Remains of T-Sgt. Billy C. Sparks Aboard U.S. Transport Sails From Manila for the United States
Included in the 4,459 Americans who lost their lives during the World War 2 that are being returned from Manila, aboard the U.S. Transport, Lieutenant George W.G. Boyce, Williams C. Sparks of Spur, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Sparks of Spur, who received official notification on Thursday of last week, May 27, four years ago to the day of when he was killed in combat, on Wadke Island on May 27th, 1944, along with three other men, when the Japanese bombed the island.
T-Sgt. Sparks was in the Army Air Force in the 64th Squadron where he served with distinction in combat and was one of the most popular boys in his company.
Mr. and Mrs. Sparks will receive second notification when the body reaches Fort Worth, here it will lie in State for a number of hours before starting on the last journey home.
Military escort will accompany the body from Fort Worth to Spur, where he will be laid to rest in his final resting place, his home county and his native soil.
The Texas Spur, June 3, 1948
Memorial Service Held In Army Base for War DeadThe following memorial services was held June 4, marking the arrival of the USAT "Lt. W.G. Boyce" at the Oakland Army Base, California. This transport carried 4456 bodies of our war dead, included in this group are the remains of Sgt. Billy C. Sparks, youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Sparks of Spur.MEMORIAL SERVICE Music, "What a Friend We Have In Jesus", Transportation Corps Band, San Francisco Port of Embarkation. Invocation, Chaplain (Maj.) Thomas F. Coreoran, Sixty Army, Presidio of San Francisco Remarks, Lt. Col. Johnson, T.C., Commanding Officer, Oakland Army Base Hym, (softly) "Fairest Lord Jesus"(band). Prayer, Chaplain (Capt.) Haywood K. Cross, Escort Detachment, Sixth Army National Anthem (band) Taps, By Bugler T-5 Jesse Porter Benediction, Rabbi Philip Lipis, Lieut., CHCR, Twelfth Naval District Music, "Onward Christian Soldiers" (Band) Honor Guard-Detachment from: United States Army; United States Navy; United States Air Forces; United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard
The Texas Spur, June 10, 1948
Final Rites Read in Baptist Church For Sgt. SparksReburial services for T-Sgt. William C. Sparks, who was killed in action on Wadke Island off the coast of New Guinea, on May 27th, 1944, were held in the First Baptist Church in Spur, on Wednesday, July 7, 1948, with Rev. Wayne Grizzle assisted by Rev. C.N. Gilbert officiating. O.L.Kelley, O.C. Thomas and Judge Alton Chapman paid brief tribute to Sgt. Sparks as a school boy in Spur, and declaring it was boys like Billy that were the heroes of the war.
Sgt. Sparks was killed when the Japanese bombed Wadke Island during the invasion. Sgt. Sparks with a group of his buddies was sitting in a jeep on the morning of May 27, about 9 o'clock. Sitting with Sgt. Sparks was his good buddie, Guy McIntyre, who rendered first aid, but in vain as Sgt. Sparks only lived a short time.
Close buddies of Sgt. Sparks who were with him at the time of death were Guy McIntyre of Shreveport, LA.; Joe Korioth and Roy Jones of Sherman, Texas, these three and Sparks formed the Texas Four. All three of these were present for the services last Wednesday with Guy McIntyre of the U.S. Army in Shreveport, La., and Joe Korioth acting as pallbearers.
Youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Sparks of Spur, he was born March 28, 1921, in Dickens County, attending and graduating from the Spur Schools with the Class of 39, he enlisted in the army air corp in 1940 where he served as parachute expert and inspector, in the army air corp with the 100th, service squadron. He was sent overseas in 43.
As has been attested by their presence at the final rites, he was loved and respected by his comrades in arms and his friends of civilian life were many. At the time of his enlistment in the army he was president of the B.T. U. in his community. He was converted when 16 years of age and joined the Baptist Church which he attended regularly.
He is survived by his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Johnnie Sparks, one brother, Jimmie Sparks of Spur; four sisters, Mrs. Lotella Murchison and Mrs. Leona Koonsman of Dickens; Mrs. Loretta Parker and Mrs. Winnie Hughes of Oakland, California.
Pallbearers were: Ira Westfall, Larry Boothe, Cleo Rogers, Guy McIntyre, Joe Korioth and Bill Hahn.
Honorary pallbearers were: Everett Martin, Robert Martin, Jerry Hahn, Billy Powell, Chuck Powell, J.C. Draper, Roy Jones, Sherman, Texas, Brownie Ogle, Fort Worth, Collin Denson, Dallas, Dan Prichett, Jr., Billy Koon, Dallas and Clinton Sonnamaker, Henrietta.
Interment was in the Spur Cemetery with Chandler Funeral Home in charge.
©The Texas Spur, July 15, 1948Transcribed June 7, 2005 by DCHC Members
- Father: Johnny Ephreim Sparks
- Mother: Mary Pirkle