‘Sparks’ is a fixture on the Seaview, a gentle man by nature. He loves his
work with communications, always reading and keeping up with the newest and the
latest innovations for the boat and the Institute.
He came to the boat as so
many others, by way of a recommendation. Jiggs Starke’s son, Tom, had served
with Art in Pearl, and was amazed by the man’s intuitiveness with a ship’s
radio. He had told his father about him, and Stark had had Wilder brought into
the office of COMSUBPAC. Once established there, he revised and improved
communications to the point where Stark was singing the young officer’s praises
to all who would listen, a definite change of perspective for a man who usually
ate juniors for breakfast.
During this time, Wilder
also came to the notice of Harriman Nelson, thru Starke. When Nelson spoke to
Tom Starke, his determination to ‘get’ Wilder for the boat and Institute was
confirmed. It didn’t take the young officer long to decide that he
wanted to go with Nelson’s Folly as it was being called, and moved out of the
regular Navy and to the Institute with ease. He quickly set up land-based
communications for the organization, and as the boat was developed, played an
integral role in setting up the communications system on her.
From time to time, he was
not aboard when she shipped out, his duties at the Institute requiring he miss
an occasional mission. However when he was aboard, anything that went wrong, he
would manage to repair or rig, and get the system safely running when it was
‘Sparks’ is not married,
though he does not lack for female companionship. He is waiting for the ‘right
girl’ to come along, and when she does, he says he will marry her before she can
change her mind!