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.
©2010 Robin Olds with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Massively welcomed by his legion of fans." (Walter J. Boyne, author and former director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.)
Robertson Dean's performance as Robin Olds is fantastic. This being my 14th audiobook (mostly WW2 history) was by far my favorite. The story really comes to life with the lively 1st person perspective and detailed accounts. I felt like I really understood what was happening in the times and places that the book took me to. Fighter Pilot gave me a perspective on life in the military during WW2 through Vietnam. The story of Robin Olds was absolutely amazing, this is a true American hero that just made me proud from start to finish. Oh, and the really, really best thing about the book was the human perspective. All through the tale I heard his insights, emotions, hopes and dreams. Superb!!!
I couldn't stop listening to this biography about Robin Olds. The book is a treasure trove of history about WWII and Viet Nam. If you are a student of history, this book will be a goldmine of information about the war years.
This book read like a novel. Very glad this story got told! I liked Robin's exit statagy for Vietnam. I wish all politicians were required to know this much about the military they deploy!
Robertson Dean does a superlative job with the narration. Fascinating story. My hat is off to Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus for writing in the first person. The technique brings Olds to life. He must have been a helluva guy. This is a five-star book all the way. Do not miss it.
This book is one of those books you can listen to over and over again. The narration is excellent. It's a good marker for how the military works, and the joys and frustrations of a man who clearly enjoyed his career. There are high points and also low points to the book. I found myself laughing and even quite distraught at times. I would recommend this book to any who enjoy reading about military memoirs, action, adventure, war, military life, and aviation.
Robin Olds' memoirs are more than simply a string of combat stories. I like that type book, but this is about two steps above the standard combat narrative.
Olds really bares his soul in "Fighter Pilot". He was an old man dying of cancer when he put the book together, and I believe, much like "Grant's Memoirs", his realization that this was his last statement about his life and legacy created an amazing story.
Olds is brutal in his assessment of fellow USAF officers. He goes after the USAF establishment with the same energy and passion that he went after ME-109s and MIG-21s. For me, this was a special treat, but he also gives credit to hundreds of men of all ranks that he served with. I really liked that he specifically complimented so many of his ground crew and staff officers by name, because those guys are almost always forgotten.
However, the personal elements are what really make this book special. Olds was admittedly not the best husband and he admits it. The story of his attempts to juggle his career with his family responsibilities are particularly touching. He was a great man, but also a deeply flawed man and I believe that's what makes the portrait so compelling.
I will admit there are lots of stories about the inner working of his thirty year rise to brigadier general, but I believe that reveals a side of the military that very few civilians ever even realizes exists. In fact, I hope "Fighter Pilot" becomes required reading for young officers. Military wives should read it too.
I thought I knew quite a bit about Olds before: A hard partying ace during World War II and a sort of modern day Nathan Forrest in an F-4 over North Vietnam. All of that is true, I believe Olds would really like the Forrest comparison, but he was really a much better LEADER and much better THINKER than I ever realized.
This book is excellent! I listen to 5 to 7 books on tape a month. This is one you do not want to miss. Often like a suspense novel, it puts the listener on the edge of their seats. Knowing that it is a true story makes it even more incredible. Thank goodness the man kept journals during WWII and Vietnam, so that we get the correct facts. What a phenomenal, phenomenal individual. The many famous aviators and celebrities that were in Gen. Olds life are mind boggling. I am near the end of the book and absolutely do NOT want it to end. No wonder the young military personnel of today hold Gen. Olds in such high esteem. Talk about a 'get 'er done' kind of guy. I'd heard that the men in his command would follow him anywhere. This book is a treasure, just like the man. I'll definitely listen to this book again! I want to get a hard copy too, to see the pictures. Often memoirs of great men disappoint, Memoirs of Ace Robin Olds exceeds one's expectations.
If you love stories of American patriots this will inspire you. Robin Olds was a truly amazing, fearless, patriotic American. The book was well read. My only drawback was the language. I understand from the Introduction that Olds wanted the story in his language, and he got it. Unfortunately, much of the vulgarity just was not need to tell the story.
I always enjoy a good history lesson from those that actually lived it. So happy Robin's daughter was able to gather the stories of her father together to create this memorable story.
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