LTC Sherman Edward Flanagan, Jr hailed from Westminster Md and served with the 355TFS/37TFW. On this day he ejected from his F-100 aircraft over Laos and was recovered. He had minor injuries. However, on July 21, 1968, the news read ” A Super Sabre and its pilot was lost during a mission to destroy an anti-aircraft
Jack N. Sanders, Jr.
Jack Sanders was living in Denver, Colorado when WWII ended. He was about 10 years old when the barnstorming pilots who had flown in the war brought their roadshow to Denver’s old Stapleton Airport. His father took him out to the foothills overlooking the airport, where they sat on the grass to watch the show. And what a show it was! Mustangs, Warhawks, Corsairs, Thunderbolts! There were also a few bombers, but it was the fighters that stole the show and made a lasting impression on young Jack. Soon he was building and flying (and sometimes crashing!) Monogram SpeedyBuilt model aircraft. WWII fighter air battles hung from the ceiling in one corner of his bedroom, Korean Warfighters soon fought in another corner. Little did he dare to imagine back then that one day he would be one of the chosen few to “slip the surly bonds of earth” in fighters similar to those that hung from his ceiling.
Upon entering Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Jack signed up for AFROTC, later showed an aptitude for flying on the AFOQT, and passed the flight physical across the river at Scott AFB, IL He married his high school sweetheart, Elaine, before his senior year, and after graduation and commissioning as a 2Lt., they headed off to Webb AFB at Big Spring, Texas for pilot training and what was to become a 30-year USAF career with assignments in Arizona, South Carolina, Spain, Nevada, Vietnam, Louisiana, Virginia, New York, and Alaska.
Before going to Vietnam, he was selected to attend the USAF Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC). His was the last active duty F-100 FWIC class. While flying 211 combat missions with the 615th TFS Bobcats at Phan Rang AB, RVN, he also filled a staff position as the 35th TFW Weapons and Tactics Officer. Jack says, “The Hun always got me home, although I did get some nicks on a couple.”
When the F-100s were headed for Air National Guard units, Jack checked out in the A-7 Corsair II, then several years later, the A-10 Warthog. Of his USAF career, he says: “Elaine totaled up 19 moves in 30 years, with me gone for too many of them. We worked, flew, and partied with some of the greatest people on the planet. Almost 4,000 flying hours, nearly all of them in single-seat fighters, and my number of landings was equal to my takeoffs! It can’t get much better than that.”
Jack was recently honored with his induction into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame (AVHOF). The AVHOF recognizes and honors Arizona veterans who have made notable civic contributions at the local, state, or national level. Jack is in his 26th year of volunteering in construction with Habitat for Humanity Tucson, has been a volunteer at a local hospital for 16 years, and has served as an official at University of Arizona track meets for 15 years. He is also an assistant editor of the SSS magazine, The Intake.
Jack and Elaine are now enjoying retirement by splitting the year between Tucson, Arizona and their summer home on Table Rock Lake in the Missouri Ozarks, or as Jack calls it, “the Slozarks.” They enjoy traveling, their volunteer activities, and spending time with their two daughters, Christy and Tina, and their families. Jack and Elaine will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in September 2020.