Bob Sparks sitting on the PT-76
It's been a few years since I visited your site and contacted you in Jun 2002 about my involvement in The Battle of LZ Crystal flying as a scout pilot with H/10 CAV. When I was shot down and wounded on 5 Jun 72, I ended up at the EVAC hospital at Pleiku. One day shortly thereafter, a loach came flying in and landed on the helipad outside the hospital. They offloaded a wounded soldier, Bob Sparks, who had his stomach pretty much blown apart by some sort of booby trap. The docs at the ER patched him up and we both were further evacuated to USAF hospital at Clark AFB in the Philippines. I have the letter order dated 18 Jun 72 in my hand listing me and Sparks, Robert C., CPT, XXX-42-2516, MACV TM #21 moving us in patient status from the 67th EVAC hospital to USAFH Clark.
I presume this is the same Bob Sparks sitting on the PT-76 turret with Mark Truhan in your images of Kontum. In any event, after we had been hospitalized at Clark for a week or so, some five us WIA's had a notion to take a 3-hour pass and go outside the Clark gate to Angeles City for some local fare. Sparks, with his belly sewed up like a quilted blanket, decided he wanted to dance. The rest of us watched in amazement as this wounded Ranger cut a rug. After some food and drink were consumed, some local terrorist group tossed a molotov cocktail over the wall into the outdoor courtyard of this restaurant. After all the excitement, we decided to “didi mau” back to the hospital. Subsequently, my leg wound developed staph infection and I spent 2+ months in isolation. Never knew what happened to Bob Sparks, but I guess he would have been evacuated stateside.
Just thought you might be interested in this sidebar. If you have contact with Bob Sparks please pass this along to either him or his friend Mark Truhan.
H/10 CAV, 1972
Frank Beall <email@example.com>
Indian Harbour Beach , Florida USA - Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 21:25:10 (PST)