The living legend just filed his flight plan to Valhalla. Requiescat in pace.
Here’s his AF biography. For those not familiar, Brig Gen Robin Olds (ret), as one of my squadron commanders said, was a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot. He was a triple ace, and he maintained a presence around the community.
I first met him while I was in Texas during Intro to Fighter Fundamentals. He was our guest speaker for a dining out. He made it a point to talk to all of us students either one- or two-on-one. He explained to co-student Andy and I the importance of studying adversary aircraft. He illustrated his example with his WWII experience, when he and his fellow pilots studied the Messerschmit Bf109 manuals. He said they’d studied the German fighter enough that they would be able to fly one themselves. As a matter of fact, their plan if they were shot down in Europe was to sneak onto a German base, steal a BF109, and fly it back to England!
Gen Olds was probably most famous for Operation BOLO, when his 8 TFW managed to make the North Vietnamese Air Force believe his air-to-air loaded F-4s were bomb-laden, sitting duck F-105s. The result was a 7-to-0 victory for the USAF.
He kept up a very active lifestyle until just recently. Although he lived in Colorado, I met him twice in 1999, once in Texas and once in Arizona. In 2003 at age 82, he visited us in Korea [I got quoted in that article, read with caution! — ed.]. He has appeared in Dogfights on the History Channel, and was featured in the Pacific Aviation Museum’s introductory movie.
Goodbye, then, to one of the Greatest Generations’ greatests.
4 Jul 2007 Update: Here’s an article about the funeral.