Former 9th AF Commander Died

Retired Maj. Gen. Thomas Olsen, the former commander of 9th Air Force who oversaw air operations in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, died Jan. 5. He was 79, reported the Associated Press via Indiana’s The Republic newspaper. Olsen was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and entered Active Duty in 1957. A command pilot with more than 4,400 flying hours, Olsen flew the T-33, T-39, F-4, F-86, F-100, F-102, and F-111. During Vietnam, he flew 301 combat missions while assigned to the Phan Rang AB in South Vietnam. Olsen served in a variety of command positions both at the joint and Air Force level before retiring on Nov. 1, 1991. He was a recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as other military awards and decorations.