Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds tells the tale of a true American hero, written using his journals.
The story begins with Olds' years at West Point, when he was an All-American football player who was later inducted into the National College Football Hall of Fame. Olds graduated from West Point in the midst of World War II, and was a squadron commander before the age of 22. He was also one of the top fighter pilots for the allied forces, a double ace who racked up 12 aerial victories.
In Vietnam, Olds' legend only grew. Becoming a triple ace, he scored four more kills in Southeast Asia. He also trained officers and fighter pilots both in the air and through morale boosting games that allowed them to instruct him on the proper procedures for a pilot.
The book offers a first person perspective of how the military works, touching on military policy along the way. Through Fighter Pilot, readers get an in-depth look at flying P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs. It speaks to his struggles leading an air wing flying F4 Phantoms and his rise to Commandant of the Air Force Academy.
'Fighter Pilot' also touches on Olds' marriage to Ella Raines, a Hollywood starlet who put up with his admittedly flawed personality, love to drink and rough-around-the-edges exterior. Olds often felt that he had to choose between his career or his family responsibilities, a game that his family sometimes lost. Part of Olds' endearing nature is that he is honest about his flaws. Fighter Pilot gives detailed accounts of challenges he faced on and off the ground told in his own language.
This memoir was compiled by Olds' daughter Christina Olds and writer Ed Rasimus. Christina Olds is a member of the Air Force Association, and graduated from Vassar with a degree in English and creative writing. Fighter Pilot is her first book. Rasimus was a fighter pilot himself, serving in the Air Force before retiring and becoming an author. He has published two other books covering the Vietnam era, When Thunder Rolled and Palace Cobra.
A larger-than-life hero with a towering personality, Robin Olds was a graduate of West Point and an inductee in the National College Football Hall of Fame for his All-American performance for Army. In World War II, Olds quickly became a top fighter pilot and squadron commander by the age of 22 - a double ace with 12 aerial victories.
But it was in Vietnam where the man became a legend. He motivated a dejected group of pilots by placing himself under junior officers and challenging them to train him properly. He led the wing with aggressiveness, scoring another four confirmed kills and becoming a rare triple ace. With his marriage to Hollywood actress and pin-up girl Ella Raines, his nonregulation mustache and penchant for drink, Olds was a unique individual whose story is one of the most eagerly anticipated military books of the year.
Christina Olds, the daughter of Robin Olds, holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Vassar, is a member of the Air Force Association, and is the first honorary lifetime member of the Red River Valley Association.
Ed Rasimus is a retired USAF fighter pilot who holds a B.S. in political science and an M.S. in both political science and international relations. He has previously written two books on the Vietnam air war, When Thunder Rolled and Palace Cobra. Download and start listening now!