Retired Aug. 1, 1968. Died May 26, 1993.
Maj. Gen. Harry James Sands Jr. is commandant of the Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In this position, he is responsible for planning, conducting and evaluating the regular and correspondence courses of the intermediate professional military school of the U.S. Air Force.
General Sands was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1915. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1938 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a reserve commission from the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
He began his pilot training in June 1939, and received his wings the following March at Kelly Field, Texas. Following assignments in Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina, he was assigned in 1942 to activate and command the 403rd Troop Carrier Group which went to the South Pacific in June 1943. General Sands later became deputy commander of the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Operation as an additional duty.
He returned to the United States in September 1945 and was assigned to the Engineering Division of Air Materiel Command at Wright Field, Ohio. He worked in the pilotless aircraft branch during the period which marked the start of the missile development program in the Air Force. In 1950, he became assistant chief of development for Aircraft and Guided Missiles Section of the Air Research and Development Command at Baltimore, Md. He was transferred in 1953 to the Air Force Missile Test Center at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., as deputy for operations. This assignment was interrupted briefly early in 1956 when he attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. He returned to the Missile Test Center in May of that year as deputy commander of the Test Command Section.
The general attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C., from August 1957 to July 1958. This was followed by a three year assignment to Germany where he commanded the 38th Tactical Missile Wing at Hahn and Sembach air bases.
He returned to Patrick Air Force Base in July 1961 as vice commander of the Air Force Missile Test Center (now the Air Force Eastern Test Range). He was named commander of the center in January 1964. In July of that year, General Sands was transferred to Norton Air Force Base, Calif., where he became commander of the Ballistic Systems Division of Air Force Systems Command.
He went to Korea on temporary duty from October 1965 to May 1966 as senior member of the United Nations Command, Military Armistice Commission. When he returned to the United States, he reassumed command of the Ballistic Systems Division.
He was assigned to Air University as the commandant of the Air Command and Staff College on Aug. 1, 1966.
A command pilot, General Sands' decorations include the Air Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal.