Captain Philip Hackley Parker [March 25, 1920 – March 23, 1945] was
born to Herbert Hackley Parker [February 2, 1891 – September 24,
1981] and Allie (Hazle) Parker [October 14, 1892 – September 13,
1983] at his maternal grandmother’s home at San Augustine, San
Texas. Philip’s paternal grandparents Dr. Philip Evander Parker and
Lula Rex (Strong) Parker moved to Bay City from Arkansas in 1902.
Dr. Parker opened the Matagorda Pharmacy in 1906. His mother was a
schoolteacher who married his father in 1916. Philip attended the
Bay City School system and graduated in 1938. Throughout his school
years he was an above average student and enjoyed attending school.
In high school he excelled in football and baseball. He was a
member of the Latin Club, Dramatic Club and participated in the “One
Act Play” in 1938. He was also an avid golfer like his father.
During these school years Philip by profession of faith, joined the
1st Presbyterian Church on September 29, 1929. Phillip attended
Texas A & M for two years taking civil engineering, but did not
graduate. In May 1941 he signed up with the Army Air Forces and in
January 1942 was called to active duty as an Aviation Cadet. He
completed his basic training at Randolph Field, San Antonio then
attended pre-flight training at Kelly Field, San Antonio. Moving up
to Parks Field at Sikeston, Missouri he took his primary flight
training, and then attended advanced flight training at Moore Field,
Mission, Texas. He received his Pilot’s wings
and commission on
September 6, 1942. He remained as an Aviation Instructor at Moore
Field after his graduation until 1944. During this time he was
promoted to 1st Lieutenant in March 1943 and to Captain in July
1944. He also served as a Squadron Commanding Officer. While at
Mission he met a beautiful young lady from nearby McAllen. Her name
was Nina Josephine Orchard, and she was the same age as Philip.
Nina was studying music, then later she majored in creative
writing. Philip and Nina were married by the Reverend Thomas A.
Gray at the First Baptist Church of McAllen on the evening of June
5, 1943. Ten months later he transferred overseas to the China,
Burma, India Theater. They were never to see each other again, and
they had no children. His first overseas assignment was at a base
called Landi (probably Landikotal) which was located approximately 5
kilometers from the Afghan border in the Khyber Pass which connected
India (today Pakistan) and Afghanistan. He served as a flexible
gunnery instructor for the six months he was there. In February
1945 Philip transferred to his new command, the 3rd Fighter Group,
28th Fighter Squadron, 14th Air Force at Ankang, China. His
squadron was located approximately 30 miles from Ankang at a village
called En-Shih. His assignment was tragically cut short when he was
Killed In Action by Japanese ground fire while seeking out targets
of opportunity over the village of Hsiang Ch’eng, China. His crash
occurred on the 23rd of March – just five days before his
twenty-fifth birthday. Philip was buried a total of five times.
After his crash three men from a Chinese underground group from
Hsiang Ch’eng went out to the crash site and stole his remains from
the Japanese and buried him in a secret location. After the
Japanese were pushed out of the province and it returned to Chinese
control this same group went out and recovered his remains and
according to a translation of the recovery report: “dressed him,
laid him in a coffin and buried him again at the Peiyang Agriculture
and Forestry Research Station at the West end of the village. On his
grave we planted a wooden tablet.” In January of 1946 Army Graves
Registration personnel removed his remains to the temporary Shanghai
War Cemetery. The entire village assembled in the town square to
give him a hero’s send off. From Shanghai his remains were taken to
Schofield Barracks Hawaii and on May 4th, 1949 he was brought home
to Bay City. His funeral service was held at the
Matchett-Newman Funeral Home and he was buried at
Cedarvale Cemetery with full military honors. Also in 1949, with
his father Herbert serving as Post Commander, Bay City VFW Post
2438, which was instituted on November 24, 1940, changed its name to
Philip H. Parker VFW Post 2438 in his honor. Philip was survived by
his wife Nina Josephine and her parents, his parents Herbert and
Allie, his brother Eugene Earl, his sister Mary Elizabeth, his aunt and uncle Helen and
David Boyd Hinton and his cousins, David, Lula Mae and Sarah Helen
Hinton. At the time of his death he was qualified to fly nine
different aircraft: T6 Texan trainer; AT-16 trainer; P-40 Kittyhawk
or Warhawk; P-47 Thunderbolt; C-78 Cargo Plane; A-36-A1; B-25
Mitchell; B-24 Liberator and the P-51 Mustang. He was flying a P-51
Mustang when he was shot down.
Excerpted from A Biographical Sketch of Captain Philip H. Parker
by Kenneth L. Thames, 1990 by permission.
