Colonel Richard Bartlett Olney, Sr. Ret. USAF, 98, of Pensacola, FL passed away on Sunday, May 29, 2016.

Col. Olney, Air Force command pilot with over 6000 flying hours: native of Charleston, SC; honor graduate, PMA, commissioned second lieutenant, U.S. Army before entering; The Citadel, Class of 1940; Air Command & Staff College, 1952; Master’s degree, Trinity College, Connecticut 1961; Awarded Hoyt Vandenburg Trophy “Distingushed service to USAF Aerospace Program”; and Legion of Merit.

Military service: Infantry, Coast Artillery, Military Police, Chemical Warfare, Corps Combat Observer, Air Force Combat Observer, Air Force Command Pilot, USAF Space Program. In WWII had 1180 combat zone flying hours in New Guinea, the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan.

After WWII, selected as Special Air Missions pilot to fly Washington VIP, dignitaries including ex-president Hoover, various Secretaries of State, Bob Hope’s USO Tour/Jayne Mansfield.

From 1949-59, chief pilot, Air Rescue Service. Conducted large-scale Air Rescue missions in Atlantic, Pacific Oceans, Gulf of Mexico and Far East. Led rescue mission into the Amazon jungles to find PanAm crash in 1952.

Developed Air Rescue kit for open rescues, kit later modified by NASA to recover astronauts returning to Earth.

Produced USAF’s Cannes award winning film on proposed Apollo mission to the moon. Retired 1968, Pensacola Beach, FL.

Post-retirement: Realtor, investment broker, developer. Built and operated motels in Florida, Alabama and Connecticut. Wing Commander, Order of Daedalians, the National Fraternity of Military Pilots. Founder of Shangri La Flight and past President of Fiesta of Five Flags, 1975.

Col. Olney is preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia Davis Olney and son, Richard B. Olney, Jr.

Col. Olney is survived by his wife, Cynthia Olney; daughters, Barabara Olney Carroll, Patricia Olney Bothwell (Sam) and Lisa Gibbs; granddaughters, Amanda Olney, DiDi Olney and Kathy Olney(Mike), Nicole Caroll Keating (John David), Jean Schmidt (Kevin) and Michael Caroll (Melissa); great grandson, Elery Ostertag and granddaughter, Amalie Ostertag.

Visitation will be held 5:00 to 7:00 pm, Thursday, June 2, 2016 at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel. Funeral Service will be held 3:00 pm, Friday, June 3, 2016 at Christ Church. Burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery.

Active Pallbearers will be: Elery Ostertag, John David Keating, Mike Carroll, Mike Bailey, Robin Davis and Rusty Wells.

Honorary Pallbearers will be: Order of Daedalians, Shangri La Flight.

Posted in: Pensacola News Journal

Posted on: 2016-06-02

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