Major General, United States Air Force
of the United States Air Force
MAJOR GENERAL LUCIUS THEUS
Major General Lucius Theus was director of accounting and finance, Office of the Comptroller of the Air Force, and commander, Air Force Accounting and Finance Center, Denver, Colorado. In this position, he was responsible for operation of the worldwide Air Force accounting and finance network. The Air Force Accounting and Finance Center provides centralized accounting for all Air Force appropriated funds; pay of all Air Force military personnel, active, Reserve and retired; and other selected accounting and disbursing services which can be most effectively performed centrally.
General Theus was born in Madison County, Tennessee, in 1922, and graduated from Community High School in Blue Island, Illinois. He has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland, 1956, a master's degree in business administration from The George Washington University, 1957, and is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program, Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, 1969. During his Air Force career, General Theus attended the Statistical Control Officers School at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado, in 1948, and the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1960. He was an honor graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces correspondence course in 1964 and in 1966 he graduated with distinction from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
During World War II, General Theus entered the Army Air Corps as a private in December 1942. After basic training, he attended the Army Administration School at Atlanta University. For the remainder of World War II, he served as an administrative clerk, chief clerk, and first sergeant of preaviation cadet and basic training squadrons at Keesler Field, Mississippi.
He then entered Officer Candidate School, graduating second in his class with a commission as Second Lieutenant in January 1946. Following a one-year tour of duty as squadron adjutant at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, General Theus went to Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, as base statistical control officer. In August 1949 he was transferred to Erding Air Depot, Germany, where he served as the analysis and presentation officer, and later commander of the Statistical Control Flight and depot statistical control officer.
General Theus was assigned in August 1952 to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Comptroller, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he was chief of the Materiel Logistics Statistics Branch.
In October 1957 General Theus was assigned to Headquarters Central Air Materiel Forces Europe, Chateauroux Air Base, France, as statistica1 services staff officer. He was subsequently appointed technical statistical adviser to the comptroller, Headquarters Air Materiel Forces, Europe.
In January 1959 General Theus was assigned duty as chief of Management Services Office in the Eastern Air Logistics Office, Athens, Greece. In February 1961 he was appointed chief of management analysis, Headquarters Spokane Air Defense Sector, Larson Air Force Base, Wash. In December 1962 General Theus was assigned as base comptroller at Kingsley Field, Oregon.
His next assignment was as base comptroller of Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. For more than five months of this assignment, he also was acting deputy base commander of Cam Ranh Bay Air Base.
Upon his return to the United States in July 1967, General Theus was reassigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Office of the Comptroller of the Air Force, as a data automation staff officer, in the Directorate of Data Automation. He served initially as chief, Technology and Standards Branch; then chief, Plans, Policy and Technology Division; and later chief, Program Management Division.
During that assignment, General Theus also performed additional duty as chairman of the Inter-Service Task Force on Education in Race Relations, Office of the Secretary of Defense. The recommendations of the task force led to establishment of the Defense Race Relations Institute and the Department of Defense-wide education program in race relations. In 1968 he attended the Department of Defense Computer Institute.
In July 1971 General Theus was assigned to the position of director of management analysis, Office of the Comptroller of the Air Force. In June 1972 he was appointed special assistant for social actions, Directorate of Personnel Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
On June 10, 1974, he was appointed director of accounting and finance, Office of the Comptroller of the Air Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and commander of the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center, Denver, Colorado.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal.
General Theus' hometown is Robbins, Illinois.
General Theus was promoted to the grade of
Major General effective May 1, 1975, with date of rank July 1.
During a distinguished military career, he was a training officer with America’s famed Tuskegee Airmen and a base commander at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam and held several top administrative posts at the Pentagon. He also became one of the first African-American officers to be appointed general officer in the Air Force.
He died Monday at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. The cause of death was not disclosed. He was 85 and lived in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
“He had all the attributes of a good leader, but behind the stern exterior was a warm and kind-hearted individual,” said Ted Talbert, a local TV producer and writer who produced “An Eagle Should Fly,” an award-winning documentary about the Tuskegee Airmen.
Major General Theus began his military career shortly after his marriage to Gladys Davis in 1942. After enlisting in the Army Air Forces during World War II, he served as a private and advanced rapidly through military ranks, retiring in 1978.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum at Historic Ft. Wayne in Detroit. Born in Madison County, Tenn., he earned a degree from the University of Maryland in 1956 and a master’s in business administration a year later from George Washington University. He is survived by his wife.
Theus’ burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Posted: 24 October 2007