Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: W/C G B N Sparks DSO

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    La Vendée, France .
    Posts
    303
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default W/C G B N Sparks DSO

    Hello,

    Would like to know is someone has an idea about the death of W/C George Bryan Noble Sparks DSO RCAF, killed 11 august 1945 and buried at Kranji cemetery .
    His father has been chief air instructor at London aero club Stay lane aerodrome Middlesex in the 1925 area ...

    Thank you for your help !

    Alain.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,493
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Doesn't really help with your query Alain, but the following announcement appeared in The Times on 20 August 1944:

    "On August 11 1945, died on active service in India, Wing Commander Bryan Sparks, very beloved husband of Stella, second son of the late Captain F G M Sparks, RFC, and of Mrs Sparks (now in Canada), and younger brother of Wing Commander Neville Sparks."

    Couldn't find anything else other than a very brief reference in 'Fallen Officers' in The Times casualty list on the same date.

    Brian
    PS. See also http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1945/1945%20-%202083.html?search=Sparks
    Several hits for his father in Flight.
    Last edited by Lyffe; 18th January 2012 at 19:37. Reason: PS added

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,325
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    The immediate cause of death was polio.

    Herewith more than you may have wanted to know about Sparks.

    SPARKS, W/C Bryan Noble George (C1492) - Distinguished Service Order - No.356 Squadron (deceased) - Award effective 25 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 2 October 1945 and AFRO 1822/45 dated 7 December 1945. Born 13 March 1913 in Wormley, Herts.; home in Windsor or Walkerville, Ontario (mechanic; employed by Standard Machine and Tool Shop, 1932 to 1934 as apprentice tool maker and Windsor Utilities Commission, Hydro Division, 1934-1939, mechanic and stock clerk); enlisted in Windsor, 2 January 1940. Commissioned 2 January 1940 and assigned to London Flying Club. To Station Trenton, 25 March 1940. To No.1 Initial Training Wing, Toronto, 15 April 1940. To Camp Borden, 19 April 1940. Promoted Flying Officer and posted to Station Trenton, 10 August 1940. To No.2 SFTS, Uplands, 21 September 1940. To Central Flying School, Trenton, 22 March 1941 ( instructing). Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 15 December 1941. Struck off strength of Trenton, 30 June 1942. To RAF via Ferry Command, 30 June 1942. Taken on strength of Empire Central Flying School, 27 October 1942. Repatriated, 25 March 1943. To Central Flying School, Trenton, 11 April 1943. To AFHQ, Ottawa, 27 April 1943. Promoted Squadron Leader, 1 June 1943. To No.5 OTU, 17 May 1944. To “Y” Depot again, 14 September 1944. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 4 October 1944. (Disembarked in United Kingdom, 12 October 1944). To Air Command, Southeast Asia, 5 November 1944. To No.231 Group Headquarters, 19 December 1944. To No.356 Squadron, 21 December 1944. Promoted Wing Commander, 12 February 1945. Died of natural causes (polio), 11 August 1945 in Malaya. Award presented to next-of-kin, 1 April 1949. Caption for photo PL-60286 (taken 9 March 1945) reads: “His second tour of operations finished, W/C H.R.M. Beall of Lindsay, Ontario (left) turned over command of his Liberator squadron to W/C N.B.G. Sparks, who was promoted from the rank of squadron leader and was previously a flight commander in the squadron. W/C Beall has been posted to new duties in Ceylon.”

    First as flight commander, and later as squadron commander, this officer has proved to be an outstanding leader both in the air and on the ground. On operations his enthusiasm, skill and cheerful courage have set an inspiring example and have been reflected in the high standard of operational efficiency maintained in his squadron. Wing Commander Sparks' leadership has materially contributed to the successful completion of many missions flown by his squadron in formation and in single sorties.

    NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9132 has recommendation dated 19 May 1945 when he had flown 27 sorties (269 hours five minutes) as follows:

    1 January 1945- Burma/Siam Railway south of Moulmein (6.00 by day and 5.00 by night)
    4 January 1945- Burma/Siam Railway, Anankwin; weather bad so attacked secondary, Taungup (6.30 by day and 1.55 by night)
    8 January 1945- Low level, Bangkok/Siam Railway (10.45 by day, .40 by night)
    11 January 1945- Low level, Bangkok/Chienhmai Railway (11.30, day)
    16 January 1945- Mingaladon aerodrome, Rangoon (8.50, day)
    21 January 1945- Kyaukpiu, Ramree Island (5.30 by day, 1.00 by night)
    25 January 1945- Railway installations, Amapura (7.25)
    31 January 1945- Japanese army headquarters, Kyaukse (7.40)
    5 February 1945- Army storage dumps, Madaya (7.35)
    11 February 1945- Supply areas north of Victoria Lake, Rangoon (8.45, day)
    18 February 1945- Japanese troops concentrations, Yenangyaung (6.40, day)
    22 February 1945- Kyaungmhudaw Pagoda (7.10, day)
    25 February 1945- Taunggyi (7.20, day)
    28 February 1945- Korat (7.15 by day, 6.00 by night)
    4 March 1945 - Railway yards, Bangkok (2.30 by day, 10.40 by night)
    7 March 1945 - Martaban Jettice (10.40, day)
    17 March 1945 - Rangoon dumps (10.00, day)
    19 March 1945 - Railway stores, Na Nien (13.20 by day, 2.00 by night)
    29 March 1945 - Low level attack, bridge 148 on Burma/Siam railway (8.15 by day and 3.00 by night)
    2 April 1945 - Railway repair sheds, stores yards, Kieng Kol (5.45 by night, 9.00 by day)
    14 April 1945 - Electric power plant, Bangkok (11.00 by day, 2.00 by night)
    18 April 1945 - Lock gates on Klong Damneon Saudauk Canal, Bangkok (12.00 by day, 2.00 by night)
    25 April 1945 - "M" Dumps, Rangoon (8.35, day)
    27 April 1945 - "L" Dumps, Rangoon (3.00 by day, 5.50 by night)
    2 May 1945 - Gun positions on Rangoon River (4.30 by day, 5.00 by night)
    10 May 1945 - Dump positions, Mergul (13.15, day)
    14 May 1945 - Port Blair, Andaman Island; ordered to return when half-way out (5.30 by day)

    Apart from the DSO citation (which is virtually identical between recommendation and final publication), the remarks of the Air Commodore commanding No.231 Group, RAF, bear quoting:

    Wing Commander Sparks has proved himself a quite outstanding squadron commander. He is an exceptionally able captain of aircraft and has displayed at all times the greatest possible enthusiasm for operations. His personal courage and skill as a formation leader are exceptional and have been an inspiration to those serving under him in the squadron. Wing Commander Sparks has brought his squadron to a very high pitch of efficiency and the bombing results achieved by this squadron have been second to none in the Strategic Air Force. The morale of his squadron has reached a very high peak and I attribute this to Wing Commander Sparks' personal example, energy, powers of leadership and flair as a disciplinarian.

    Notes and Assessments: Accident on 6 March 1941 two miles south of Navan in clear weather, Harvard 2689, pupil not named, 1015 hours: “Demonstrating precautionary landing to a pupil, allowed airplane to come too close to ground before opening the throttle; engine was slow responding; airplane stalled just a few feet off the ground, right wing dropped and airplane skidded sideways, ripping undercarriage and wings.” At the time he had 100 hours dual, 575 solo.

    On strength of CFS Trenton on 12 August 1941; during night instruction at Mountain View (Harvard II 2505) and pupil was R65411 Sergeant A.N. Stephens, taxying when another aircraft seen ahead. Sparks applied brakes and Harvard tipped up. No injuries.

