What is the correct procedure for downloading a  spark 1.2.X release for use with hadoop2.4?  

The existing download page has a link for hadoop 2.4+. However when using that with hadoop 2.4 an exception is thrown NoSuchMethodError for Statistics.getThreadStatistics.

Upon brief investigation:   The SparkHadoopUtil class invokes the hadoop FileSystem.Statistics.getThreadStatistics which exists in  hadoop 2.5+