Robin Olds
Robin Olds

Celebrity Profile

Name: Robin Olds
Occupation: War Hero
Gender: Male
Birth Day: July 14, 1922
Death Date: Jun 14, 2007 (age 84)
Age: Aged 84
Birth Place: Honolulu, United States
Zodiac Sign: Cancer

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Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
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Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
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Robin Olds

Robin Olds was born on July 14, 1922 in Honolulu, United States (84 years old). Robin Olds is a War Hero, zodiac sign: Cancer. Find out Robin Oldsnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.

Trivia

He served as Commandant of Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy.

Does Robin Olds Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Robin Olds died on Jun 14, 2007 (age 84).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020

Undisclosed

Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He flew with his father aboard an open cockpit biplane when he was just eight years old.

Biography Timeline

1922

Olds was born Robert Oldys Jr. in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 14, 1922, into an army family and spent much of his boyhood in Hampton, Virginia, where he attended elementary and high school. His father was Captain (later Major General) Robert Oldys (later Olds) (1896–1943), an instructor pilot in France during World War I, former aide to Brigadier General Billy Mitchell from 1922 to 1925, and a leading advocate of strategic bombing in the Air Corps. His mother, Eloise née Wichman Nott Olds, died when Robin was four and he was raised by his father. Olds was the eldest of four brothers, followed by Stevan (1924–1988), Sterling (1935–1995), and Frederick (1936).

1925

Growing up primarily at Langley Field, Virginia, Olds virtually made daily contact with the small group of officers who would lead the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II (one neighbor was Major Carl Spaatz, destined to become the first Chief of Staff of the USAF), and as a result was imbued with an unusually strong dedication to the air service, and conversely, with a low tolerance for officers who did not exhibit the same. On November 10, 1925, his father appeared as a witness on behalf of Billy Mitchell during Mitchell's court-martial in Washington, D.C.. He brought three-year-old Robin with him to court, dressed in an Air Service uniform, and posed with him for newspaper photographers before testifying.

1937

His father was made commander of the pioneer B-17 Flying Fortress 2nd Bombardment Group at Langley Field on March 1, 1937, and promoted to lieutenant colonel on March 7. Olds attended Hampton High School where he was elected president of his class three successive years, and played varsity high school football on a team that won the state championship of Virginia in 1937. Olds was aggressive, even mean, as a player, and received offers to attend Virginia Military Institute and Dartmouth College on football scholarships.

1939

Instead of entering college after graduating in 1939, Olds enrolled at Millard Preparatory School for West Point in Washington, D.C., a school established to prepare men for the entrance examinations to the military academies. When Germany invaded Poland, Olds attempted to join the Royal Canadian Air Force but was thwarted by his father's refusal to approve his enlistment papers. Olds completed Millard Prep and applied for admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point. After he received a conditional commitment for nomination from Pennsylvania Congressman J. Buell Snyder, Olds moved to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where he lived in the YMCA and supported himself working odd jobs. He passed the West Point entrance examination and was accepted into the Class of 1944 on June 1, 1940. He entered the academy a month later but after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Olds was sent to the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for flight training. This training ended a year later by Christmas 1942. Olds returned to West Point, hoping to graduate early and see action in the war.

As a plebe, Olds played football on a freshman squad that began the season with three losses but finished 3–4–1 while the varsity won only one game in its second consecutive losing season. As a result, the new academy superintendent, Maj. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger, replaced the head coach (an Army officer) with Earl "Red" Blaik, a 1920 graduate and head coach at Dartmouth, who had recruited Olds in 1939.

1941

Olds played on the varsity college football team in both 1941 and 1942. At 6 foot 2 inches in height (1.88m) and weighing 205 pounds (92 kg), he played tackle on both offense and defense, lettering both seasons. Army's record in 1941 was 5–3–1, with wins over The Citadel, VMI, Yale, Columbia, and West Virginia, a scoreless tie with Notre Dame, and losses to Harvard, Penn and Navy. The loss to the midshipmen was followed eight days later by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

1942

In 1942 he was named by Collier's Weekly as its "Lineman of the Year" and by Grantland Rice as "Player of the Year." Olds was also selected as an All-American as the cadets compiled a 6–3 record, beating Lafayette College, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, VMI, and Princeton, and falling to Notre Dame, Penn, and Navy. In the Army–Navy Game of 1942, which was played at Annapolis instead of Philadelphia, Olds had both upper front teeth knocked out when he received a forearm blow to the mouth while making a tackle. Olds returned to the game and reportedly was cheered by the Navy Third and Fourth Classes, which were assigned as the Army cheering section when wartime travel restrictions prevented the Corps of Cadets from attending. In 1985 Olds was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

By an act of Congress on October 1, 1942, during Olds' second class year, the academy began a three-year curriculum for the duration of the war for cadets entering after July 1939. Cadets applying to the Air Corps were classified as Air Cadets, with a modified curriculum that provided flying training but eliminated Military Topography and Graphics required for Ground Cadets. Olds' class was given an abridged second class course of study until January 19, 1943, when it began an abridged first class course.

