Operation Enduring Freedom USS Peterson (DD-969) Vincent E. Parker Sr. WINDSOR -- Vincent E. Parker Sr. of Windsor, Va., originally from Preston, Miss., active duty Navy engineman, first class petty officer (Surface Warfare), born Jan. 19, 1963, died Nov. 18, 2001. He enlisted July 6, 1982, and was killed during the unexpected capsizing of the Iraqi cargo ship Smara on the 18th of November. He was part of a security team from the USS Peterson (DD-969). He is survived by his wife, Charlotte M. Parker of Windsor and two children Vincent E. Parker Jr. and Rachael Parker; parents, Glen and Rena Parker of Preston, Miss.; sister, Ruth Marie Hoskins of Pleasant View, Tenn.; brothers, Stephen Parker of Carthage, Miss., Glen Parker III of Noxapotor, Miss., Andrew Parker of Columbus, Miss. and John Parker of Dorchester, Miss. A memorial service will be held at the Norfolk Naval Station Chapel on Monday, Dec. 10, 2001 at 1 p.m. with full Military Honors.
Parker joined the Navy after graduating from high school, and was supposed to be on his last tour of duty before his retirement from the military. He had been serving aboard the USS Peterson. The Peterson was part of Operation Northern-Southern Watch, an initiative created to prevent ships moving in and out of Iraq from defying international sanctions. The Peterson spotted the Samra, under the flag of the United Arab Emirates, in the north Persian Gulf sitting low in the water and listing. The crew suspected the Samra may have been carrying smuggled Iraqi oil. Parker and others from The Peterson boarded the decrepit vessel before dawn to inspect it. Shortly after being boarded, the tanker sank at about 4:45 AM. The sailors found 1,700 metric tons of Iraqi oil under bags of grain before the ship sank.
IN MEMORY OF PETTY OFFICER FIRST CLASS VINCENT E. PARKER, UNITED STATES NAVY
HON. CHARLES W. "CHIP" PICKERING of Mississippi
In the House of Representatives
Thursday, December 13, 2001
Mr. PICKERING. Mr. Speaker, today I rise before the House of Representatives to honor the life of an outstanding American, Vincent E. Parker. United States Navy Petty Officer First Class Vincent E. Parker is originally from Preston, Mississippi. Tragically, Petty Officer Parker was lost on Sunday morning, November 18, 2001, along with one of his shipmates, Petty Officer Third Class Benjamin Johnson while serving his country in the Persian Gulf.
Vincent Parker, noted for his devotion to God and country, grew up in rural eastern Mississippi. He attended Macon Elementary School and graduated from Nanih Waiya High School in Louisville. He was a devout member of the Assembly of God Church in Columbus, Mississippi, and he grew up in a loving, well-respected family with five siblings.
Like his brother John, he enlisted in the Navy upon graduation from high school. He successfully climbed the ladder as an enlisted man and was rated as an Engineman First Class Petty Officer. He was serving onboard the USS Peterson. This deployment was to be his last, completing a successful career in the Navy. His mission on November 18th was to enforce the United Nations sanctions imposed upon Iraq following the Gulf War. He boarded Samra, a ship believed to be smuggling oil for Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to Petty Officer Vincent Parker for his 19 years of service to the United States of America and the
United States Navy. He is also to be commended for his life-long devotion as a son, husband, brother, father and citizen. Petty Officer Parker is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn D. Parker Jr. He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and their two children, Vincent Jr. (age fourteen) and Rachel (age twelve). He leaves behind his sister Ruth Marie, and his four brothers, Glenn, Andy, Steven, and John.
Vincent was known onboard the Peterson not only for his Naval leadership, but also for the example he set as a citizen and man of God. He was simply known as "Butch" to his friends. He enjoyed the simple pleasures in life such as family and deer hunting. He will most be remembered for his devotion to God, country, and family.
Mr. Speaker, I ask our colleagues to join me in remembering an American hero, Petty Officer First Class Vincent E. Parker. Our sincere prayers and thoughts are with the Parker family at this difficult time. May God bless the Parker family, and may God continue to bless the United States of America with heroes like Vincent Parker.