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WASHINGTON (June 24) -- A former commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard -- who ordered jets over the Capitol amid the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks -- was among those killed in a transit train crash in Washington this week, authorities said Tuesday.
Retired Maj. Gen. David F. Wherley Jr. and his wife, Ann, both 62, were killed along with seven others Monday in the most deadly train crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
On the morning of the Sept. 11 attacks, Wherley, commander of the 113th Fighter Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, deployed pilots with orders from then-Vice President Dick Cheney to protect the White House and take out any aircraft that threatened the Capitol, according to the 9/11 Commission Report.
"They said challenge them, try to turn them away; if they don't turn away, use whatever force is necessary to keep them from hitting buildings downtown," Wherley told the Washington Post in a 2002 interview.
Wherley, a 40-year military veteran, served as the commanding general of the D.C. Guard from 2003 to 2008.