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Robin Olds

Date of birth: July 14, 1922
Date of death: June 15, 2007
Place of Birth: Hawaii, Honolulu
Home of record: Hampton Virginia

Robin Olds graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1943. During World War II he became a Double ACE credited with destroying 12 enemy aircraft in in the air and nearly an equal number on the ground during 170 combat missions. During the Vietnam War he flew 152 combat missions, shooting down FOUR enemy aircraft to finish his career as a TRIPLE ACE. In all, FIVE Air Force Crosses were awarded for heroism on the date Robin Olds received the Air Force Cross, to: Lieutenant Colonel James McInerney, Colonel Robin Olds, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Schurr, Captain Fred Shannon, and Colonel Robert White. Robin Olds achieved the rank of Brigadier General before retiring from the Air Force on June 1, 1973.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Air Force Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Colonel Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Strike Mission Commander in the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, against the Paul Doumer Bridge, a major north-south transportation link on Hanoi's Red River in North Vietnam, on 11 August 1967. On that date, Colonel Olds led his strike force of eight F-4C aircraft against a key railroad and highway bridge in North Vietnam. Despite intense, accurately directed fire, multiple surface-to-air missile attacks on his force, and continuous harassment by MiG fighters defending the target, Colonel Olds, with undaunted determination, indomitable courage, and professional skill, led his force through to help destroy this significant bridge. As a result the flow of war materials into this area was appreciably reduced. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Colonel Olds reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 11-Aug-67

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Regiment: 8th Tactical Fighter Wing

Division: Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States. General Olds distinguished himself as Commandant of Cadets, United States Air Force Academy, from 1 December 1967 to 31 January 1971. In this important and demanding assignment, General Olds displayed exceptional initiative, leadership and executive judgment in directing the military training phase of the United States Air Force Academy mission. General Olds successfully advanced the leadership and military training programs to such a high degree of professionalism as to greatly enhance the prestige of the United States Air Force Academy. His personal efforts in increasing cadet participation and involvement in Academy policy significantly improved the morale of the cadets and gave the Cadet Wing an appreciation of the complexity of the many problems of today and an identity with the solutions. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of General Olds reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: December 1, 1967 - January 31, 1971

Service: Air Force

Rank: Brigadier General

Company: Commandant of Cadets

Division: U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States. General Olds distinguished himself as Director of Aerospace Safety, Air Force Inspection and Safety Center, from 1 February 1971 to 31 May 1973. In this important assignment, General Olds' exceptional leadership, exemplary foresight, and comprehensive professional knowledge resulted in major contributions toward achieving Air Force Safety objectives, improved safety management, and unprecedented safety records throughout the Air Force. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of General Olds culminate a long and distinguished career in the service of his country and reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Service: Air Force

Rank: Brigadier General

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving Pilot of a P-38 Fighter Airplane of the 434 Fighter Squadron, 479th Fighter Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in action in the European Theater of Operations, on 25 August 1944. On that date, Captain Olds was leading a flight of P-38 fighters furnishing support for a formation of heavy bombers. Sighting two enemy aircraft crossing well out in front of the bombers, Captain Olds took his flight of four planes forward to investigate. Discovering a group of approximately forty ME-109's, he unhesitatingly made a bold attack, completely ignoring the tremendous odds against him. Observing a fellow pilot being hard-pressed, he started to his assistance when he discovered an ME-109 was on his tail. Performing an exceptionally skillful maneuver, he reversed positions with the enemy and shot him down. Captain Olds' devotion to duty and aggressive combat tactics on this occasion enabled him to destroy three enemy planes and contributed materially to the success of the bombing mission.

General Orders: Headquarters, 8th Air Force, General Orders No. 526 (November 26, 1944)

Action Date: 25-Aug-44

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Captain

Company: 434 Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 479th Fighter Group

Division: 8th Air Force

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Major Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving Pilot of both P-38 twin-engine and P-51 single-engine Fighter Airplanes of the 434 Fighter Squadron, 479th Fighter Group, EIGHTH Air Force, in action in the European Theater of Operations from 26 May 1944 to 25 April 1945. During this period, Major Olds completed a large number of hazardous missions over continental Europe. Outstanding among these were three escort missions flown on 9 and 14 February and 19 March 1945. During each of these operations, he intercepted vastly superior forces of enemy planes, and with utter disregard for personal danger, thwarted the attacks before the enemy could reach the bomber formation. Six hostile fighters were destroyed by Major Olds while the units under his command shot down nine others. Throughout this entire period, Major Olds consistently displayed courage, tenacity of purpose, and resourcefulness to a degree that proved inspirational to all participating in aerial combat with him.

