JACK ALAN SANDERS, JR.
on May 14, 1949
From TAMPA, FLORIDA
Casualty was on Apr. 11, 1968
in THUA THIEN, SOUTH VIETNAM
NON-HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
49E - - Line 26
Alan Sanders, Jr.
Jack Alan Sanders, Jr.
with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company. His name stands
proudly on the Mike 3/5 Wall of Honor.
Semper Fi, Brother Marine. We will never forget.
My fire team was
next to Jack's (about 10 meters away), he was showing some new guys
how to set up trip flares when one accidentally went off. Without
thinking, he threw his flak jacket on the flare to smother it and
the flare burnt through to the grenades in the jacket's pocket and
blew up. He was hurt real bad. A truck came down from Hai Van Pass
to evacuate him, he was still alive but things didn't look good for
him. Semper Fi~Art Diabo, M Co. 3/5
was with Jack at the time. He was doing exactly as Art Diabo described.
He had JUST come back from the rear - I think he had been in the hospital
for .......malaria maybe? Anyway, he was very short and near rotation.
But, as with all Marine grunts, he was in the bush until the actual
day arrived. He never made it. Nice guy. I can still see him. He had
no shirt on - just the flak jacket. When the flare lit up, he stripped
off the jacket and covered the flare. Within a few seconds - it blew.
was a few yards away and in some rocks and trees. It happened slow
at first, but then when it went off it was very quick. There were
two newbies with Jack. They were unhurt, but in shock at what had
happened. When I grabbed Jack they just sat there wide-eyed and confused.
else was wounded in the explosion as far as I remember. Jack told
everyone to "get down - fire in the hole". But it did not
explode right away, so they stayed down and Jack got up and leaned
toward the flaming jacket to toss it further away. He tugged and pushed
and then began to draw back to cover. I was beside Jack on his right
side. We were only a few yards apart. When the explosion came and
he was hurt, I grabbed him and pulled him down. Tried to stop some
of the bleeding. He was evacuated while still alive, but not really
"with it." I can still see him in my mind - before that
happened. Such a hell of a nice guy. Well liked by all of us. Good
Marine. Real good.~Rock Giambrocco, M Co. 3/5
Jack, You are Missed
You had just
returned from the hospital from a previous wound. Later on that same
day that you returned, April 11, 1968, right at dark, I heard an explosion.
Nobody knew what happened. We then found out that in your pocket you
set off a pencil flare by mistake, and it ignited a grenade at your
side. You were very well liked by your fellow Marines, and you are
missed by all.
Vietnam Buddy, Mike Co, 3/5, 1st MarDiv
We talked a lot
about Tampa, FL. About Davis Island and the State fairgrounds. I still
remember his wife's address. I loaned him my camera when he went on
R&R to Hawaii. I can still remember when he reported back into
the company. I was working in the mail room waiting for transfer to
the Caps Units. Funny how we can remember certain things. I know I
will remember Sanders always. Save a seat for me at the pinochol game.
~Michael Wears, "Turk"
remembrance of my brother, Jack
30 years have passed, and you are still with us every day. To describe
how much we all love and miss your presence is beyond words. You never
fail to amaze me, whenever times have been rough and our hearts have
been heavy with grief, you were there to guide us and give us strength
to go on. I was only 9 years old at the time you had to leave us,
and I never got to say how proud I was to have you as my big brother
and role model. This world would certainly be a better place with
you still in it. Watch over us all and guide us to live each day as
if it were our last. For all we have is today.
Erica Sanders Lima
I sure would be grateful to hear from anyone who served