By Luis Martinez | Blogs.ABCNews.com
Among the nine fatalities in yesterday's deadly subway train collision in Washington D.C. was a retired Air Force general who headed the National Guard in the nation's capital and gave the order to scramble fighter jets during the 9-11 terror attack.
At a news conference at the crash site this afternoon, Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty confirmed that Maj. Gen. David F. Wherley Jr. was among those killed in the crash. Also killed in the crash was his wife, Ann. Both were 62 years of age.
Prior to becoming the head of the DC Army and Air National Guard Wherley commanded the 113th Fighter Wing, based at Andrews AFB in Maryland. That Air National Guard unit provides the planes and personnel that regularly fly combat missions protecting Washington.
It was this unit that scrambled jets over Washington during the 9-11 terror attacks and received orders to shoot down any suspicious aircraft that threatened the capital.
After commanding the 113th Fighter Wing, Wherley assumed command of the DC Army and Air National Guard in July, 2003. He retired from that post about a year ago. He had been promoted to the rank of Major General in October, 2005.
According to his biography, Wherley joined the Air Force in 1969 after completing ROTC training at Fordham University in New York. He ultimately logged 5,000 hours of flight time in various fighter aircraft.