William Sparling was one of four United States Coast Guard seamen to whom the Unites States Navy awarded a Silver Star for how bravely they commanded landing craft carrying US Marines during the invasion of the Pacific Ocean island of Tulagi, during World War 2. On December 2017 the Coast Guard announced the four men, Sparling, Dan Tarr, Glenn Harris and Harold Miller would be the namesakes for the 54th, 36th, 44th and 38th Sentinel class cutters.
- "Naval Operating Base “Cactus” and Coast Guard Operations in the Battle for Guadalcanal". https://media.defense.gov/2017/Jun/27/2001769187/-1/-1/0/GUADALCANAL10-2011.PDF. "The U.S. Navy awarded Silver Star Medals to Coast Guard Coxswains Glen Harris, Dan Tarr, William Sparling, and Harold Miller, who endured withering fire to land the marines' First Raider Battalion on the small island."
- "Coast Guard Aligns Names with Hull Numbers for its Sentinel-class FRCs". Seapower magazine (Washington DC). 2017-12-12. http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20171212-frc.html. Retrieved 2017-12-09. "The U.S. Coast Guard has announced the names and corresponding hull numbers for its next 20 Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs), each vessel being named for a deceased leader, trailblazer or hero of the Coast Guard and its predecessor services of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, the U.S. Lifesaving Service and the U.S. Lighthouse Service, according to a Dec. 12 Coast Guard release."