Mack Eugene Sanders was the son of Thurrell Clarke Sanders and Katherine May Kidd. He was the brother of Martha E. Sanders, Thurrell C. Sanders, A.L. Sanders and Charles K. Sanders. He was a graduate of Knoxville High School.

He married Anna Wade in the Baptist Church at El Centro, Texas on February 27, 1944, three days before he was killed. They kept it a secret because Lt. Sanders planned to get leave to come home before sailing for overseas, and he wanted to present his bride to his parents as a surprise. It was a year ago in Dallas, Texas, that Lt. Sanders met Miss Wade. It was love at first sight. The Marine was taking primary flight training at Dallas, and Miss Wade was visiting relatives who own a ranch near Dallas. They met at a dinner party, and during that brief time romance was born. Miss Wade completed her visit, and Lt. Sander completed his primary flight training, and was sent to Pensacola, Fa., where he graduated. Subsequently he was stationed at East Coast bases, and then was transferred to El Centro. During the year they were separated, Lt. Sanders and Miss Wade corresponded, and the romance grew. Soon after he was transferred to El Centro, fate – which was to deal them such a cruel blow later – proved kind and brought them together again. Miss Wade worked for Fox West Coast Corp. and she was sent to El Centro as manager of a theater there. She arrived on Jan. 8, and Jan. 12 she promised to become Mrs. Sanders. Their engagement was announced at a party at the Officers Club, and their marriage followed Feb. 27.

He Died in Riverside, California
Buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville, TN

“My 1st cousin Mack Eugene Sanders, age 19, died in a flight training accident on March 1, 1944, in a Marine F4U Corsair just prior to his being scheduled to go to the Pacific.”
-Submitted by John Freels

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, 4 March 1944
The War Department has notified Mr. and Mrs. Thurrell C. Sanders, 529 Cedar Avenue, Lincoln Park, that their son, Second Lt. Mack Eugene Sanders, U.S. Marine flier, has been killed in a plane crash at El Centro, Cal. The message did not give details of the crash. Lt. Sanders, who was 19, was a carrier pilot. He entered the service within a few weeks after graduating from Knoxville High School and was sworn in July 5, 1942. He took training at Clarksville, Tenn., Athens, Ga., and Pensacola, Fla. He was home on leave last November. Lt. Sanders’ father is chief clerk at the Southern Railway offices on South Gay Street. In addition to the parents he leaves three brothers, Thurrell Clark Sanders Jr., Charles Sanders and A.L. Sanders and a sister, Miss Martha Sanders, all of Knoxville.

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Date of birth:
  • 10 May 1924
  • Date of death: 1 March 1944
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville
  • Service Branch: Marine Corps
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XV, Top Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Mack E. Sanders

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