Matagorda Countian In China
ADVANCED AIR BASE, CHINA -- Captain Philip H. Parker, 24, husband of
Nona O. Parker, Box 441, Bay City, Texas, has recently been assigned
to the famed Chinese-American Composite Wing of the Fourteenth Air
Force. Captain Parker, a fighter pilot, entered the army, January 7,
1942. He was stationed at several fields in the United States, his
last assignment before coming overseas having been an instructor and
squadron commanding officer in the Gulf Coast Training Command. The
Texan was a draftsman in civilian life, having worked for the firm
of Freese & Nichols in Dallas, Texas. He is a graduate of Bay City
High School and attended Texas A. & M. College.
Matagorda County Tribune, March 29, 1945
PHILIP PARKER MISSING
Word has been received here that Capt. Philip Parker, son of
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Parker has been missing over China since March
23. As well as can be ascertained, Capt. Parker was flying a P-51 at
the time he was lost.
Capt. Parker was reared and educated in Bay City and after
entering service was stationed at Moore Field in Mission for quite a
long time where he served as instructor. He married while in Mission
and since he has been overseas his wife has been residing here.
April 18, 1945
FINAL RITES SCHEDULED TODAY
Funeral services for Philip H. Parker are scheduled this
afternoon (Thursday) at 8 o'clock at Matchett-Newman Funeral Home
with the Rev. Luke Bolin of the First Christian Church officiating.
Burial will be in the Cedarvale Cemetery. The body of Captain Parker
arrived by train here yesterday afternoon from Hawaii. Captain
Parker was killed on March 23, 1945, five days before his 24th
birthday, while on a flight mission over China. He was piloting a
P-51. Captain Parker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Parker of Bay
City, was buried in Shanghai, China, his body later being
transferred to Hawaii for reburial. The local post of the Veterans
of Foreign Wars was named in the memory of this handsome young man
who died for his country.
The Daily Tribune, May 12, 1949
First Presbyterian Church
Bay City, Texas
Vermont Red Marble Memorial
Donated by the families of Captain Philip Parker,
Private Jack White, Sergeant Robert Walker and
MOMM1c Paul Lamb.
Accepted by the church on December 18, 1945
Captain Philip H. Parker
Pvt. Jack W. White
Sgt. Robert W. Walker
Joseph Paul Lamb MOMM 1/c
On this Memorial Day we want to pay tribute to our beloved dead, our
sons, who sleep in peace under the quiet sod or beneath the
They are not dead; having died for freedom of mankind and with the
love of God in their hearts, have found a new life. They are
soldiers risen to the highest level, and they can become a living
part of you and me--today, tomorrow, and forever.
the destinies of men and in the glorious history of our nation their
souls go marching on.
Because of them our lives will ever be free.
Because of them our great country will forever live, the
exemplification of justice to all people under a real democracy.
us parents seek surcease of grief in this promise:
"Behind the dim unknown,
Standest God within the shadow,
Keeping watch over his own."
The Daily Tribune, Thursday, May 30, 1946
Services for Mrs. Allie Hazle Parker of Bay City will be held at 11
a.m. on September 15 in Taylor Brothers Funeral Home Chapel. The
Rev. Frank Seaman will officiate.
Mrs. Parker, 90, was born on Oct. 14, 1892, in San Augustine, Texas.
She died on Sept. 13 in Matagorda House. A member of the First
Presbyterian Church, she was a resident of Bay City since 1915.
She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Parker Barnes of Las
Vegas; her son, Eugene Earl Parker of Jackson, Miss.; and by her
sisters, Ellen Wood of Las Vegas, Tom Hazle Bivins of Longview,
Texas and Mayve Kazmeier of Bryan, Texas.
Following the services, interment will take place in Cedarvale
Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Craig Hinton, Allen Hinton, Glen
White, Hart Soli, B. F. Schulz and Dick Bachman.
The Daily Tribune,
September 14, 1983
Funeral services will be held for Herbert Hackley
Parker, 90, of Bay City, 11 a.m. Saturday at Taylor Brothers Chapel.
Parker died September 24, 1981 at Matagorda
Officiating at the services will be the Rev.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Allie Hazle
Parker of Bay City; daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Parker Barnes of
Glendale, Arizona; son, Eugene Earl Parker, of Jackson, Miss.;
sister, Mrs. Helen Parker Hinton of Bay City.
Parker has been a resident of Bay City since 1902
and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, the Masonic Lodge
and a veteran of World War I.
Burial will follow services at Cedarvale
Pallbearers include Hart Soli, Percy Harrison,
Virgil Fetters, Craig and Alan Hinton and R. C. Blackman.
Arrangements with Taylor
Brothers Funeral Home.
The Daily Tribune,
September 25, 1981
Parker Family Information
Photos of Mr. & Mrs. Parker
and Philip courtesy of
Philip H. Parker VFW Post 2438.
School photo of Philip courtesy of Matagorda County Museum Archives.