Download Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds Audiobook

Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds Audiobook, by Robin Olds Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Robin Olds Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9781483071886
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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 twenty-two—a double ace with twelve 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 pinup 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A tribute to a vanished breed of men.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Massively welcomed by his legion of fans.”

    Walter J. Boyne, author and former director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC

  • “Robin Olds was bold, audacious and courageous; truly one of America’s premier fighter pilots. His captivating story, told in riveting fashion, provides great insights into his life and the attributes that make a great fighter pilot. Warning! If you start to read, you will have trouble putting it down!”

    General Henry H. Shelton, US Army (Ret.), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • “Robin Olds is probably the greatest aerial warrior America ever produced. He is the real deal, a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot, a consummate military professional, a natural, charismatic leader, and a true, heroic servant of our republic...That men like Olds chose to wear our nation’s uniform does high honor to the profession. I confidently predict that this book will be an instant classic.”

    Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassin

  • “Triple ace Robin Olds’ legendary leadership and heroic service to the cause of freedom have been an inspiration to our nation and our air force. He is one of our ‘great captains’ and a pioneer of air power.”

    General T. Michael Moseley (Ret.)

  • “Pilot Robin Olds served 30 years in the Army and Air Force, at West Point, in WWII, and in Vietnam. His action stories of combat flying place listeners right in the cockpit next to him, with flak exploding just outside the plane’s canopy. His exemplary principles of leadership rank him with history’s finest at inspiring cohesiveness in military teams. Narrator Robertson Dean’s booming voice takes a stoic approach to both the serious and amusing escapades. During Olds’s duty at a British base, Dean delivers the Etonian accents of fellow flyers like a native. The author’s story covers a long life, so Dean keeps his first-person voice constant and ageless. With appropriate restraint he portrays this Air Force officer’s anger, nostalgia, and patriotism.”


  • “A gripping narrative…Compelling reading, likely to become a classic.”


Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bruce | 1/29/2014

    " This book is an amazing chronicle of a prolific aviator and his life in the skies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 1/26/2014

    " If you dig fighter pilot stories, airplanes (P-38, P-51, F-4, F-105) you will like this book. There is a lot about staying true to one self and not compromising. I found the career of an airman to be quite interesting. This is a nice story well written by the loved ones of Robin Olds. The sad part of it is there are many "Olds" out there in various branches of military service. My concern is we are not getting enough exposure to the stories of the men and women of Robins sort. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 1/14/2014

    " We met Gen. Olds at Bartlesville, OK at the National Biplane Convention a few years ago. He was quite the gentleman, but you could still see a spark in his eye when he thought of something amusing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bert | 1/8/2014

    " One of the most inspiring books I have ever read! A true American patriot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 1/6/2014

    " This was a great book. It describes the life of Robin Olds. Robin joined the army air force during WWII and flew in the european theater. He was a double ace during that war. He was married afterwards to a movie star who had enough pull to keep him out of the Korean war. Initially he didn't know it was her, but he found out later in life. He did find his way to the Vietnam war, where he again got ace status. Due to the Air Forces' new regulations, he cut himself short of scoring many more shoot downs... if he scored any more he would get sent home. That sounds like the backwards government I know. There is language in the book, so caution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 1/1/2014

    " This is the life story of Robin Olds, who was an Ace fighter pilot who flew in the European theater of WWII and in Vietnam. He ended his military career as a Brigadier General and was Commandant of Cadets at the Air Force Academy. His leadership abilities are legendary. The book is written in a marvelously engaging way, taking the reader right into the action. He wrote much of it himself, leaving pages of notes for his daughter and a retired fighter pilot to mold into a book. It must have been quite a challenge, but they turned out a great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 12/31/2013

    " This is a must read for any AF officer. There are so many AF traditions that are explained. Also, he makes you wanna go out and be bold in your leadership. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 12/22/2013

    " Wow. Robin was a stud... an authentic 20th century warrior. Of course, he reminds me of myself. (hahaha) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ketchum | 10/21/2013

    " A real story about the life of a true fighter pilot Robin Olds, a must read for any legendary fighter ace "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 10/18/2013

    " Not much to add to what others have said. Has a reasonable amount of detail about air battles and flying but also a lot about the rest of his military career and even personal life, which was unusual to say the least. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Twilight | 9/13/2013

    " The memoirs of one of the greatest fighter pilots to live; detailing his life as a child to his participation in World War 2 and all the way to Vietnam and beyond. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 6/11/2013

    " Finally! The legend of Robin Olds with plenty of details covering his triumphs and challenges and constant friction with higher authority. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Howdy | 12/26/2012

    " This deserves six stars! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/5/2012

    " Wow. Epitomizes the idea of passion. This man lived one incredible life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andy | 12/6/2011

    " Some good historical context but self serving, aggrandizing, and ultimately the story of a person you don't want as a friend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 2/22/2011

    " This was a great memoir of an Ace fighter pilot during WWII and his stint in the Vietnam "conflict". Wow, very different strategies of airial battle and of airplanes. It was a an enjoyable story and great personal insight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keith | 11/3/2010

    " This book is one of those that you find hard to put down. It's story upon story about a man who will forever be known as a fighter pilots pilot. These types don't come around to often and should forever be remembered for what they stood for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 9/10/2010

    " Interesting and informative. Thought it was just going to be about WWII but up reading about his service in Vietnam also. Not a lot of blood and guts story telling more of the real man and his time in the service. I like it!!! I really liked it at the end!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kurt | 8/17/2010

    " Absolutely riveting book. If you like stories of fighter pilots, this is a must read. What a character this guy was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kash | 5/1/2010

    " Awesome book and terrific life. (a few minor typos though) "

About the Author

Robin Olds (1922–2007) was a US Air Force fighter pilot. A triple ace, he achieved a combined total of sixteen victories in World War II 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 was promoted to brigadier general after Vietnam and served as Commandant of Cadets at the US Air Force Academy.

About the Narrator

Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered ten AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.