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Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA)
 
  P-39Q-5-BE Airacobra Serial Number 42-19999  
USAAF
5th AF
71st TRG
110th TRS

Click For Enlargement
1944 via Bryan Sparks

Pilot  1st Lt. William J. Sparks, O-789955 (MIA / KIA) Elkin, NC
MIA  July 3, 1944 at 8:30am
MACR  6690

Aircraft History
Built by Bell in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U.S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. When lost engine: V-1710-83 serial number 42-27428. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On July 3, 1944 took off from Tadji Airfield on a strafing mission over the Wewak area. This aircraft was last seen heading out to sea after making several strafing passes on Japanese positions along the north coast of Wallis Island. Last reported position was Lat 3° 15' S Long 143° 20'. This aircraft failed to return and was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
Despite extensive searches of the area, no trace of this aircraft or the pilot was be found. There was a report of a life raft between But and Dagua, but it was not found during the official search.

Memorials
Sparks was officially declared dead on February 8, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Relatives
Bryan W. Sparks (great-nephew)
"He was sorely missed by his family. My Great Grandmother had lots of awesome WW2 pictures and personal items of his. She even had his final paycheck, she never cashed it. She thought it was a slap in face for the loss of such a fine son. He was a student at Appalachin State University when the war broke out. I know he went to flight school in 1942. On 8 FEB 1946 he was listed as FOD or Found Out Dead. I was told by someone at the VA that this means he was either listed on some sort of POW records or was identified by an eye witness in a POW camp and was killed or died in captivity. I have ordered a copy of his service record from the St. Louis records center and will update any info if I get any, keep your fingers crossed! I have attached the two pictures that I have of my uncle in service. These, a copy of Air News Yearbook 1942, his 1939 Elkin High School Diploma, are all that I have of him."

References
Missing Air Crew Report 6690 (MACR 6690)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William J. Sparks
FindAGrave - 1LT William J Sparks (tablets of the missing)

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

Tech Info
P-39

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

Map
Lat 3° 15'
Long 143° 20'

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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