Olds was briefly a stepbrother of author Gore Vidal after Olds' father married for the fourth time in June 1942, to Nina Gore Auchincloss. His father died of pneumonia on April 28, 1943, after hospitalization for constrictive pericarditis and Libman-Sacks endocarditis, at the age of 46, just prior to Olds' graduation from West Point.

1943

Olds developed ambivalent feelings about West Point, admiring its dedication to "Duty, Honor, Country", but disturbed by the tendency of many tactical officers to distort the purpose of its Honor Code. In March 1943, Olds was braced by an officer upon returning from leave in New York City, and compelled on penalty of an honor violation to admit he had consumed alcohol. The infraction reduced him in rank from cadet captain to cadet private, characterized by Olds in his memoirs as "only the second cadet in the history of West Point to earn that dubious honor."

Olds completed primary training in the summer of 1942 at the Spartan School of Aviation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and basic and advanced training at Stewart Field, New York. 208 cadets including Olds completed the course, while five classmates died in accidents. Olds received his pilot's wings personally from Gen. Henry H. Arnold on May 30, 1943, and graduated on June 1 as a member of the Class of June 1943, 194th in general merit of 514 graduates.

Olds was promoted to first lieutenant on December 1, 1943. In early 1944 he became part of the cadre assigned to build up the newly activated 434th Fighter Squadron and its parent 479th Fighter Group, based at Lomita, California. Olds logged 650 hours of flying time during training, including 250 hours in the P-38 Lightning, as the 479th built its proficiency as a combat group. It departed the Los Angeles area on April 15 for Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, and shipped aboard the USS Argentina for Europe on May 3. The 479th arrived in Scotland on May 14, 1944, and entrained for RAF Wattisham, England, where it arrived the next day.

1944

The 479th FG converted to the P-51 Mustang in mid-September. On his second transition flight, at the point of touchdown during landing, Olds learned a lesson in "false confidence" when the powerful torque of the single-engined fighter forced him to ground loop after the Mustang veered off the runway. Olds shot down an Fw 190 in his new Scat VI on October 6 during a savage battle near Berlin in which he was nearly shot down by his own wingman. He completed his first combat tour on November 9, 1944, accruing 270 hours of combat time and six kills.

1945

After returning to the United States for a two-month leave, Olds began a full second tour at Wattisham on January 15, 1945. He was assigned duties as operations officer of the 434th Fighter squadron. Promoted to major on February 9, 1945, Olds claimed his seventh victory southeast of Magdeburg, Germany the same day, downing another Bf 109. On February 14, he claimed three victories, two Bf 109s and an Fw 190, but one of the former was credited only as a "probable".

His final World War II aerial kill occurred on April 7, 1945, when Olds in Scat VI led the 479th Fighter Group on a mission escorting B-24s bombing an ammunition dump in Lüneburg, Germany. The engagement marked the only combat appearance of Sonderkommando Elbe, a German Air Force Squadron formed to ram Allied bombers. South of Bremen, Olds noticed contrails popping up above a bank of cirrus clouds, of aircraft flying above and to the left of the bombers. For five minutes these bogeys paralleled the bomber stream while the 479th held station. Turning to investigate, Olds saw pairs of Me 262s turn towards and dive on the Liberators. After damaging one of the jets in a chase meant to lure the fighter escort away from the bombers, the Mustangs returned to the bomber stream. Olds observed a Bf 109 of Sonderkommando Elbe attack the bombers and shoot down a B-24. Olds pursued the Bf 109 through the formation, and shot it down.

1946

Returning to the United States after the war, Olds was assigned at West Point as an assistant football coach for Red Blaik. Apparently resented by many on the staff for his rapid rise in rank and plethora of combat decorations, Olds transferred in February 1946 to the 412th Fighter Group at March Field, California, to fly the P-80 Shooting Star, which began a career-long professional struggle with superiors he viewed as more promotion- than warrior-minded.

In April 1946, he and Lieutenant Colonel John C. "Pappy" Herbst formed what he believed was the Air Force's first jet aerobatic demonstration team. In late May, the 412th was ordered to undertake Project Comet a nine-city transcontinental mass formation flight. Olds and Herbst performed a two-ship aerobatic routine that thrilled the crowds at every stop, the highlight being a three-day layover in Washington, D.C. In June, Olds was one of four pilots who participated in the first one-day, dawn-to-dusk, transcontinental round trip jet flight from March Field to Washington, D.C.

