28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
Ben F. Sands
Ben Sands grew up on a farm just outside Madisonville, TN. He attended college at Hiwassee but left to join the US Army/Air Corps in 1946. His early service sent him to Japan during the Korean War. He was later assigned to Turner AFB in Albany, GA; Sidi Slimane in Morocco; Strategic Air Command in Omaha, NE and the Pentagon.
At Turner in 1950, he met Mary Lou Ryder, an OR nurse from Salem, MA. Despite a disastrous first date, they married in November 1953. After several relocations, they settled in Vienna, VA for the next 55 years before moving to the Falcons Landing Retirement Community.
Even without a bachelor’s degree, he was able to earn a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1962 and a doctorate in business management from The George Washington University in 1971. He joined the business school faculty at a fledgling George Mason University, aiding in its phenomenal growth, and was named a professor emeritus upon his retirement. He satisfied his boundless curiosity by volunteering with the Shepherd’s Center in Vienna, and its Adventures in Learning program, for which he was honored by the Vienna Town Council.
A man of incomparable good fortune, Ben gambled $7 in a raffle while stationed in Morocco and took home a new Austin Healey 100 M. It was recently refurbished for considerably more and proudly shown at area car shows. He was a talented singer, handyman, chef and lover of poetry and literature, especially Shakespeare, Wodehouse and Kipling. Ben was also active with the Retired Racehorse Project.
Ben F. Sands, Jr. “Headed West” on February 14, 2019.