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Normal Topic Wing Commander Ronald George 'Ron' Sparkes MBE DFC RAF (Retd) (Read 9,917 times)
Jan Cobb
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Wing Commander Ronald George 'Ron' Sparkes MBE DFC RAF (Retd)
26.01.2012 at 10:01:05
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I received this email from Geoff Bibby a day or so ago:
I have just had a letter from Eileen Sparkes to say her husband, Ron, died on the 2 January, probably in
Darlington Hospital. Ron was one of the Branch's old timers. During the war, when he was on 101 Squadron
(my old squadron, too), his Lancaster crashed and Ron was very badly burned. However, Macindoe, the well-
known NZ plastic surgeon, did such a wonderful job of reconstruction of Ron's face that the burns were
scarcely noticeable. I got to know him when he was the last CO of RAF Penang. I think he had the MBE
and retired as a Wing Commander.

When he retired to Newton Aycliffe he and his wife Eileen became extremely keen golfers but Ron's real
passion was Rugby Football, especially if the Welsh were playing!

There is also an announcement in The Telegraph.
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Mike Good
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Location: Sampford Peverell, Devon
Re: Wing Commander Ronald George 'Ron' Sparkes MBE DFC RAF (Retd)
Reply #1 - 29.01.2012 at 17:39:41
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Sad news.  I served under Ron Sparkes twice; the first time at No 1 Air Defence Centre, Western Hill, Penang (along with Geoff) just before we handed it over to the Royal Malaysian Air Force and then again on 1 ACC, based at Wattisham when we couldn't think of anywhere else nice to deploy it. He was a great CO and influenced me hugely, as did the other "Lancaster Survivors" who populated the branch at that time - Sam Small, John Whynacht and Geoff Bibby to name but three.  Their dramatically limited survival prospects during their formative years gave them a very healthy perspective on the unexpected life that followed.

I recall that on one Summer's afternoon over at Anglia Site, Wattisham, a group of us were messing about between sorties on the grass outside with a golf club and a few balls - one of which Des Allen propelled neatly through Ron Sparkes' office window.  After the inevitable standing-to-attention bit, Ron, knowing that MPBW would charge Des at least a month's worth of drinking vouchers to replace the window, bundled him into his staff car and drove him into Stowmarket where Des was obliged to purchase the replacement pane and a tub of putty.  Ron them stopped by his MQ, picked up the necessary tools and then instructed Des, and every other junior officer not gainfully employed on a radar scope at the time, in the noble art of window pane replacement.  He then supervised Des' first attempt.  I doubt that this example appears in any leadership manual - but perhaps it should. RIP Boss.
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