The jet demonstration performances with Herbst ended tragically on July 4, 1946, when Herbst crashed at the Del Mar Racetrack after his aircraft stalled during an encore of their routine finale in which the P-80s did a loop while configured to land. Later that same year Olds took second place in the Thompson Trophy Race (Jet Division) of the Cleveland National Air Races at Brook Park, Ohio, over the Labor Day weekend. In this first "closed course" jet race, six P-80s competed against each other on a three pylon course 30 miles in length.

In 1946, while based at March Field, Olds met Hollywood actress (and "pin-up girl") Ella Raines on a blind date in Palm Springs. They married in Beverly Hills on February 6, 1947, and had:

1948

Olds went to England under the U.S. Air Force/Royal Air Force Exchange Program in 1948. Flying the Gloster Meteor jet fighter, he commanded No. 1 Squadron at Royal Air Force Station Tangmere between October 20, 1948 and September 25, 1949, the first foreigner to command an RAF unit in peacetime. Following his exchange assignment, Olds returned to March AFB to become operations officer of the 94th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Fighter Group, flying F-86A Sabres, on November 15, 1949.

1951

Promoted to lieutenant colonel on February 20, 1951, and colonel April 15, 1953, while just thirty years of age and just short of ten years from his graduation from West Point, Olds served unenthusiastically in several staff assignments until returning to flying in 1955. At first on the command staff of the 86th Fighter-Interceptor Wing at Landstuhl Air Base, West Germany, Olds then commanded its Sabre-equipped 86th Fighter-Interceptor Group from October 8, 1955, to August 10, 1956. He then was made chief of the Weapons Proficiency Center at Wheelus Air Base, Libya, in charge of all fighter weapons training for the United States Air Forces Europe until July 1958.

1963

Olds had administrative and staff duty assignments at the Pentagon between 1958 and 1962 as the Deputy Chief, Air Defense Division, Headquarters USAF. In this assignment he prepared a number of papers, iconoclastic at the time, which soon became prophetic, including identifying the need for upgraded conventional munitions (foretelling the "bomb shortage" of the Vietnam War), and the lack of any serious tactical air training in conventional warfare. From November 1959 to March 1960, his section worked intensely to develop a program reducing the entire structure of the ADC with the purpose of generating $6.5 billion for classified funding to develop the SR-71 Blackbird. Following his Pentagon assignment, Olds attended the National War College in Washington D.C., graduating in 1963.

Olds next became commander of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Bentwaters, England, an F-101 Voodoo fighter-bomber wing, on September 8, 1963. The 81st TFW was a major combat unit in United States Air Forces Europe, having both a tactical nuclear and conventional bombing role supporting NATO. Olds commanded the wing until July 26, 1965. As his Deputy Commander of Operations Olds brought with him Colonel Daniel "Chappie" James Jr., whom he had met during his Pentagon assignment and who would go on to become the first African-American 4-star Air Force general. James and Olds worked closely together for a year as a command team and developed both a professional and social relationship which was later renewed in combat.

1966

In September 1966, Olds was tapped to command an F-4C Phantom wing in Southeast Asia. En route he arranged with the 4453rd Combat Crew Training Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, (where Col. James was now Deputy Commander of Operations) to be checked out in the Phantom, completing the 14-step syllabus in just five days. His instructor was Major William L. Kirk, the 4453rd CCTW's Standardization and Evaluation officer, who had been one of Olds' pilots at RAF Bentwaters, and who later commanded the United States Air Forces Europe as a full general. Kirk accompanied Olds for practice firing of AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on the Point Mugu missile range while Olds was en route to Travis Air Force Base for his charter flight overseas. Olds rewarded Kirk by granting him a transfer to his command in Thailand in March 1967.

On September 30, 1966, Olds took command of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, based at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base. A lack of aggressiveness and sense of purpose in the wing had led to the change in command (Olds' predecessor had flown only 12 missions during the 10 months the wing had been in combat). The 44-year-old colonel also set the tone for his command stint by immediately placing himself on the flight schedule as a rookie pilot under officers junior to himself, then challenging them to train him properly because he would soon be leading them.

In October 1966, strike force F-105 Thunderchiefs were equipped with QRC-160 radar jamming pods whose effectiveness virtually ended their losses to surface-to-air missiles. As a result, SAM attacks shifted to the Phantoms, which were unprotected because of a shortage of pods. To protect the F-4s, rules of engagement that allowed the MiGCAP to escort the strike force in and out of the target area were revised in December to restrict MiGCAP penetration to the edge of SAM coverage. MiG interceptions increased as a result, primarily by MiG-21s using high-speed hit-and-run tactics against bomb-laden F-105 formations, and although only two bombers had been lost, the threat to the force was perceived as serious.

