World War II Service

During World War II, Judge Sanders served in the United States Navy as a Fighter Director Officer aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. San Jacento County with the VT 51 Squadron.

While assigned to battle groups in both the 5thand 7th Fleet in the Pacific under the overall command of Admirals William F. “Bull” Halsey and Raymond A. Spruence, his ship came under direct Kamikaze attack by Japanese suicide aircraft on numerous occasions.

Cliff was awarded seven battle stars for his service in combat. His ship compiled a unique, impressive war service record by having fought in more battles and steamed more miles during the last year of the war than any other aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy and was one of the lead elements in hunting down and sinking the Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever built.

A Squadron VT 51 member of particular interest is H. W. Bush — later known as Herbert Walker Bush, 41st president of the United States of America