January 24, 2018

Pages 4595
Whole Number 173

NAMES FROM THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL (THE WALL)



(rubbing from the wall)

CURTIS T. GAY (1947-1968)

A SPARKS DESCENDANT KILLED IN VIETNAM

CHRISTOPHER JOHN BIDLACK POINTING TO

CURTIS T. GAY'S NAME ON THE WALL

On the cover of The Sparks Quarterly of March 1968 (Whole No. 61), appeared the photograph of a youthful Sparks descendant in U.S. Army uniform. This was Curtis T. Gay who had been killed in action in Vietnam on January 20, 1968. born January 20, 1947, Curtis was a descendant of 25. Martin P. Sparks (1786- 1837), whose life was sketched in the March 1958 issue of the Quarterly (No. 21).

Curtis T. Gay had enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1966, a few months following his graduation from high school. He became a member of the Army Signal Corps in Vietnam, where he was promoted to the rank of Army Specialist Fourth Class. He was killed in action while defending a bunker on the summit of Ke Sien Mountain in the Battle of Qui Nhon.

Having children nearly the same age as Curtis, your editor has often gazed on the smiling, innocent face looking out through this photograph, thinking of the grief suffered by this boy's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Gay, as a result of this terrible war. In 1968, they were residents of McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

Your editor's son. Major Harold W. Bidlack, USAF, was in Washington, D.C., in 1995 and, accompanied by his son (my grandson) Christopher John Bidlack, went to the Vietnam Memorial and found Curtis T. Gay's name. They made a "rubbing" of his name that is reproduced on page 4595. Hal also took a photograph of Christopher pointing to Curtis' engraved name on The Wall.

How many other names of Sparks descendants appear on The Wall we cannot guess, but we can report that there are twenty with the surname Sparks and one with the surname Spark. The following information about each one has been taken from the information available at the Memorial, as well as through the computer.

Spark, Michael Melvin    
  Rank: Colonel
  Home: New York, New York
  Date of birth: June 9, 1927
  Age: 41
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Marine Corps, Regular
  Pay Grade: 06
  Date of death: January 15, 1969
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile - Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Charles Pierce    
  Rank: Private First Class
  Home: Killeen, Texas
  Date of birth: October 6, 1938
  Age: 26
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Regular
  Pay grade: E3
  Date of death: October 24, 1964
  Casualty place: Cambodia
  Casualty type: Hostile - Died while missing
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Clifford Edward    
  Rank: Specialist 6th Class
  Home: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  Date of birth: July 29,1936
  Age: 30
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Army, Regular
  Pay grade: E6
  Date of death: March 5, 1967
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile - Died while Missing
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, David Leo    
  Rank: Specialist 4th Class
  Home: Lakewood, Colorado
  Date of birth: March 6, 1949
  Age: 19
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Regular
  Pay grade: E4
  Date of death: October 24, 1968
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Non-hostile - Died of other causes
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Donald Lee    
  Rank: Specialist First Class
  Home: Carroll, Iowa
  Date of birth: November 7, 1946
  Age: 32
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Temporary
  Pay grade: E7
  Date of death: November 5, 1979
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile - Died while captured
  Body status: Body not recovered
Sparks, Glenn Louis    
  Rank: Private First Class
  Home: Buena Park, California
  Date of birth: July 13, 1950
  Age: 18
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Regular
  Pay grade: E3
  Date of death: March 19, 1969
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type:  
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Henry Eugene    
  Rank: Staff Sergeant
  Home: Los Angeles, California
  Date of birth: August 11, 1935
  Age: 33
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Marine Corps, Regular
  Pay grade: E6
  Date of death: July 10, 1969
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile - Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, James Edward    
  Rank: Private First Class
  Home: Los Angeles, California
  Date of birth: May 9, 1948
  Age: 20
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Temporary
  Pay grade: E3
  Date of death: December 18, 1968
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile - Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, James Henry    
  Rank: Lance Corporal
  Home: Pasadena, Texas
  Date of birth: March 6, 1948
  Age: 19
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Marine Corps, Regular
  Pay grade: E3
  Date of death: June 30, 1967
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile - Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, John W.    
  Rank: Private First Class
  Home: Kettle Falls, Washington
  Date of birth: September 24, 1949
  Age: 20
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Temporary
  Pay grade: E3
  Date of death: January 9, 1970
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Non-hostile - Died of illness

  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Jon Michael    
  Rank: Chief Warrant Officer
  Home: Carey, Idaho
  Date of birth: February 24, 1950
  Age: 26
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Army, Reserve
  Pay grade: W2
  Date of death: March 11, 1976
  Casualty place: Laos
  Casualty type: Hostile - Died while Missing
  Body status: Body not recovered
Sparks, Paul Allan    
  Rank: Private First Class
  Home: Houston, Texas
  Date of birth: June 23, 1947
  Age: 22
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Regular
  Pay grade: E3
  Date of death: August 19, 1969
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Army, Temporary
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Peter Allan    
  Rank: Hospitalman
  Home: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  Date of birth: April 23, 1948
  Age: 19
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Navy, Regular
  Pay grade: E3
  Date of death: October 4, 1967
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile - Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Richard L.    
  Rank: Specialist Fourth Class
  Home: Marion, Ohio
  Date of birth: May 10, 1945
  Age: 23
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Navy, Regular
  Pay grade: E4
  Date of death: September 19, 1968
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Non-hostile - Died of other causes
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Rickie D.    
  Rank: Sergeant
  Home: Tecumseh, Michigan
  Date of birth: July 26, 1947
  Age: 20
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Army, Temporary
  Pay grade: E5
  Date of death: November 18, 1967
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile-Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Roger Howard    
  Rank: Sergeant
  Home: Bellingham, Washington
  Date of birth: December 15, 1945
  Age: 22
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Regular
  Pay grade: E4
  Date of death: May 3, 1968
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile-Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Roger Howard    
  Rank: Private First Class
  Home: Rich Creek, Virginia
  Date of birth: November 7, 1947
  Age: 20
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Army, Temporary
  Pay grade: E3
  Date of death: April 6, 1968
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile-Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Stephen Duane, Sr.    
  Rank: First Lieutenant
  Home: Tulsa, Oklahoma
  Date of birth: January 11, 1944
  Age: 24
  Marital status: Married
  Service: Army Reserve
  Pay grade: O2
  Date of death: September 11, 1968
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile-Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Steven Lee    
  Rank: Private First Class
  Home: Columbus, Ohio
  Date of birth: July 14, 1948
  Age: 19
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Marine Corps, Regular
  Pay grade: E2
  Date of death: April 6, 1968
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile-Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, Thomas James    
  Rank: Private First Class
  Home: Groves, Texas
  Date of birth: March 13, 1949
  Age: 18
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Marine Corps, Regular
  Pay grade: E2
  Date of death: February 9, 1968
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile-Killed
  Body status: Body recovered
Sparks, William Douglas    
  Rank: Sergeant
  Home: Stout, Ohio
  Date of birth: October 19, 1948
  Age: 20
  Marital status: Single
  Service: Army, Temporary
  Pay grade: E4
  Date of death: June 9, 1969
  Casualty place: South Vietnam
  Casualty type: Hostile-Killed
  Body status: Body recovered

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