PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Ensign John J. Parle, USNR, (1920-1943)

John Joseph Parle was born on 26 May 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska. He enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman in the U.S. Naval Reserve from that state in January 1942. After completion of midshipman training in January 1943 at Notre Dame University, he was commissioned an Ensign. Parle was assigned to the Amphibious Force at Norfolk, Virginia until receiving orders to the Northwest African Amphibious Force.

On 9 July 1943, Parle was the Officer-in-Charge of small boats on board USS LST-375 and was preparing for the assault landing on Sicily, Italy when a smoke pot in a boat accidentally ignited. Realizing an explosion would give their position away, he immediately attempted to extinguish the fire but was unsuccessful. Parle then grabbed the pot and threw it over the side. As a result of the smoke and fumes inhaled, he died on 17 July 1943. For his "valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. John J. Parle is buried at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Omaha, Nebraska.

USS Parle (DE-708), 1944-1970, was named in honor of Ensign John J. Parle.

This page features the only images we have concerning John J. Parle.


Photo #: NH 106421

Ensign John J. Parle, USNR


He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty" while serving as Officer-in-Charge of USS LST-375 during the amphibious assault on the island of Sicily on 9-10 July 1943.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 43KB; 580 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 106421-A

Ensign John J. Parle, USNR


Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 237.
John J. Parle was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty" while serving as Officer-in-Charge of USS LST-375 during the amphibious assault on the island of Sicily on 9-10 July 1943.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 66KB; 620 x 765 pixels

 


Medal of Honor citation of Ensign John Joseph Parle, USNR (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 237):

"For valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of Small Boats in the U.S.S. LST 375 during the amphibious assault on the island of Sicily, 9-10 July 1943. Realizing that a detonation of explosives would prematurely disclose to the enemy the assault about to be carried out, and with full knowledge of the peril involved, Ensign Parle unhesitatingly risked his life to extinguish a smoke pot accidently ignited in a boat carrying charges of high explosives, detonating fuses and ammunition. Undaunted by fire and blinding smoke, he entered the craft, quickly snuffed out a burning fuse and after failing in his desperate efforts to extinguish the fire pot, finally seized it with both hands and threw it over the side. Although, he succumbed a week later from smoke and fumes inhaled, Ensign Parle's heroic, self-sacrifice prevented grave damage to the ship and personnel and insured the security of a vital mission. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."



For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.





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