Parks, Donald Lawrence, 2ndLt

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary MOS
7302-Pilot VMF
Last MOSGroup
Pilots/Naval Flight Officers
Primary Unit
1952-1952, 1st MAW
Service Years
1949 - 1952
Officer_ Collar Insignia

Second Lieutenant


 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Pamela LaVerne Jeans-Historian to remember Marine 2ndLt Donald Lawrence Parks.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Grand Rapids

Casualty Date
May 06, 1952
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Korea, North
Korean War
Location of Interment
Itasca Calvary Cemetery - Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: IB2113

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Korean War Fallen
  1952, Korean War Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Pilot Wings

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
VMA-121MAG-331st MAW
  1952-1952, 7302, VMA-121
  1952-1952, MAG-33
  1952-1952, 1st MAW
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1953 Korean War
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Navy Cross 

Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Donald Lawrence Parks, United States Marine Corps Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Pilot of a Fighter-Bomber Aircraft in Marine Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE (VMA-121) in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea on 6 May 1952.

When his plane was hit by heavy enemy anti-aircraft, causing the aircraft to lose its power and catch fire while he was participating in a combat air patrol covering a friendly pilot downed in hostile territory close to friendly lines, Second Lieutenant Parks, cognizant of the dangers of the full ordnance load he carried, bravely maneuvered the burning plane clear of the position occupied by the downed airman and jettisoned his wing bombs unarmed. Keenly award of the proximity of friendly lines, he unhesitatingly elected to remain in the blazing aircraft rather than jettison his napalm bombs in the area and, maintaining superb control of the plane, courageously effected a crash landing without inflicting casualties upon the friendly troops. Upon impact with the ground, the napalm bombs burst into a sheet of flames, causing the plane to explode and burn.

By his indomitable courage, outstanding airmanship and selfless efforts on behalf of others in the face of almost certain death, Second Lieutenant Parks served to inspire all who observed him. His exceptional bravery and valiant self-command reflect the highest credit upon himself and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Authority: Board of Awards: Serial 002 (May 26, 1953)
Action Date: May 6, 1952
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Company: Marine Attack Squadron 121 (VMA-121)
Division: 1st Marine Aircraft Wing
2nd Lt. Parks was killed when AAA shot down his AD-2 Skyraider (tail # 122298) which crashed into a ridge.
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