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NAVY DEPARTMENT Bureau of Naval Personnel Washington 25, D. C. Pers-8249-mts 13 June 1945.

My dear Mrs. Early,

On April 2, 1945, your brother, William Louis Parks, gave his life while serving at his battle station in action against the enemy. It is with profound regret that I, as senior surviving officer of the USS DICKERSON, bring you this news, but I feel it best you know.

The USS DICKERSON had been supporting the assault on the Ryukyus for several days, and, at dusk on April second was steaming, together with a strong naval force, southwest of Kerama Retto. Enemy aircraft attacked in force, and, despite the cool, heroic efforts of our gallant crew, who had fought together through seven previous operations, we suffered two severe hits from planes and bombs. We were forced to abandon ship.

Bill's battle station, the galley deck house, where he was a loader on number two twenty millimeter gun, suffered a direct enemy hit. He was killed instantly, and, on April third, he was buried on the island of Zamami Shima, in the Ryukyus. Chaplain Owen W. Kerr read the service; Bill was accorded full military honors.

Bill's manner and conduct were always in keeping with the highest ideals of the naval service. Diligent and loyal, he was respected and admired for his devotion to duty. He was our very dear friend, whose loss has been a heartfelt sorrow. I know what heartache this news has caused you, but I hope that you will find some courage in the great heroism of your brother's sacrifice, and the thought that he will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. We salute your brother, Bill, with whom we have been very proud to serve.

Very sincerely, J. D. Ebert Lt. (jg), USNR Senior Surviving Officer

Mrs. Emma Early 218 A Ingraham Street Benmoreell Norfolk, Virginia