Former head of 9th Air Force Olsen dies

January 7, 2014 

Olsen

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) – The former head of the Ninth Air Force who oversaw allied air operations in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War has died.

Retired Maj. Gen. Thomas Olsen was 79 when he died Sunday.

Bobby McCreight of Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home in Sumter says services are Friday at 2 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church in Sumter, followed by burial at Sumter Cemetery with full military honors.

Olsen joined the Air Force in 1957 after graduating from Texas A&M University. He was based at Shaw Air Force Base outside Sumter twice and retired in 1991 after his service in the Gulf War.

Olsen also led the Sumter Base Defense Committee, which supported Shaw during the Pentagon's moves to consolidate and close military bases across the country.

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