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Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds Paperback – May 10, 2011
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“A gripping narrative...Compelling reading, likely to become a classic.” ―Booklist
“Robin Olds is probably the greatest aerial warrior America ever produced. His autobiography tells it like it was...and provides written proof why the people who served with him made him a legend. This book will be an instant classic.” ―Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassin
“One man's account of war and, in its way, a tribute to a vanished breed of men.” ―The Wall Street Journal
“Excellent...at times, his poetic descriptions reveal a humanity rarely exhibited in public by this swashbuckling, handlebar-mustachioed giant of air power.” ―Aviation Weekly
About the Author
Robin Olds (1922-2007) was a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. A triple ace, he achieved a combined total of 16 victories in the Second World War and the Vietnam War. Born into an army family in Honolulu and raised in Virginia, he was educated at West Point, where he was an All American football player. He fought in Europe during World War II, and was regarded as the best wing commander in the Vietnam War. He was promoted to brigadier general after Vietnam, and also served as Commandant of Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Christina Olds is the daughter of Robin Olds. She holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Vassar.
Ed Rasimus is a retired USAF fighter pilot whose books on the Vietnam air war include When Thunder Rolled and Palace Cobra.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins right where you'd expect a fighter pilot to begin--in the air, in combat ("We had been taking the war to Hitler...")--but then settles back to develop Olds' life story, starting from the beginning. His mother died when he was four, and he grew up the son of an Army officer. (There was no Air Force at that time.) The reader learns about his interest in football (6' 2", captain of his high school team, later played for West Point--including once in front of 100,000 fans at an Army - Navy game, back when that game was a big event to all sports fans).
The heart of this book, like the main theme in his life, is flying, especially in conflict. Olds flew P-38s and later transitioned to the marvelous P-51 (with the Merlin engine) during World War II. On his second P-51 training flight he almost crashed the aircraft trying to land (they didn't call it the Mustang for nothing).Read more ›
The efforts of Robin's daughter Christina also cannot be overstated.Read more ›
What a life! Gen Olds' life could fill 10 other fighter pilots' .....from growing up the son of a pioneer in US military aviation and being surrounded by the likes of Spaatz, Rickenbacker, Arnold, Turner, Mitchell ect. What role models to mold a young fighter pilot.....it couldn't have been better than that! Over his life, he excelled by his own makings, not by riding coat tails. Whether it was being an All American at West Point or becoming a leader and ace at an age most would consider still wet behind the ears.
Tales of both his aerial battles and the battles with those on the ground are riveting. It lets us see the steel willed determination of a man who truly believed in "lead by example" and "never ask those you lead to do anything you weren't willing to do." It's obvious the men he led, loved him and were willing to go to the Gates of Hell for him.....that is something that can't be demanded or ordered......it is earned.
Throughout this book we got glimpses of his home life and his marriage to the beautiful movie star, Ella Raines. Though he (or Christina) didn't go into depth about it, we got enough to know things weren't always blue skies and sunny days on the Olds' home front which made an extraordinary life seem realistic...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great read for anyone interested in the Army Air Force in WWII and USAF in the Vietnam War. The narrative is so real you almost feel you were there. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Montana Man
Just Ok. Was expecting more details about air combats, but the book is much too focused on other aspects of his life.Published 7 days ago by Jakes
This book was not what I expected it to be. I expected a story of a great hero's combat history and tactics, and instead was treated mostly to an honest depiction of a somewhat... Read morePublished 11 days ago by KJN
By Far the best book I've ever read, Couldn't put it down. One of those books you wish you could read for the first time all over again.Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
I did not want this book to end. Reading this book, it was so easy to live vicariously through his words. This man, a hero in every sense of the word, lived an incredible life. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Purplehayes
As an old fighter pilot, I would have loved to serve under this man.Published 26 days ago by John W. Irwin
One of the best stories, (and great man) you'll ever read about.Published 1 month ago by Jeff A. Taylor