49 Squadron Awards
P/O E.D. PARKER G.C.
Twelve Hampdens took-off from Scampton in pairs at 10 minute intervals, their objective being the railway system in the area around Amiens.
The last pair of aircraft to roll down Scampton's grass runway were those piloted by P/O Pinchbeck and P/O Parker. As the latter’s Hampden neared the end of the take-off run it developed severe engine trouble. The aircraft managed to become airborne but a few moments later L4044 came crashing back down to earth. After extricating himself from the downed bomber, the pilot, with the help of two local farmers, managed to rescue the wireless operator from the wreckage.
P/O Don Parker's crew, consisting of P/O Lockhead, Sgt Lloyd and Sgt Robinson were all injured but thankfully survived.
For his actions on this day, P/O E.D. Parker was awarded 'The medal of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for Gallantry', which in September 1940 was renamed the George Cross.
During the winter of 1940/41, F/O Don Parker GC joined 29 Squadron, a night fighter unit stationed at Wellingore south of Lincoln. Flying Beaufighters, he completed a successful tour in the company of another bomber type, F/Lt Guy Gibson; both pilots were destined to return to Bomber Command where they would eventually meet a gallant death.
Following a raid on Berlin, only one aircraft from the entire force was lost. The missing Lancaster was piloted by F/Lt Don Parker GC.