Last surviving Navy doctor on Omaha Beach during D-Day dies

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GREENSBORO, Ga. — The last surviving Navy doctor who landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy during the D-Day invasion of World War II has died, according to a funeral director and a researcher.

Dr. Joseph Lee Parker Jr., of Greensboro, Ga., died Sept. 27 at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro. He was 95.

Kenneth Davey, who has done extensive research of military records associated with the Allied invasion, said the Waycross, Ga., native was the last surviving Navy physician who served on Omaha Beach.

Davey said Parker was a member of the 6th Naval Beach Battalion. Parker’s obituary from McCommons Funeral Home says he treated the wounded, including Allied and German troops, for 21 days on the beach.

Services were held Sunday in Greensboro.

Parker was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal in 2011, according to the 6th Naval Beach Battalion Web site. Parker and 16 other veterans were honored for their service.

According to the Web site, Parker attended the University of Georgia. He went on to medical school in Augusta, and went in the service as an intern at University Hospital in Augusta.

In 1943, Parker was assigned for temporary duty at Parris Island, S.C., then to Camp Bradford to the 6th Amphibious Forces, and later to the 6th Beach Battalion.

Parker said there was no training or orientation into the Navy when he joined. He said duties initially involved mundane tasks such as checking swimming pools for the chlorine content and looking for safety problems there.

“The main thing we did down in Parris Island was looking at the blisters on the GI’s feet that were marching on those hot paved parade grounds,” Parker said in the interview.

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shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 10/04/12 - 07:18 am
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Thank you for your service

Bloody Omaha as it was called. Another chapter was called "Visitors to Hell". The 16th and 116th regiments Saved the world that day. I think every one that stormed that beach deserves the Medal of Honor!

Sweet son
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Sweet son 10/04/12 - 10:55 am
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Thanks for Your Service Dr. Parker!!

Wasn't it great to see that he attended medical school at the "Medical College of Georgia;" established in 1828! What an institution with a rich history!! Now Dr. Cool has destroyed something that belongs to all Georgians and especially Augustans!! It also belongs to all those who have graduated with MCG on their diplomas!! Not cool Dr. Cool!

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