Based on five interviews conducted by Paul Stillwell from November 1985 through September 1986. The volume contains 500 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1987 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee has placed no restrictions on its use.
This is an extraordinary memoir, both because of Parker's long period of active duty in the Navy--1942 to 1987--but also because of his achievement of flag rank without benefit of college education. As a machinist's mate, Parker served in the destroyer Mervine (DD-489/DMS-31) in World War II, attack transport Fremont (APA-44), and destroyer Trathen (DD-530) in the Korean War. Interspersed were tours of recruiting duty. He was a warrant officer in the ammunition ship Great Sitkin (AE-17) in the 1950s. After becoming a commissioned officer he put the engineering plants of the Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) and Josephus Daniels (DLG-27) into service and was later exec of the Conyngham (DDG-17) under skipper Harry Train. He commanded the Macdonough (DLG-8) and Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23) and spent a year with Task Force 116 in country in Vietnam. In addition to commanding Destroyer Squadrons 26 and 10, Parker was instrumental in fleet maintenance improvements and set up the Propulsion Examining Boards which were designed to bring 1,200-psi steam plants up to high standards. His final tour of duty was as Commander Naval Base Norfolk.