Robin Olds: Introduction (01:59)
Olds attended West Point and made the All-American football team. He was a "natural pilot" who flew well over 100 combat missions, scored several kills in two wars, and became commandant of the Air Force Academy.
Olds' Early Years (02:47)
Olds was born in 1922. He was heavily influenced by his father Gen. Robert Olds and military aviation. He recalls listening to airplanes and watching pilots as a youth. Olds tried to enlist in the RAF at the age of 17 but was denied.
Early Military Education (03:42)
Olds attended West Point, made the All-American football team, and underwent flight training; his father died two months before he graduated. Olds learned to fly P-38s and was anxious to join the war.
Fighter Ace (05:44)
Olds, part of the 479th Fighter Group, recalls his first mission and creating a combat scenario. He scored two kills during his first air-to-air engagement and 24.5 by war's end. He recalls advice from Carl "Tooey" Spaatz.
Post-War Assignments (02:41)
Olds coached football at West Point before transferring to California to fly the P-80 Shooting Star. He helped create the first jet aerobatic team and recalls the crash of Pappy Herbst. In 1947, Congress made the Air Force a separate service branch.
Olds' Desire for Combat (02:16)
Olds married and revamped gunnery training; he did not fly combat in the Korean War. He was assigned to the Pentagon and devised a way to fly combat in Vietnam.
Later Military Career (03:33)
Olds commanded the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing; he and Daniel "Chappie" James shot down the highest number of MiGs in one day. Olds became commandant at the Air Force Academy.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Robin Olds (23:14)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Robin Olds
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