Retired Dec. 31, 1964. Died Dec. 6, 1973.
Brigadier General Olbert F. Lassiter, chief of the U.S. Air Force Command Post, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, was assigned to his present duties in August 1963. A command pilot, he started his military career in the Florida National Guard while an engineering student at the University of Florida. An avid physical fitness student - he won the national Golden Gloves title as a lightweight and welterweight.
Before graduation with an engineering degree, he spent two years in the Florida National Guard and two years as a radio operator in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon graduation, General Lassiter entered the aviation cadet program. He won his wings and was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1940.
His first solo flight, however, was in Miami, Fla., in 1935. At the age of 15 he flew a small Aeronca airplane to log his first solo. During World War II he flew 36 combat missions in P-38 and B-25 pursuit planes and 29 combat missions in B-29 bombers.
After the war, he did stunt flying in a P-38 in the Hollywood movie "A Guy Named Joe," starring Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunn. Later he flew in scenes for the movie "Women Courageous," and in 1952 he was technical adviser for Paramount Studios' production "Strategic Air Command," starring James Stewart. The two men later worked together on "Cowboy 57," when General Lassiter was a B-52 wing commander at Westover Air Force Base, Mass.
In 1947 General Lassiter flew the B-29 "Pacusan Dreamboat" for the world's distance record and the world's speed record for 5,000 kilometers and 10,000 kilometers. In addition, he broke the U.S. transcontinental record in 1948.
The world's distance record, set 1-2 Aug. 1947, was 9,002 miles without refueling, and stood until Dec. 15, 1960, when it was broken by a SAC B-52G which flew 10,000 miles without refueling. However, the record still stands for the propeller-type aircraft.
General Lassiter was test pilot and project officer for another record flight, the around-the-world, non-stop flight of a B-50 bomber nicknamed "Lucky Lady." In 1950 he did much of the test flying on the new B-47 Stratojet bomber. He later served as SAC project officer on other test programs at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. After commanding the 55th Reconnaissance Wing at Forbes Air Force Base, Kan., General Lassiter became the first SAC commander of Thule Air Force Base, Greenland.
His record of having flown more than 300 types of aircraft includes rocket, jet and turbo-prop experimental planes. He completed B-52 training at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., in 1958, and was commander of the 99th Bombardment Wing (B-52) at Westover Air Force Base, Mass. Prior to his current assignment, General Lassiter was commander of the 801st Air Division, Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio.