Parker, Ralph Budd

  • Township: Embro & West Zorra
  • Rank: Flight Sergeant
  • Branch: Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Date of birth: December 8, 1917
  • Where born: West Zorra Township, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada
  • Date of death: December 14, 2013
  • Burial location: Ingersoll Rural Cemetery, Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada
  • Wars Served: World War II
  • Years of service: 1943 - 1946
  • Country enlisted with: Canada

Biography

Ralph Budd Parker was born in West Zorra a son of Thomas William and Edna May (nee Phillips) Parker.  He went to school up to grade three there and then went to Victory Memorial School and Ingersoll Collegiate Institute in Ingersoll.  In 1928 he moved to Ingersoll.  He remembers walking to Ingersoll, driving cattle.  He lived with Jim Fergusson who was Mayor of Ingersoll in the 1930's.

In 1940 he married Beatrice Kugler of Southampton.  In 1943 Ralph enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force.  After basic training in Toronto, he took an advanced course at Queen's University in Kingston and then with Mont -Jo-li in Quebec, at an air gunnery school.

After graduation from the gunnery school he chose to stay on as an instructor so was sent to take the training course at Belleville.  Ralph taught air gunnery at Mont Jo-li until January 1, 1945 when he was posted to Boundary Bay, B.C.  At Abbotsford, B.C. they got together a crew - pilot, co-pilot, navigator, air gunners, radio operator.  Ralph was the tail gunner on a Liberator aircraft.

Ralph had a bad moment when a plane he was in belly landed at Mont Jo-li.  "There's an unwritten rule that you never let a plane bounce three times.  Well, ours did and the wheels went right up through the wings."

He went back to Mont Jo-li to teach turrets and hydraulics.  Ralph was actually posted overseas after VE Day.  He was posted to Bournemouth, England and slated to go to India.  However, the A Bomb was dropped.  Sent back home, the Flight Sergeant landed on New York Harbour on February 5, 1946, saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time and froze his toes.

Back home, Dr. Harry Furlong advised him that he knew of a farm that was available at a reasonable price.  "It was in bad shape, but we fixed it up and made it home.  My son Tom has it today."

Ralph and Beatrice raised four children - Tom. Lois, Patricia and Virginia.  He is a Past President of Branch 119 Royal Canadian Legion and today in 2013 resides in Ingersoll, Ontario.

Photo Gallery (click image for larger view and description)

Parker Ralph  BeatriceParker Ralph Beatrice Tom and Lois
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