Sanders, Roger Moss (P2, C4, L6)
Captain Roger Moss Sanders, 31, of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, died on 14 September 1971 when the RF-101 “Voodoo” he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff. He was able to eject but did not survive his injuries from the incident. Sanders was taking off simultaneously with another aircraft as part of a night refueling exercise. The other aircraft landed safely in Indiana.
Sanders was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. His family moved to Frankfort, Kentucky where he graduated from Frankfort High School. Sanders attended the University of Kentucky graduating with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 1962. While at UK he spent two years in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). He also attended one year of law school. Sanders reported his civilian occupation as bridge design engineer and later as a manager with Bell Telephone Company.
Sanders enlisted in the Kentucky Air National Guard in January of 1964 as photo helper rising to the rank of Airman 3rd Class before he
accepted a commission as an officer in February 1965. Sanders served on federal active duty with his unit during the Pueblo Crisis from
January 1968 to June 1969, which included duty in Korea from January through April of 1969. At the time of his death he was a Captain and a pilot in the 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron.
His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Medal and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. Sanders is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.
Ejected Pilot Killed
Lexington Herald, 15 September 1971, p. 2.
Louisville, Ky. (AP)—A 31-year-old Kentucky Air National Guard pilot was killed Tuesday evening when his small F-101 reconnaissance jet crashed and burned on a runway just after takeoff from Standiford Field here.
The victim was identified as Capt. Roger Sanders of Louisville, the only occupant of the craft.
Air National Guard officials said Sanders ejected from the jet at a low altitude and was killed upon impact with the ground, just as his parachute opened. The jet crashed on a runway about 500-1,000 feet from the body, officials said.
An Air Force officer at the field said Sanders’ craft may have collided with another jet taking part in a routine mid-air refueling mission. The second craft landed safely at Grissom Air Base, Peru, Ind., where the pilot was being questioned.
Both jets were from the 123rd tactical reconnaissance group based at Standiford.
Airport officials said Sanders’ death marked the first fatal military aircraft crash at the field.