Dr. Joseph Lee Parker Jr. (Courtesy McCommons Funeral Home)
GREENSBORO, Ga. -- The last surviving Navy doctor who landed on Normandy's Omaha Beach 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 the northeast Georgia town of Greensboro, 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 native was the last surviving Navy physician on Omaha Beach.
Davey said Parker was a member of the 6th Naval Beach Battalion. Parker's obituary from McCommons Funeral Home said he treated the wounded, including Allied and German troops, for 21 days on the beach. He later served with the Marines in China and Guam.
According to his obituary, when Parker returned home, he started a practice in Greensboro and became a founding doctor at the Minnie G. Boswell Hospital, where he later served as chief of staff for 25 years. "He knew every country dirt road like the back of his hand... Beloved and esteemed by all who had the privilege of knowing him, he was a hero to his community," his obituary said.
It noted that Parker was an Eagle Scout and alumni of Waycross High School, the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia. He was also a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, the Masons, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
Funeral services were held Sunday in Greensboro. He was buried with military honors in the Greenview Cemetery.
Parker is survived by his wife, daughter, son, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.