Elmer Lloyd Parks
ELMER LLOYD PARKS was born in Anadarko, OK. on August 23, 1918. He enlisted in in the Army December 1937, at Ft. Bliss, Texas. Parks was assigned to Machine Top Gun Troop, 8th Cavalry. Later sent to Manila, P.I., Parks was assigned to M Co of the 31st Infantry. Later Parks would again be re-assigned, this time to the 12th Military Police, American Platoon, Philippine Scouts at Ft. William McKinley.
Parks was captured on Bataan in April 1942. Forced to march on the infamous Bataan Death March and later was forced to carry sheet metal up and down the zig-zag. Park was first interned in Camp O’Donnell, then sent out to a "work detail" to Clark Field to work on runway. When Parks came down with malaria and dysentery he was transferred to Bilibid Prison. Later Parks would worked in rice paddies, vegetable gardens, and wood cutting details. Parks also spent time in prison camps in Cabanatuan and Nichols Field Work Detail.
Shipped to Japan in 1944, Parks was held in the hold of ship 62 days with only one-half cup of rice and one-half cup water per day. When he arrived in Japan, Parks was too weak to walk.
Parks, along with most of the men from Camp 17 was forced to worked in coal mine and was injured in cave in. That did not allow him to be exempt from the Japanese guards forcing labor on the prisoners. Parks would continue to work in coal mine until end of war. It was there, from Camp 17, that Elmer Parks could see the cloud from atomic bomb when it was dropped on Nagasaki.
Liberated in August 1945, Park stayed in the military until retiring in 1959 and from federal civil service in 1973. Married to Naeoma for 45 years. They have two daughters. Sharon and Jennifer and four grandchildren. Parks resided in Fletcher, OK .
Credit: History of the Defenders of the Philippines Guam and Wake Islands 1941-1945 Turner Publishing Co
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