Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

PARKS, Floyd David

USS William B Preston
Starboard side view of the aircraft tender USS William B. Preston.

Floyd David Parks, Fireman 1st Class (223-43-56), was born in 1915 in New Jersey, the eldest of three sons, to Eugene Robert Parks and Helen Selma (nee  Mueller) of 57 East Blackwell Street, Dover, New Jersey. Parks enlisted on 12 January 1938; he transferred from USS Medusa on 21 October 1940 to the Preston. Parks also served on the Langley from 30 June 1941 and returned to the Preston on 31 January 1942. He was twenty-six and unmarried when he died in Darwin. His body was never recovered.

USS William B. Preston was anchored in Darwin Harbour, tending PBY Catalinas, when the Japanese attack began on 19 February 1942. She quickly got underway, zigzagging through the crowded Harbour. Four bombs exploded off William B. Preston’s bow, breaking bridge windows. She was then hit near the deckhouse, losing control of her steering and jamming the rudder. The aft living compartment was seriously damaged; the deck house was strafed and her machine guns were out of action. Fourteen men were killed, including two missing and three were wounded

The citation for his Silver Star is as follows:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Floyd D. Parks (2234356), Fireman First Class, U.S. Navy, for gallantry in combat and courageous devotion to duty as a member of the Ammunition Party attached to the U.S.S. WILLIAM B. PRESTON (AVD-7), during a surprise aerial bombing attack by enemy Japanese forces at Darwin, Australia, on 19 February 1942. Within a few minutes after the sounding of general quarters, Fireman First Class Parks and a comrade ran on their own initiative, manned a machine gun and opened fire on the enemy. They lost their lives a short time later when a bomb struck in that vicinity.

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