Ralph Parr

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Ralph Parr
Ralph Parr.jpg
Birth name Ralph Sherman Parr, Jr.
Born July 1, 1924
Portsmouth, Virginia
Died December 7, 2012(2012-12-07) (aged 88)
New Braunfels, Texas
Buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the US Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Years of service 1942–1976
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Unit 49th Fighter Bomber Wing
335th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
Commands held 12th Tactical Fighter Wing
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
* Battle of Khe Sanh
Awards Air Force Cross
Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross (10)
Bronze Star
Air Medal (41)
Ralph Parr in August 2012

Ralph Sherman Parr, Jr. (July 1, 1924 – December 7, 2012) was an American double-flying ace of the Korean War. He was credited with a total of ten downed enemy aircraft. He also flew in World War II and the Vietnam War, and is the only person to have been awarded the US Army Distinguished Service Cross and the corresponding decoration used by the US Air Force once it became an independent branch of service, the Air Force Cross.[1]

Early life[edit]

Parr was born in 1924, in Portsmouth, Virginia. His parents were Ralph Sherman Parr and May (Morrison) Parr. His father was a US Navy Commander who served in both World War I and World War II. One of his brothers was Warren Sherman Parr, a US Navy Rear Admiral.

World War II[edit]

He enlisted in the United States Army Reserve in 1942, earned his wings in 1944, and flew Lockheed P-38 Lightnings in the Pacific during the last year of the Second World War.[1][2]

Korean War[edit]

In Korea he flew Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars, then North American F-86 Sabres, managing to shoot down a total of ten enemy aircraft. On July 27, 1953, the day of the armistice, then Captain Parr scored the last aerial 'kill' of the War by shooting down an unarmed Soviet Navy Ilyushin Il-12 transport aircraft.[2] All 21 passengers including 3 medical staff were killed.[3]

Vietnam War[edit]

In Vietnam, Parr served as a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II squadron commander. He flew the aircraft on two combat tours, including one in which he saw action supporting the Battle of Khe Sanh. Following the war he took a number of desk assignments before retiring as a Colonel in 1976.

Later life[edit]

He died on December 7, 2012 at an assisted living facility in New Braunfels, Texas. He was 88.[1][2]


Col Parr is the only person ever awarded both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross

His personal awards are:

His unit and service awards are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Influential double ace fighter pilot dies at 88". mysanantonio.com. 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  2. ^ a b c "Col. Ralph Parr". Official Website of the US Air Force. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  3. ^ http://onekorea.ru/2011/07/08/incident-7-27-poslednie-zhertvy-poslednego-dnya-korejskoj-vojny/

External links[edit]