Donald C. Black Jr.
Air Force Pilot
Donald C. Black Jr., 83, a retired Air Force colonel who flew some of the first B-29s during World War II, died of a heart attack Aug. 3 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville. He lived in Montgomery Village.
Col. Black was born in Detroit and graduated from Wayne State University in 1942. He also received a master of science degree in administration from George Washington University in 1973.
He began his Army Air Forces career in 1943 as a private but was quickly promoted to lieutenant as a flight engineer for the B-29 Superfortress, then a new plane. His squadron, part of the 20th Bomber Command, escorted some of the first B-29s from the United States to India. They were later flown from China in the bombing of Japan.
Col. Black's career in the Air Force included a tour during the Korean War and two assignments at the Pentagon in the 1960s and 1970s. He was part of the group responsible for the operational deployment of the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. From 1973 to 1977, based in Frankfurt, Germany, he served essentially as the Air Force's postmaster general in Europe and the Middle East.
He retired in 1978 as inspector general at Warner Robbins Air Force Base.
Col. Black's service awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.
During his Pentagon assignments, Col. Black lived in McLean and Vienna. He moved to Montgomery Village in 1978.
From 1981 to 1989, Col. Black was the general manager for maintenance and community management with the Montgomery Village Foundation.
During the past 15 years, he devoted himself to a variety of community service organizations, including the Montgomery Village Rotary Club, the Civil Air Patrol, Meals on Wheels and the Air Life Association, a group that flies needy patients and their families to hospitals better equipped to provide help.
Other than his family, Col. Black's passion was flying. He was a member of the Congressional Flying Club, operating out of the Montgomery County Airpark, and flew regularly until just before his death. He also was an instrument-rated mission pilot and check airman for the Civil Air Patrol.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Betty Black of Montgomery Village; two sons, Bruce Black of Montgomery Village and Michael Black of Seabrook; a brother; and a sister.
Martha Schuchart Sachs
Army Intelligence Officer
Martha Schuchart Sachs, 90, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served in military intelligence for 25 years, died July 31 of kidney failure at her home in Arlington.
She enlisted in the Women's Army Corps in 1942 and served at Arlington Hall in Arlington, the Army's headquarters for intelligence and cryptography during World War II. Immediately after the war, she was assigned to a unit in Japan, where she taught English to Japanese civilians. She also saw duty in the Philippines, Germany, Ethiopia, Massachusetts, Alabama and Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland.
Col. Sachs retired from the Army Security Agency, now called the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, in 1967.
She was born on a farm near Union, Mo., and graduated from what is now Southeast Missouri State University. She taught in one-room schoolhouses and in elementary schools in Missouri for 10 years before moving to Washington.
Following her retirement from the Army, she worked as a volunteer at the Arlington County courthouse and spent 16 years as a volunteer with Friends of the Arlington County Library. She also volunteered with the National Zoo. She was secretary of the Arlington Historical Society and a longtime docent at the society's museum. She was a member of Zonta International, a service club for women, and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and was president of the Inter-Service Club of Arlington.
Her husband of 34 years, retired Army Col. Abner Sachs, died in 2000.
Survivors include two sisters, Alice Schuchart Howard of Los Angeles and Stella Schuchart Foster of Arlington.