Kenneth Sparks Short Snorter
The Short Snorter Project
2nd Lt. Kenneth Sparks, a B-17 Flying Fortress
bombadier/navigator of the 547th Bomb
Squadron (Heavy),
384th Bomb Group, 8th Air
Force, was among the last to release a bomb
upon a German target on April 25, 1945.
Because of the smoke created by the bombs
dropped by the groups ahead, coupled with
fairly heavy cloud condition, the 384th
experienced difficulty in picking out the
objective,
the Skoda Armament Works, in
Pilsen, Czechoslovakia.

Kenneth (NMI) Sparks was 21 at the time, the
second son of Bonham J. Sparks, Sr., and
Alma H. (Maxey) Sparks of Victoria County,
Texas. He was assigned January 21, 1945,
and stationed at
Grafton Underwood, England
(Station 106). I recently visited with "Uncle
Ken" and would like to share his story....
Kenneth
Sparks
Charles
Vickers
Howard
Shields
Frank
Sayers
Emmett
Dupas
Lee
Bergner
Roland
Dube
John
Moxley
John
Whitesides
Kenneth Sparks graduated from Patti Welder High School in Victoria, Texas, in
1942. He then worked with his father at
Brown & Root building the Corpus
Christi Naval Air Station. Their crew received an Army-Navy Production Award
("E" Award) from the War Department. Kenneth was drafted in May of 1943 and
was ordered to report to
Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He had taken
the test to become an Air Corps Cadet and upon completion of Basic Training at
Shepard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas, entered the College Training Detachment at
the
Nebraska State Teachers College.
Out of state training locations and chronology:
CTD - Wayne, Nebraska - September 1943 - Pre-pre Flight Training
PFS - Santa Ana, California - January 1944 - Pre-Flight Bombardier Training*
FGS - Las Vegas, Nevada - March 1944 - Flex Gunnery School
ABS - Deming Field, New Mexico - July 1944 - Advanced Bombardier Training
(*At Santa Ana, Kenneth took the tests for bombardier, navigator, and pilot. His
first desire was to become a pilot but was advised that they were washing out
pilots and that he had a high probability of wash out so he chose to become a
bombardier.) After one last stint in El Paso, Texas, at Replacement Crew
Training,  he reported to Lincoln, Nebraska, for crew disbursement. From there
he went to Camp Miles Standish in Massachusetts and then to Boston where he
shipped out on the luxury liner
Ile De France for the trip to England and the War.
Kenneth
Sparks
Warren
Voelker
Harry
Youch
Whooping it up in Las Vegas at
the completion of Advanced
Bombardier Training
In England, Kenneth Sparks was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 1st Division, 41st Wing, 384th (H) Bomb Group, 547th (H)
Bomb Squadron. The 384th Bomb Group was at Station 106, Grafton-Underwood. From there, Kenneth flew 28 missions.
2nd LT
John W.
Hines
William
Hinshaw
1st LT
George W.
Cathey
2nd LT
Kenneth
Sparks
Cpl
John G. J.
Roy
S/Sgt
Alfred C.
Smith Jr.
Cpl
Ray E.
LaRue
Cpl
Frank M.
Kalan
Cpl
David
Duncan
Photograph of Kenneth Sparks' first crew.
384th Bomb Group. AAF Station 106. FZ 555 EJ.
Released from 154th Replacement Company, 129th Replacement Battalion.
Crew 37 (APO 16856 EJ 37)
B-17G SCREAMING EAGLE heading out on a bombing run. The "P in Triangle" was the 384th Bomb Group tail marking.
F/O
Morton
Hertz