Charles Minter, who served with my Dad and knew him well during WWII on the USS Belle Grove, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign, sadly passed away.

by | Dec 22, 2011

I feel very fortunate to have known Charles Minter and have become a member of the USS Belle Grove Association.  The following is my posting on the USS Belle Grove website.

Name: Steve Sparks
From: Depoe Bay, Oregon
Charlie called me a few weeks ago just as he was walking out of the house to see his physician. He was excited about getting my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, a signed copy of course. He also wanted to send his grandchildren copies of the book. I didn’t hear back so checked on the blog a week or so ago and noted he was in the hospital. I hated to check back in because my gut was telling me that he may not make it.

Hope he is with my Dad, Vernon H. Sparks, and all his shipmates, who served with him during the USS Belle Grove War Cruise of which is captured in my book. Charlie sent me an email sharing his experience with “Bosn Sparks,” which was very moving and caused me to cry to think about my Dad  along with all of his shipmates during this time when the USS Belle Grove spent 25 months at sea in seven campaigns, including Iwo Jima before receiving first liberty. The BG War Cruise map is on the cover of my book and exhibited inside along with a story by Cliff Viereck (edited version approved by Cliff), describing the Iwo Jima invasion.

My family will be forever thankful for Charlie Minter as the only surviving shipmate of Dad while writing my book. I was able to know Charlie following phone conversations and email. I felt close to him because he knew Dad and respected him so much during their time together in WWII..

God bless Charlie Minter.

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

ps please forward an address so I can send Charlie’s promised signed book from me. It can be passed along to family members to read and treasure for generations to come. Hardcover copies are also available on

Added: December 22, 2011

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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