subjects
: Parke, Charles Walder, 1924-1996; Military discharge; United States. Air Force Reserve Places
: Denver (Colorado); Denver County (Colorado)