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Parks

 

Charles Wellman Parks, born 22 March 1863 at Woburn, Mass., was commissioned Civil Engineer 19 July 1897. He was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks with the rank of Rear Admiral 11 January 1918. He was transferred to the retired list 1 December 1921. He received the Distinguished Service Medal “for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks.” He died 25 June 1930 at Washington, D.C.

 

(DE–165: dp. 1,240; l. 306’; b. 36’7”; dr. 11’8”; s. 21 k.; cpl. 216; a. 3 3”, 2 40mm, 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 3 21” tt.; cl. Cannon)

 

Parks (DE–165) was laid down 11 November 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newark, N.J.; launched 18 April 1943; sponsored by Miss Patricia Yoder; and commissioned 23 June 1943, Lt. Comdr. Milford McQuilkin, USNR, in command.

 

Following commissioning, the new destroyer escort proceeded to Bermuda for shakedown, returned to New York before proceeding to Noumea, New Caledonia via the Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands, and Bora Bora. With the exception of a short trip to Rendova, New Georgia, B.S.I. in January 1944, a diversionary trip to Funafuti, Ellice Islands, and another to Manus Island, Admiralty Islands in April 1944 escorting tankers, this ship’s duties were largely patrolling and escorting between Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides and the Guadalcanal-Florida Island area. On two different occasions, as an extension of escort duties between those two places, the ship went to Efate, New Hebrides.

 

In June 1944 Parks proceeded to Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands. From there she participated in the fueling operations of the 5th Fleet supporting the invasion of Saipan and later acted as an escort during the conquest of Guam.

 

Parks next steamed via Eniwetok to Manus Island where she was assigned to a fueling group and acted as escort for tankers and carriers during the Palau, Ulithi campaigns. Shortly thereafter, Parks operated out of Ulithi and Manus escorting tankers and carriers to the Philippines which the Allies were liberating.

 

At Ulithi Atoll late in November, Parks received orders to proceed to Pearl Harbor. Upon arrival in Pearl Harbor, via Manus Island, Parks was ordered on to the West Coast and arrived at Newport Beach, Calif., 1 March 1945 for overhaul.

 

On 16 April 1945 Parks departed San Diego, Calif., and proceeded to Eniwetok, taking up duties which consisted of ocean escort between Eniwetok and Ulithi, air-sea rescue, and hunter-killer operations in the surrounding area.

 

In mid-August, Parks proceeded to Majuro and thence steamed to Mili Atoll for the surrender of the Japanese garrison and the flag raising ceremony there 28 August 1945. Immediately after, the Commanding Officer assumed duties of Representative Atoll Commander Majuro at Mili, which consisted of controlling the Japanese garrison of approximately 2400 men, supervising and aiding in the demilitarization of the atoll, disposal of all ammunition and explosives and sweeping of the mine fields.

 

On 13 September 1945 Parks proceeded to Majuro enroute to Kwajalein. From Kwajalein Parks departed for Pearl Harbor, San Diego, and the Panama Canal.

 

Following repairs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Parks proceeded to Green Cove Springs, Florida, and reported to the Commander, 16th Fleet (Inactive) 29 November 1945. She decommissioned in March 1946; but, with the Korean War, she was taken off the disposal list and placed in reserve at Green Cove Springs in May 1951. In 1970 she was berthed at Philadelphia.

 

Parks received four battle stars for World War II service.