FLOYD B. PARKS, MAJ, USMC

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Floyd Parks '34

Date of birth: January 15, 1911

Date of death: June 4, 1942

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1934 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Floyd was lost when his Brewster F2A Buffalo was shot down on June 4, 1942, during the Battle of Midway.

Biography

Major Parks in March, 1942

From Wikipedia's entry on Floyd:

Parks was born in Salisbury, Missouri, the first child of James B. Parks and his wife Elizabeth Ann Bowman. James Parks was a widower with one son from his first marriage. Floyd Parks also had a younger brother, Billy Bowman Parks, born in 1921. Their father died on 3 February 1924.

Floyd Parks enlisted in the United States Navy in 1928 and served two years aboard destroyers. In 1930, he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. Parks earned the infamous Black "N" award, given for major infractions, on a number of occasions. He sang in the Midshipman Choir and was a member of Annapolis' water polo team, also participating in football and swimming. Parks graduated in the upper third of his class of 1934, and chose a commission in United States Marine Corps. He was appointed a second lieutenant on June 1 and assigned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a year, before serving on the cruiser USS Astoria (CA-34). In May 1936, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola for flight training. While swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Parks and an enlisted man rescued a Marine private from drowning, winning commendation for his "quick action, good judgment and swimming ability".

Parks was designated a Naval Aviator on 12 June 1937, and in August reported to Naval Air Station San Diego, California. The following year, he married Margaret Elizabeth Murray of El Paso, Texas. In June 1940, he was reassigned to NAS Pensacola as a flight instructor. In May 1941, he transferred to the First Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Quantico, Virginia, and trained as a dive bomber pilot. He remained in that assignment until March 1942, when he joined the Second Marine Aircraft Wing in San Diego for deployment to Midway.

He was promoted to the rank of major on 8 May 1942, and given command of Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221). Parks' squadron was predominantly equipped with Brewster F2A-3 (Model B-439) fighter aircraft, supplemented by a handful of Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats, all handed down from U.S. Navy squadrons. More than half of the aviators assigned to Parks' unit were fresh from flight training in San Diego.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Major Floyd Bruce Parks (MCSN: 0-5006), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as Squadron Commander and a Pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE (VMF-221), Marine Air Group TWENTY-TWO (MAG-22), Naval Air Station, Midway, during operations of the U.S. Naval and Marine Forces against the invading Japanese Fleet during the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. Leading his squadron in a dauntless and aggressive attack against a vastly superior number of Japanese bomber and fighter planes, Major Parks aided in disruption the plans of the enemy and lessening the effectiveness of their attack, thereby contributing materially to the success of our forces. As a result of his courageous and daring tactics and because of the circumstances attendant upon this engagement, there can be little doubt that Major Parks gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country. He displayed the characteristics of a fine leader and excellent airman in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Approved by the Secretary of the Navy on November 10, 1942
Action Date: 4-Jun-42
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Major
Company: Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221)
Regiment: Marine Air Group 22 (MAG-22)
Division: Naval Air Station, Midway

Namesake

USS Floyd B. Parks (DD 884) was named for him; his widow was present at the commissioning ceremony.

Family

In addition to his wife — whose name isn't ever published — he was survived by his mother, Elizabeth Ann, and his brother, Billy.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1934

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: 2LT John Butler '34.

October 1934

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: 2LT John Butler '34.

January 1935

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: 2LT John Butler '34.

April 1935

2nd Lieutenant, Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: 2LT John Butler '34.

October 1935

2nd Lieutenant, USS Astoria

Others at this command: LTjg Lynne Quiggle '30, ENS Verne Skjonsby '34, and ENS Elmer Anderson '35.

January 1936

2nd Lieutenant, USS Astoria

Others at this command: LTjg Lynne Quiggle '30, ENS Verne Skjonsby '34, and ENS Elmer Anderson '35.

September 1937

1st Lieutenant, Marine Bombing Squadron (VB) 2M, Naval Air Station San Diego, California

January 1938

1st Lieutenant, Marine Bombing Squadron (VB) 2M, Naval Air Station San Diego, California

July 1938

1st Lieutenant, Marine Bombing Squadron (VB) 2M, Naval Air Station San Diego, California

January 1939

1st Lieutenant, Marine Bombing Squadron (VB) 2M, Naval Air Station San Diego, California

October 1939

1st Lieutenant, Marine Fighting Squadron (VF) 2M, Naval Air Station San Diego, California

November 1940

Captain, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LCDR George Grove '15, CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT John Yoho '29, LT William Pennewill '29, LT Lance Massey '30, LT Albert Major, Jr. '32, LT Daniel Gothie '32, LT Dewitt Shumway '32, LT George Bellinger '32, LT John Spiers '32, LT Martin Koivisto '32, ENS Frank Peterson '33, LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33, LTjg Charles Ware '34, LTjg Charles Brewer '34, LTjg Frank Whitaker '34, LTjg George Nicol '34, LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34, LTjg Walker Ethridge '34, LTjg Allan Edmands '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Richard Stephenson '35, LTjg Victor Gadrow '35, LTjg Porter Maxwell '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, LTjg Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, LTjg John Boal '37, LTjg Richard Hughes '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Carl Holmstrom '38, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Charles King '38, ENS Charles Reimann '38, ENS Curtis Howard '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Douglas Keeler '38, ENS Edmundo Gandia '38, ENS Eric Allen, Jr. '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Frank Case, Jr. '38, ENS Harry Bass '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, ENS Howard Fischer '38, ENS James Ginn '38, 2LT James Owens '38, ENS Jep Jonson '38, ENS John Kelley '38, ENS John Erickson '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS John Eversole '38, ENS Leonard Thornhill '38, ENS Marion Dufilho '38, ENS Osborne Wiseman '38, ENS Oswald Zink '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, ENS Robert Seibels, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Green, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Hale, Jr. '38, ENS William Brady '38, ENS William Tate, Jr. '38, and ENS William Lamberson '38.


Class of 1934

Floyd is one of 41 members of the Class of 1934 on Virtual Memorial Hall.