James Sander was born on January 4, 1946, in San Diego, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on December 27, 1965, and completed basic training at NTC San Diego, California, in March 1966. Sander attended Electronics Technician school at Naval School Command Treasure Island, California, from March to September 1966, followed by service with Tactical Air Control Squadron 11 at Naval Base San Diego, California, from October to December 1966. His next assignment was with Tactical Air Control Squadron 12, also at San Diego, from December 1966 to February 1967, before attending Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado, California, from February to July 1967. Petty Officer Sander served with SEAL Team ONE at NAB Coronado from July 1967 to February 1968, and then deployed with his Team to South Vietnam from June 1968 until he died on active duty there of a brain aneurysm on November 22, 1968. James Sander was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.
His Navy Commendation Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For heroic service in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam from 7 June to 18 November 1968. Petty Officer SANDER was assigned to SEAL Team ONE, and served as rifleman and radioman for GOLF platoon. He participated in twenty-one reconnaissance patrols and riverine ambushes against the enemy, and was subjected to direct enemy fire on many occasions. On 16 July 1968, he sustained a painful scalp wound during an ambush operation against a Viet Cong village. Disregarding his wound, he refused medical evacuation and remained with the SEAL Team members until the operation was successfully concluded. Petty Officer SANDER's devotion to duty, courage under enemy fire, and sense of responsibility significantly contributed to the fight against communist aggression in the Republic of Vietnam, and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
the Combat "V" is authorized.