    Tested by F/L A.L. Anderson, Central Flying School, who wrote on 15 August 1941 that Sparks was “An above average pilot with a sound ability to instruct.” As of that date he had flown Fleet, Moth, Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Anson and Lockheed aircraft and spent 980 hours instructing. His total flying times were 960 hours single engine solo, 71.30 single engine dual, 115 hours twin engine solo and 40 hours twin engine dual.

    Memo, 10 October 1941 in which G/C T.A. Lawrence (Station Trenton) recommends promotion of several officers including F/O B.N.G. Sparks:

    This officer has turned in a highly efficient job of work and is above average as a pilot and instructor. He is an A.2 category instructor whose deportment and capabilities as an officer are of a high standard.

    On 11 June 1942 he was tested again (by S/L J.G. Stephenson) who wrote that Sparks had now flown 1,580 instructional hours at No.2 SFTS and Central Flying School. He was described under several headings: Sequence (above average), Voice and Diction (excellent), Manner (patient and instructive), Ability to impart knowledge (above average); Ability as pilot (above average). Further described as follows: “This officer’s experience and instructional knowledge merits the highest category” and recommended award of A-1 category.

    On 6 November 1942 he was pilot of Whitley K9050 at Empire Central Flying School; second pilot was 73009 F/L T.C. Pick. At 1540 hours, on instructional flight, he had taken off and was at 400 feet when he noticed that fabric was tearing away from the port mainplane. He completed the circuit and landed.

    Report dated 17 November 1942 (Empire Central Flying Training School) noted that course had been 16 July to 15 October 1942. In that period he had flown the following types: Magister (45 minutes day dual, 9.30 day solo, 1.00 night solo); Master (2.55 day dual, 30 minutes night dual, 11.35 day solo, 1.00 night solo; Oxford, 3.50 day dual, 1.40 night dual, 37.25 day solo, 5.05 night solo; Spitfire and Hurricane, 6.50 day solo, 50 minutes night solo; Bisley, 50 minutes day dual, 1.50 day solo, Other Types, 2.00 day dual, 5.45 day solo. He4 had thus flown a total of 92 hours 20 minutes at the school (12.30 dual, 79.50 solo) and his total flying was given as 1967 hours 50 minutes (1,620 instructional). As a pilot and instructor he was described as “exceptional”. The Chief Ground Instructor (not identified) wrote:

    This officer is exceptional in his keenness and in his ability in many respects. He almost handicaps himself by letting his keenness run away with him, and by thinking that his ideas are the only obvious and correct ones. He has learned much on the course, more than he himself obviously realises, and he has very nearly learned to consider the opinion of others. If he can do this, he has very great potentiality as an asset to flying training whether in this country or in Canada.

    The Deputy Chief Flying Instructor, S/L N.S. Trevor Benson, wrote:

    A very good pilot and a vigorous and convincing instructor. He is inclined to be dogmatic and impatient with opinions contrary to his own, but this is partly due to a most refreshing enthusiasm and keen interest in all flying problems. He would have gained more from the course if he had been able to approach it from the beginning with an open mind. (I am afraid too that he has often mistaken the attitude of more open-minded pilots for a lack of conviction). As the course progressed, however, he became gradually more mature, and there is no doubt that it has been a valuable experience for him. In return we have gained much by contact with his vigorous and forthright mind, and I consider that he will be an asset to any unit.

    Air Commodore G.S. Oddie (Odell ?) wrote:

    If led the right way, this officer should provide the stimulant so necessary in training. He has good ideas and so far keeps a sense of proportion and criticises only when he feels strongly that he is right.

    On 22 February 1943, W/C A. Watts, Empire Central Flying School, reported that Sparks had flown 2,082 hours (208 in previous six months). “This officer has a very wide and sound knowledge of training matters. He has proved an excellent instructor at CCFS and will be a valuable asset to any flying training unit.” To this was added the remarks of Air Commodore G.S. Oddie: “I consider this officer quite exceptional. He has the drive, enthusiasm and moral courage of youth with a knowledge and capacity for thought and maturity. Good guidance would make him first class.”

    Instrument Flying School course, Deseronto, 4 March to 18 March 1944 involved 32 hours ten minutes flying in Oxfords - 50 minutes day dual for conversion followed by four hours dual on instrument flying, four hours solo on instrument flying, ten hours day dual on beam approach flying, four hours 50 minutes day solo on beam approach flying, 90 minutes night dual on beam approach flying, seven hours as second pilot and ten hours in Link. Tests as follows: Instrument Flying (Hooded) (41/50), Beam Approach Procedure (Link) (36/50), Beam Flying, Day (40/50), Beam Flying, Night (40/50), Weather Flying (40/50 in two categories). Graded “Above average”; S/L W.A. Stewart wrote, “Above average I.F. pilot full conversant with all S.B.A. procedures.”

    Course at No.5 OTU, Boundary Bay was 22 May to 27 August 1944. Flew in Mitchell aircraft (21.55 day dual, 26.25 as first pilot by day, 7.05 as second pilot by day, 8.30 night dual, 16.50 first pilot by night, 3.20 as a passenger, 1.10 on instruments); also Liberator (23.40 day dual, 51.50 as first pilot by day, 3.15 nigh dual, 25.10 as first pilot by night, 10.35 as passenger and three hours on instruments.) One exercise on course not carried out because assigned navigator unfit for altitude flying. Ground training (scored 913/1000) placed him first in the class; courses and marks as follows: Aircraft recognition (46/50), Navigational Meteorology (188/200), Elements of Navigation (83/100), Plotting (44/50), Airmanship in Mitchell (270/300), Airmanship in Liberator (282/300). In Morse he received at ten words per minute and sent at ten words per minute; in Aldis Lamp he sent and received at eight words per minute. The Chief Ground Instructor (S/L W.H.F. Grierson-Jackson) wrote, “Above average in all ground work. Keen and cooperative; a good captain who has his crew well trained. His cooperative attitude as class senior has helped materially in the training of his course.” The Chief Instructor (W/C H. Malkin) wrote, “An above average pilot. Keen, very cautious. His knowledge and handling of the aircraft are all above average. Has no weaknesses to watch.” Final assessment on 2 September 1944 read, “An above average pilot and captain. He is well suited to any position of responsibility he may be given while on operations.”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    La Vendée, France .
    Posts
    303
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Thank you Hugh and Brian,

    W/C Sparks was a great Officer and pilot ! What losse for RCAF !!

    Did the airmen were not vaccineted for polio ????

    Alain

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,325
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Polio vaccine was not available until the early 1950s (Salk). Those of us 65 and older may remember epidemics in the early 1950s when public events (sports matches, films) were scaled back out of fear of contagion. I recall that one year, circa 1952, some 1,000 cases were reported in Manitoba alone. Thanks to Mr. Salk, the figures plummeted once his vaccine was released.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    La Vendée, France .
    Posts
    303
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Hello,

    I come back on the Sparks family, the father Francis George Monkhouse Sparks died in London Ontario on 16 March 1934, it seems he died in a flying accident, also he seems to have win some air race in Canada...

    Would be possible foer our canadians friends to trace something in the accident as the activities of Francis Sparks in Canada ??

    Thank you to help !

    Alain.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    271
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Francis George Monkhouse ('Sparkie') Sparks held Canadian Commercial Pilot's Certificate #269. He flew for McCall Aero Corp, Calgary AB and London Flying Club, London ON.
    His fatal accident on 16th March 1934 was as a result of taking-off in Curtiss-Reid Rambler I CF-AUO with the starboard upper wing not locked, it folded after take-off. The Rambler wings could be folded for storage.

    Source: Canadian Aviation Historical Society publications THE FIRST 500 CANADIAN CIVIL PILOTS (Molson) and CANADIAN CIVIL AIRCRAFT REGISTER (Ellis).

    Ian Macdonald

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    La Vendée, France .
    Posts
    303
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Thank you very much Ian, very interesting !

    Alain

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •