Parker, Ted

Edward (Ted) Parker was born March 30, 1925 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.  He grew up in Massachusetts and Florida, as the family moved back and forth during those years.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Depression and the early years of the war, by which time he was attending the Governors’ Academy in Massachusetts.  In those early years he recalls the wartime conditions, including the blackouts and the U-boat activity off the coast.  When the track on Pearl Harbor took place, Ted was 16; he completed high school, and at the first opportunity he enlisted in the army.  He excelled in training, and after a time he found himself on a troopship bound for Africa.  After a short stay Ted was bound for Sicily and Operation Husky, but the ship he was on was hit by another ship in the heavy seas, and he ended up back in north Africa, missing the operation.  Ted did land in Italy, and he moved north, engaged in heavy fighting near Montecassino.  He was removed from that line and sent to Anzio, where forces had become mired in the beachhead.  On one occasion, Ted was out on point when he and other soldiers found themselves in German territory:  they were overwhelmed and taken prisoner.  Ted was just 18 years old.  They were used as slave labour in different locations, and were taken north as the Allied armies were on the move.  Ted managed to escape the train along with four other prisoners; he was able to find shelter, and soon he found himself with Italian partisans.  He spent well over a year with them, taking part in many operations and sabotage activities behind the lines.  When he linked up with American troops, Ted was at first taken prisoner and after interrogations revealed who he was the 5th Army kept him on as an intelligence asset for a time.  He was finally put on a ship and sent back to the U.S. The army put him to work training men for the Pacific and Ted fully expected to go to fight Japan himself.  But his malaria returned, and while he was in recovery the atomic bombs were dropped, bringing the war to an end.  Ted returned to civilian life, making his way in postwar America.  Ted Parker was interviewed by Scott Masters at his home in Rochester, New Hampshire in July 2022.