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"Brigadier General Robin Olds USAF (Ret) Passes Away" Topic

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Action Log

03 Jan 2008 7:06 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Maj. Gen. Robin Olds USAF (Ret) Passes Away" to "Brigadier General Robin Olds USAF (Ret) Passes Away"

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4,207 hits since 16 Jun 2007
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2007 11:23 a.m. PST

I was just informed that he passed away, yesterday, 15 Jun 07. General Olds had been recovering from a recent heart attack and kidney ailments. He was looking forward to attending another reunion of his old WWII squadron, here in Denver, this September.

My wife and I had the privilage of dining next to him at another gathering of this unit a few years ago, in Denver. He was a true warrior who demanded effort and yet cared deeply for those who served under his command. Always a bit unorthodox in his ways, he helped mold air-to-air tactics and contributed significantly to make the USAF what it is today.

Robin, we who know of you and your efforts both salute you and will miss you.

Tom Dye, MSgt. USAF,(Ret)
Friend and Admirer

Jerzei Balowski16 Jun 2007 11:25 a.m. PST

It's a shame that we hear about amazing people like the Major General only after they pass away.

McKinstry Fezian16 Jun 2007 11:32 a.m. PST

He was already a legend when I was in the AirForce 70-74. As I recall, he was a Thud/F-4 squadron commander out of Tahkli or Korat.

jdginaz16 Jun 2007 11:54 a.m. PST

Flew P-38s & P51s over Europe in WWII and F-4s over Vietnam. Triple Ace, 13 kills in WWII and 4 during Vietnam.

He was a strong proponent of teaching dogfighting skills even when the higher command claimed that they would no longer be needed because of the air to air missile.

Would have loved to have meet and thanked him for his service.

Rest in Peace

Double Ace16 Jun 2007 12:50 p.m. PST

An excellent individual who was not afraid to buck against official doctrine and his superiors.

A true pilot's pilot, in every sense of the word.

Patriotic Americans, and the service will mourn him.

He was one of the best of the best!

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2007 12:51 p.m. PST

Must make a correction. Olds was a retired Brigadier General.

For more info: link

Tom Dye

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2007 1:43 p.m. PST

His Vietnam service was featured in an episode of "Dogfight" on the History Channel. Worth searching out if you haven't seen it.


Double Ace16 Jun 2007 1:51 p.m. PST

Yes, I agree. The Dogfight episodes are great. I especially like the Operation Bolo account.

He seemed to allude to more possible victories in Vietnam, but didn't claim them, since he would have become an ace there, and then would have been pulled off flight ops.

Not sure if that was just bravado, or was true.

I'd be interested in hearing more about that, if anyone has any details to share.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2007 2:09 p.m. PST

HE wanted to fly! Yes, he once told me that he really had more kills, but ensured the gun-camera film "was spoiled" so he could keep on with what he was doing. I forgot the number of how many more as I was intrigued by the story at the time!

Bottom line: He was willing to do whatever it took to further air-to-air expertise and save the lives of future USAF fighter pilots. He saw the burocracry and politics in the USAF of the time as a brick wall that needed to be shattered! He got the guns back into fighters!

Tom Dye

Personal logo taskforce58 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2007 6:12 p.m. PST

This graphic is a small tribute that I did for another website/forum.

Arrigo16 Jun 2007 6:27 p.m. PST

Sad day,

I have read of him when I was a child and he was always fascintated by his exploits. From what I have read he was a true fighter pilot and a true combat leader.
He had fought for all of us in two wars.


Double Ace16 Jun 2007 9:17 p.m. PST

Hi Tom,

Thanks for sharing that, and glad you got to meet him.

I wish I had the chance as well.

I'm pleased to see that there are still some strong-willed individuals in our armed forces that aren't afraid to shake up the status quo to save lives.

I figured he would be just the type to do that, in order to keep flying, so don't doubt that one bit.

May he rest in peace.

Best regards,


HardRock16 Jun 2007 10:45 p.m. PST

The 'Dogfight" episode was one of the best. I've always admired the man and his abilities, never enough of his kind of leader.

Not just a fighter pilot's pilot, but a fighter pilot's leader.

Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2007 10:53 p.m. PST

Met him when he presented a talk at the Rand Corporation last year. My brother is a researcher there and got permission for me to attend. Olds was a VERY impressive guy. When he talked about the mustang his fists balled up and came up into fighting position in front of his body, and his eyes got all faraway and misty. Wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Tom Bryant17 Jun 2007 1:21 a.m. PST

Thanks for the information Tom. This is one guy I'd loved to have met. While I'm sorry to see him pass I'm glad he didn't suffer long. God Bless You General Olds. You were one of the best. May we be worthy. Peace be with you old warrior.

MaksimSmelchak17 Jun 2007 6:58 a.m. PST

May he rest in peace.

I always remember "Blackman and Robin" with a smile…

God bless men who stand for something true.


DJCoaltrain17 Jun 2007 8:01 a.m. PST

I served with the 8th TFW in 1970, he was gone by then, but he was still talked about.
Sadly, as did too many Americans, he had the honor of meritoriously serving his country in a very unpopular war. In another war, in another time a grateful nation would have erected statues to honor him.
Norris Hazelton
Captain, USAF

Tachikoma17 Jun 2007 2:11 p.m. PST

Sad news indeed.
I had the honor of meeting General Olds a few years back, and I was thoroughly impressed by the man.

Old Slow Trot18 Jun 2007 9:57 a.m. PST

Rest easy,general.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Jan 2008 7:05 a.m. PST

Capt. Frederick A. Olds, USN, Ret. writes:

Need to correct the title from MGEN Robin Olds to BGEN. Our father Robert was the MGEN.

I have always referred to Robin as my brother vice half brother but some would prefer to do otherwise to be absolutely correct. I spent 10 days with Robin in Steamboat Springs in Feb of 2007 and it was a great time despite his health. We were the two who made the service a career and had a bond because of that (Even despite the fact my service was in the Navy!).

I am the surviving brother. There were four Olds brothers: Robin/Steven/Sterling/Frederick. Robin was 14 years older than myself and was a teenager when I was born at Langley Field, Virginia. Robin and Steven Olds were in fact full brothers born to MGEN Robert Olds, USAAC and Eloise. Eloise died and Robert married Majorie Langley. She had two teenaged sons from a previous marriage. They were divorced in less than 2 years. He then married my mother Helen Sterling Olds in 1933 and Sterling (Dusty) was born at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in March 1935 and I was born at Langley Field in June 1936. They then separated in late 1939 and were divorced in 1940. His last wife was Nina Gore Auchincloss (children Gore Vidal and Nina by previous marriages).


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