"And then SPARKS flew", SPHS Fallen Warriors in Air Units
Following the release of Our Fallen Warriors Remembered, in 2016, research continued with new data sources becoming known. Additional information has been posted in “Postscript.”
Two significant data sources, one from the U.S. Army and the other from the U.S. Air Force eventually provided information and insight into the warriors that hadn’t been available at the time of their deaths. Specifically, much of it retrieved between 2016 and 2018 had been classified as Secret or Confidential until it was declassified long after the operational intelligence value had passed.
The Air Force was able to provide extensive information by way of Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR’s) and Unit History information which was very valuable. This level of specificity was unavailable from the other services. In perspective, it was not readily available to family members or the South Buffalo community at the time of occurrence and it is from this information that “And then SPARKS flew” happened.
Published in May 2019, this work provides an in-depth look at 70 of our former classmates who were assigned to Air Units in time of war; among the information contained is where they lived, operated from, how they lost their lives and where they rest. Sixty six from World War II and four from Vietnam. Candidly, some of the adjectives associated with our classmates and their actions, include harrowing, fearless, valiant and intrepid.
The question, “are there more we don’t know about” is often asked. We believe there are. New search engines and information sources will assist in answering this question.
Along with Our Fallen Warriors Remembered, And then SPARKS flew has been donated to the Grosvenor section of the Buffalo and Erie County Library downtown. Honoring our classmates’ service and remembering their sacrifice, they will live forever in the local history of Buffalo.
The book, 8 ½ x 11 and 273 pages is available for purchase at: https://www.rpsspublishing.com. It is well sourced and referenced. The book is $24.00. Both the author and the publisher, (a South Park High School “connected” business), have donated all proceeds to the SPHS Alumni Association.