World War II Vet Memorialized 57 Years Later

In a special ceremony at Longviews Judson cemetery, a marine was laid to rest 57 years after he was killed in action in World War II. At 21, Corporal David Edward Sparks of Longview was already a tough veteran of 9 campaigns in the Pacific. including savage battles in Borneo, the Philippines and Iwo Jima.

On April 12th 1945, Sparks was on board the USS Tennessee, a battleship bound for Okinawa. The ship was hit by a kamikaze attack and sparks along with 17 others was killed in action.

Sparks brother James was in the same task force on another ship and saw the Tennessee get hit.  He knew that the plane had crashed into where David was stationed.

The marine was buried at sea, but no stateside service was ever held until Saturday.  His family decided to honor his memory with a proper marine funeral.  Sparks marine uniform, lost for over half a century, was returned to the family by a fellow marine who had kept it all these years.

Dozens of friends and family came, along with a marine honor guard and a lone piper in one last way to say goodbye.