Felix L. Sparksfelix l. sparks readiness center, felix l. sparks
Brigadier General Felix Laurence Sparks August 2, 1917 — September 25, 2007 was an United States Army officer who, during World War II, commanded the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, one of the first Allied forces to enter Dachau concentration camp and liberate its prisoners He later served on the Colorado Supreme Court
- 1 Early life
- 2 World War II
- 3 Post-war years
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Born in San Antonio, Texas, on August 2, 1917, Sparks grew up in Miami, Arizona He was the oldest of five children; his father worked for a copper mining company until it was closed in 1931 The Great Depression had begun In 1933, his parents had to send him to an uncle in Arizona to earn his living there In 1935, after unsuccessfully seeking jobs in the shipyards of Corpus Christi, Texas and San Francisco, he enlisted in the United States Army
World War II
After training at Fort Sill, Colonel Charles M Ankorn who had fought in Flanders during World War I appointed Sparks to be his adjutant in 1941 In June 1942, Sparks married One year later, the USS Charles Carroll brought him to Oran, a harbour in Algeria In July, he took part in Operation Husky Later, he was the only survivor of his unit in the Battle of Anzio He took part in Operation Dragoon, which liberated southern France and advanced very quickly He also took part in the Battle of the Bulge and in the Battle of Aschaffenburg In a ten-year army career, Sparks rose to the rank of Brigadier General
Upon returning to civilian life, Sparks attended the University of Colorado Law School, graduating in 1947 After opening a law practice in Delta, Colorado, he was elected district attorney there, running as the Democratic Party candidate Following his reelection loss in 1952, Governor Ed Johnson appointed Sparks to fill an unexpired term on the Colorado Supreme Court At the end of that term, he returned to his law practice in Delta He was also in the Colorado Army National Guard, notably during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and, between 1968 and 1979, he served as its commander, retiring with the rank of brigadier general
Eight weeks past his 90th birthday, Sparks died in Colorado from complications due to pneumonia
- Dachau liberation reprisals
- Beuchner, Emajean Jordan 1991 Sparks Metairie, LA: Thunderbird Press, Inc
- Alex Kershaw 2012 "The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau" New York, NY: Crown Publishers
- McClearn, William C "An Oral History: Felix L Sparks", The Colorado Lawyer, October 1998
- "DACHAU AND ITS LIBERATION: Personal account by Felix L Sparks Brigadier General, AUS Retired
- Sheeler, Jim "One Last Honor", Rocky Mountain News, March 10, 2007
- Clips from the 1990 documentary "The Liberation of KZ Dachau"; includes interview with Felix Sparks
- Farragher, Thomas "Vengeance at Dachau", Boston Globe, July 2, 2001
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