1967

Olds' vice commander was Col. Vermont Garrison, an ace in both World War II and Korea, and in December Olds brought in Daniel James Jr. to replace an ineffective deputy commander for operations, creating arguably the strongest and most effective tactical command triumvirate of the Vietnam War. The Olds-James combination became popularly nicknamed "Blackman and Robin". James was named 8th TFW Vice Commander in June 1967, succeeding Garrison, who had completed his tour. Olds took to the air war over North Vietnam in an F-4C Phantom he nicknamed "Scat XXVII", in keeping with his previous combat aircraft that all carried the "Scat" name.

He was awarded a fourth Silver Star for leading a three-aircraft low-level bombing strike on March 30, 1967, and the Air Force Cross for an attack on the Paul Doumer Bridge in Hanoi on August 11, one of five awarded to Air Force pilots for that mission. He flew his final combat mission over North Vietnam on September 23, 1967.

After relinquishing command of the 8th TFW on September 23, 1967, Olds reported for duty to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in December 1967. He served as commandant of cadets for three years and sought to restore morale in the wake of a major cheating scandal. Olds was promoted to brigadier general on June 1, 1968, with seniority dating from May 28.

1968

In 1968, Olds received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.

1971

In February 1971 he began his last duty assignment as director of aerospace safety in the Office of the Inspector General, Headquarters USAF, and after December 1971 as part of the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center, a newly activated separate operating agency located at Norton Air Force Base, California. Olds oversaw the creation of policies, standards, and procedures for Air Force accident prevention programs, and dealt with work safety education, workplace accident investigation and analysis, and safety inspections.

1972

When Operation Linebacker began in May 1972, American fighter jets returned to the offense in the skies over North Vietnam for the first time in nearly four years. Navy and Marine Corps fighters, reaping the benefits of their TOPGUN program, immediately enjoyed considerable success. In contrast by June, as Olds had predicted, the Air Force's fighter community was struggling with a nearly 1:1 kill-loss ratio. To the new Inspector General, Lt Gen Ernest C. Hardin Jr., Olds offered to take a voluntary reduction in rank to colonel so he could return to operational command and straighten out the situation. Olds decided to leave the Air Force when the offer was refused (he was offered another inspection tour instead) and he retired on June 1, 1973.

1975

Most of their 29-year marriage, marked by frequent extended separations and difficult homecomings, was turbulent because of a clash of lifestyles, particularly her refusal to ever live in government housing on base. Robin Olds and Ella Raines separated in 1975 and divorced in 1976. Robin married Abigail Morgan Sellers Barnett in January 1978, and they divorced after fifteen years of marriage.

2001

Olds' fondness for alcohol was well known. John Darrell Sherwood, in his book Fast Movers: Jet Pilots and the Vietnam Experience, posits that Olds' heavy drinking hurt his post-Vietnam career. On July 12, 2001, Olds was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and resisting arrest near his home in Steamboat Springs. Olds, briefly hospitalized during the incident for facial cuts, pleaded guilty in return for charges of weaving and felony vehicular eluding being dropped. Olds was placed on one year probation, and ordered to pay almost $900 in fines and costs, attend an alcohol education course, and perform 72 hours of community service.

Days later, on July 21, 2001, Olds was enshrined at Dayton, Ohio, in the National Aviation Hall of Fame Class of 2001, along with test pilot Joe H. Engle, Marine Corps ace Marion E. Carl, and Albert Lee Ueltschi. He became the only person enshrined in both the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

2006

Operation Bolo, and P-38 dogfights Olds experienced were recreated using computer animation in the episode "Air Ambush", of The History Channel Dogfights series, first telecast on November 10, 2006. His fourth MiG kill in Vietnam was recreated in the season 2 episode "No Room For Error". Olds, then 84 years old, appeared as a commentator.

In his retirement at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Olds pursued his love of skiing and served on the city's planning commission. He was active in public speaking, making 21 events as late in his life as 2005 and 13 in 2006.

2007

In March 2007 Olds was hospitalized in Colorado for complications of Stage 4 prostate cancer. On the evening of June 14, 2007 he died from congestive heart failure in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a month before his 85th birthday. He was honored with a flyover and services at the United States Air Force Academy, where his ashes are housed, on June 30, 2007.

Family Life

Robin was married to actress Ella Raines for twenty-nine years.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Robin Olds is 100 years, 2 months and 23 days old. Robin Olds will celebrate 101st birthday on a Friday 14th of July 2023. Below we countdown to Robin Olds upcoming birthday.

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Recent Birthday Highlights

96th birthday - Saturday, July 14, 2018

AFN Kunsan

Happy 96th Birthday, Brig Gen Robin Olds! Your legacy and the mark you’ve left on the Wolf Pack lives strong! -Little Miss Susie

Robin Olds 96th birthday timeline

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