Action Date: May 26, 1944 - April 25, 1945

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Major

Company: 434 Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 479th Fighter Group

Division: 8th Air Force

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Colonel Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, was awarded a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Commanding Officer, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in action in Southeast Asia. Major Olds' gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Action Date: January 2, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Regiment: 8th Tactical Fighter Wing

Division: Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Silver Star to Major Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Commanding Officer, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in action in Southeast Asia on 30 March 1967. On that date, Colonel Olds led his three-ship flight on a low level, high speed strike against a major steel mill complex in hostile territory. In the face of marginal weather, the heaviest defenses ever encountered by United Sates Air Forces in Southeast Asia, and with major battle damage inflicted on his aircraft and another within the flight, Colonel Olds exhibited undaunted determination, indomitable courage, and professional skill by pressing the attack and destroying the vital center of the target complex. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Colonel Olds has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Headquarters, 7th Air Force, Special Orders G-803 (June 7, 1967)

Action Date: March 30, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Regiment: 8th Tactical Fighter Wing

Division: Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Colonel Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Thailand, from 1 October 1966 to 23 September 1967. In this important assignment, the leadership, exemplary foresight, and ceaseless efforts consistently demonstrated by Colonel Olds resulted in significant contributions to the combat capabilities of the Wing and the successful accomplishment of its mission. His professional skill, personal courage, flexibility, and devotion to duty allowed him to perform diverse duties in an outstanding manner. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Olds reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: October 1, 1966 - September 23, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain (Air Corps) Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement and heroism in aerial combat and the destruction of one enemy airplane over enemy occupied Continental Europe during World War II. The skillful and zealous manner in which Captain Olds has sought out the enemy and destroyed him, his devotion to duty and courage under all conditions serve as an inspiration to his fellow flyers. His actions on all these occasions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, 2d Bombardment Division, General Orders No. 255 (October 5, 1944)

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Captain

Regiment: 479th Fighter Group

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major (Air Corps) Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in World War II.

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Major

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Colonel Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an F-4D Aircraft Commander over unfriendly territory on 5 June 1967. As Flight Lead of Chicago Flight, Colonel Olds made repeated attacks against a superior number of MiG-17's until all ordnance was expended. Colonel Olds then relinquished lead to his wingman and aided him in destroying one hostile aircraft. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Olds reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: June 5, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat "V" to Colonel Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as flight leader of four F-4C's over unfriendly territory on 4 May 1967. On that date, as leader of Flamingo Flight providing MiG CAP protection for the strike force, Colonel Olds engaged and destroyed one of the two MiG-21's that had attempted to attack the F-105's. He successfully evaded flak and SAM's until the strike force was outbound at which time he led his flight to the Hoa Lac Airfield where the flight engaged five MiG-17's until low fuel state forced their departure. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Olds reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: May 4, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Fourth Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fifth Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat "V" to Colonel Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for heroism while participating in aerial flight on 20 May 1967. On that date, Colonel Olds while leading a combat air patrol, observed 10 to 15 hostile aircraft attacking the strike force he was assigned to protect. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Colonel Olds led his flight against the opposing forces and accounted for the destruction of four hostile aircraft. This courageous and aggressive attack against superior odds, disorganized the hostiles, negated their threat and allowed all friendly forces to safely egress hostile airspace. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Olds reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: May 20, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Colonel

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Silver Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Sixth Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Brigadier General Robin Olds (AFSN: 0-26046), United States Air Force, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a F-4C Aircraft Commander over North Vietnam on 21 August 1967. On that date, General Olds target was an important railroad yard in the vicinity of Hanoi. Despite severe weather conditions, surface-to-air missiles, and intense hostile automatic weapons fire, General Olds completed the mission in a successful manner. The tenacity of this officer to attain the objective against formidable defenses is in accord with the highest military objectives. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by General Olds reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: August 21, 1967

Service: Air Force

Rank: Brigadier General