Born on Chicago's East side in 1920 Alexander Sandoval Komansky grew up in the hey-day aftermath of the bootleg wars of the roaring twenties. His father was a truck driver and worked hauling beer and whiskey for the Chicago Bosses. His mother worked as a records keeper for one of the biggest book-makers in Chicago. With this lifestyle in Sandy's upbringing he became a young man with the skills of survival and a mouth to match. Always willing to settle and argument with his fist and ask questions later; maybe!

In January 1942 his half-brother joined the Army and Sandy followed him in February. Sandy had learned a trade, of sorts, as a teenager; he worked on the trucks his father had used to haul illegal goods around Chicago. So when Sandy was evaluated by the Army they found out that he possessed a brilliant mind for mechanics. With the Army Air Corp forming up, Sandy was detailed to Langley Field and aircraft maintenance repair school.

The school was 12 weeks long and Sandy began to see a purpose to his life and enjoyed learning every area of mechanics on an airplane. Many times he was counseled by the officers who were in charge of the school for Sandy to apply for Officer Candidate School, but Sandy was reluctant to follow those suggestions. Sandy was steeped in blue collar work, and felt he belong in the working man's ranks. The officers were too far in the clouds and had nothing in common with a man like Sandy.

Sandy was transferred to Alabama and worked on trainer aircraft and then the B-17. He loved the B-17 Flying Fortress; the plane was a mechanical genesis, as if the plane was a person and could walk and talk. After only three months in the B-17 program he became a flight crew engineer. This meant Sandy knew ever nut, bolt and wire on the entire B-17 aircraft. He began flying with the flight crews on the training missions. His job scope was to provide repair assistance while in the air when the plane did not function properly, and to the ensure the aircraft was ready for take off he would except the airplane from the ground crew maintenance teams and be responsible for the aircraft until they landed and turned it back over to ground maintenance. Two officers and seven crewmen relied on him; he was just as important as the pilot.

As Sandy's training and experience grew, he also attended gunnery school. Aircraft flight engineers in combat were also gunners. His vision was 20/10 in both eyes; one Marine instructor was heard to say "Komanski could shoot the fly off an apple with a 50 caliber machine gun". The instructors at Gunnery School posted Sandy's shooting record in the entrance way and challenged all new students to: "shoot to beat this record". No students ever did!

Sandy flew 22 missions with the 918th from England and volunteered to fly six missions from Africa to Europe. While in Africa in 1943 he was asked by Lt. Walter Stewart the pilot, to be the flight engineer on his ship Utah Man a B-24 Liberator. The Utah Man had been training for low level flying for the upcoming Operation Tidal Wave mission, the first raid to bomb the oil fields of Ploiesti, Romania. Utah Man would survive the raid leaving 50 aircraft lost and 600 crewman dead or captured, this heroic mission would be Technical Sergeant Komansky's last wartime engagement at the age of 23. He returned stateside that Christmas and sat out the remainder of the war training young recruits at Moffett Field California. He would marry and begin raising two boys.

After the war Sandy took a commission and became a maintenance officer in the newly formed United States Air Force. In 1953 he transferred to the reserves. Boeing aircraft was developing the new 707 passenger jet; Sandy hired on with Boeing in Seattle and soon became a ground floor maintenance engineer in the development of the 707 and the military KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. Sandy after several years of night school earned a degree in aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington. In the decades ahead he would be in the middle of the 727, 737 aircraft projects and be one of the many flight engineers on the 747 project throughout the 1960's. In 1983 Sandy retired from Boeing with 30 years. He also retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserves with the rank of Colonel. On through the 1980's he worked as and aviation consultant with several law firms in the Seattle area.