Woodbury County

Gerald W. Sparks

Died 31 Jul 1942
 

 

SON OF MOVILLE COUPLE MISSING
Gerald Sparks Was with Army in the Philippines

The War Department has notified Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sparks of Moville that their son Gerald is “missing in action” with United States forces in the Philippines.

He enlisted in the Army in December, 1939, requesting foreign service. He was sent to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he was stationed for 18 months, then left last summer with a group of 160 volunteers for the Nichols field air base near Manila.

He was at the latter station at the time of the Japanese attack, December 7, 1941.  The last letter received from him by his parents was November 7.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, June 2, 1942

MOVILLE YOUTH REPORTED DEAD
Gerald Sparks Died in Japanese Prisoner Camp in 1942

Moville, Ia.—Special:  Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sparks received official notice that their son Gerald had died from malaria in a Japanese prison camp July 31, 1942.

The Sparks family had been notified May 22, 1942, that their son was missing action since May 7, of that year, following the fall of Corregidor.  This was the last word that they had received concerning him.  The War Department had never changed his status and the family retained hopes that he might someday be found alive.

Gerald was born in Moville December 21, 1918. He attended the Moville schools and later worked on local farms.  He spent one summer in Colorado.  In December, 1939, he enlisted in the Army, requesting foreign service.  He was sent immediately to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.  After being stationed there for 18 months, he transferred to the air corps engineers in order that he might volunteer for the Nichols field air base near Manila.  He was at the later station at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The last letter received from him by his parents was November 7, of that year.

A brother, Sgt. Ivan Sparks, is now stationed in the ordinance division on Luzon.  Another brother, Cpl. Dale Sparks, is in England, and Jay, radioman second class, is on Guam.  There are two other brothers, Marion of Fremont, Neb., and Burton at home, and three sisters, Mrs. Don Gardner, Mildred and Leone, all at home at present.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, August 8, 1945 (photo included)