Floyd Lavinius Parks
General, United States Army
He was a former National Guardsman, an intimate of George C. Marshall and one of his prime advisers on public and political relations, at the time of his retirement he was a Lieutenant General commanding the First Army. He died at Washington, DC, March 11, 1959.
He led the first US troops into Berlin at end of WWII. In his capacity as first head of the Kommandatura in Berlin, he was, in effect, city's first post-war Mayor. He was the Commander of the US occupation zone there August-October 1945. Before taking that post, he handled arrangements for the Potsdam Conference and negotiated with the Soviets to win its consent to free US access to Berlin. As a member of the Kommandatura, he presided over meetings of US, Soviet, British, and French occupation commanders. Previously he had been Chief-of-Staff of the 1st Allied Airborne Army. He participated in air drops into the Netherlands and behind the German forces trying to prevent US crossing of Rhine. After he had relinquished his post in Berlin, he received the US Army Distinguished Service Medal, the British Order of Bath and the Russian Order of Kutuzov.
His next assignment was on the board of the War Department Commission on Policies for Permanent Peace. He was later frequent golfing partner of President Eisenhower, once scoring hole-in-one while playing in a 4-some with the President. In 1953, he became Commanding General of the Second Army, with headquarters at Ft Meade, Maryland. He retired three years later and became executive director of the National Rifle Association, a position he held until death.
He was born at Doutsville, Kentucky, and graduated from Clemson College. He enlisted in the army as a Private in WWI and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant shortly afterward. He remained in army thereafter and, before going overseas in WWII, served as Chief-of-Staff of the Army Ground Forces. February 9, 1896-March 11, 1959.
He is buried in Section 30, Grave 664-Right Half, Arlington National Cemetery.
Other members of his family, including his
wife, Marie Applebye Robinson Parks (October 22, 1902-January 22, 1969);
his brother Basil Manly Parks, Colonel, United
States Army, who served in World War I and World War II; and his son, Basil
Manly Parks II, Captain, United States Army (December 28, 1939-November
13, 1967, "Thailand") are buried in the same location.
General Parks With President Truman
Courtesy of the National Archives
Page Updated: 26 October 2000 Updated: 1 September 2002 Updated: 31 May 2003 Updated: 31 August 2003 Updated: 25 September 2004
Updated: 25 December 2005 Updated: 7 April 2006
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003