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Fighter Pilot [Paperback]

Robin Olds Rasimus , Christina Olds , Ed
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: £11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 2011
Robin Olds was a larger-than-life hero with a towering personality. A graduate of West Point and an inductee in the National College Football Hall of Fame for his All-American performance for Army, Olds was one of the toughest college football players at the time. In WWII, Olds quickly became a top fighter pilot and squadron commander by the age of 22 - and an ace with 12 aerial victories. But it was in Vietnam where the man became a legend. He arrived in 1966 to find a dejected group of pilots and motivated them by placing himself on the flight schedule under officers junior to himself, then challenging them to train him properly because he would soon be leading them. Proving he wasn't a WWII retread, he led the wing with aggressiveness, scoring another 4 confirmed kills, becoming a rare triple ace. Olds (who retired a brigadier general and died in 2007) was a unique individual whose personal story is acknowledged by many to be the aviation book of the decade and one of the best military books of the year.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Griffin (6 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312569513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312569518
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.6 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Praise for "Fighter Pilot" "A gripping narrative...Compelling reading, likely to become a classic." "--Booklist""Robin Olds is probably the greatest aerial warrior America ever produced. His autobiography tells it like it was...and provides written proof why the people who served with him made him a legend. This book will be an instant classic." "--"Stephen Coonts, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Assassin" "One man's account of war and, in its way, a tribute to a vanished breed of men." "--The Wall Street Journal "" times, his poetic descriptions reveal a humanity rarely exhibited in public by this swashbuckling, handlebar-mustachioed giant of air power." "--Aviation Weekly"

About the Author

Robin Olds (1922-2007) was a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. A triple ace, he achieved a combined total of 16 victories in the Second World War 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 fought in Europe during World War II, and was regarded as the best wing commander in the Vietnam War. He was promoted to brigadier general after Vietnam, and also served as Commandant of Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Christina Olds is the daughter of Robin Olds. She holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Vassar. Ed Rasimus is a retired USAF fighter pilot whose books on the Vietnam air war include "When Thunder Rolled" and "Palace Cobra."

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He was certainly a character...!! 8 Feb 2011
By Mark S
It might be a sweeping generalisation, but so many 'Fighter Pilot' biographies/autobiographies can be very formulaic. Robin Olds story is genuinely enjoyable and generally well written and as an account of a career in service is probably better than average. The individual concerned was obviously a colourful character and enjoyed remarkable success, especially in Vietnam when theoretically he should have been past his 'sell by date'....!!
For an airman to have been so on top of his game over 20 years after the end of the Second World War (the first conflict that he enlisted to first fly and fight in) is a testament to his leadership, flying and fighting skills.
Although not the best account that I've read and scant on detail in areas that would interest me most, this deserves a read and this reader recommends it..!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legend..! 3 Jan 2011
An all round fantastic read. Don't be put off by the fact that co-writers are involved as you would never know they were, it appears that they have just compiled Old's notes and writings into a gripping story of his life, all in a seamless text.
Not only did Robin Olds distinguish himself as a WW2 ace and a Vietnam Wolfpack legend, he was also a born leader of men.
This was one of those books that I could not stop reading, full of smaller stories of events that keep you turning pages, I really cannot praise this book enough, especially at the Amazon price. If you are at all interested in military aviators, this book is a must have!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars P51s to F4s 8 Nov 2010
If you are going to get any book today get this one. What a great story, from fighting the Luftwaffe over France and Germany to Migs over Vietnam. Painful ground tours flying a desk, fighting with the system and senior officers and the gradual break down of a marriage running in the background.
Olds was a no nonsense fighter pilot who knew how to let off steam and run a fighter Sqn and win a war, but wasn't good with diplomacy, and did not suffer any fools regardless of rank.

A great book up there with the best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fighter Pilot 25 July 2011
I have just finished this fantastic book. I enjoyed every page! If you have any thoughts about this being a "hodge podge" of second hand recollections stitched together by the co-authors well, you'd be wrong. The authentic voice of Brig. Gen. Olds jumps from the page, on every page. I'm only sorry that I cannot give this book 6 out of 5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fighter Pilot 1 July 2011
Excellent service from Amazon in getting me the book prior to me going on holiday. I've wanted this book for a while now and was very pleased when it arrived 2 days after i ordered it from Amazon on-line. It's the ultimate fighter jock book,all you'll ever need to read about a living legend Col. John Olds. It's a book that you will not want to put down and i found it hard to not want to just sit and read non-stop. A true American hero,although Col.Olds will probably shy away from the fact but he was loved by all that served with him and under him. A book that you will not be sorry you bought,it definately opens your eyes to the complicated orders that the pilots had to fight with and the shear waste of tactical losses the pilots had to watch and not act upon,which could of made more actions available at the beginning of the conflict thus enabling a shorter war with alot fewer casualties! The book also shows the problems Col Olds had to endure and fight,not only the enemy but his own Air Force superiors at home and abroad. You can also get to understand why he was so admired by his men. He always had thier concerns and welfare at the front of his mind. he wanted the best from his men but also wanted to make sure they got what they needed to get the job done! Reading from his very first beginning of flying to his experiences in the second world war,his love of Great Britain and his deep understanding of the British Bulldog spirit. He loved his first posting in the UK flying the P38 Lightning then onto the P51 Mustang. He also describes his longing to get into combat in the Korean War instaed being in a desk job! Then not wanting to miss out again in the Vietnam War he got himself out and into theatre,this being a great story in itself. The only problem i found with the book was that it had to end.... Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait! 8 Dec 2010
As someone who is interested in the Vietnam war, I have been waiting for this title for a long time. The book is a fantastic read and would also be enjoyable for people who aren't interested in flying. His paragraph on leadership is a lesson to all leaders everywhere whatever their trade.

Trully a candidate for title of World's Greatest Fighter Pilot!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ron McGuffie 26 Sep 2011
One of the best of 15 books that I have read from Amazon. His writing skills are the best his descriptions on his flyig take the book reader inside his Cockpit, and tales of Government interference are great, Vietnam was a mess controlled from Washington by persons who never flew sending Pilots like Robin Olds to extremely dangerous more than necessary to get political results. Robin had a great life and many escapes in his flying the best book since forever flying by Bob Hoover an excellent account of stunt flying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not modest enougth 21 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Top pilot and a courageous man, but I did not warm to the writer.

I felt that I was being told that the writer was right and not being told a story for me to make my own mind up about,

I found the pilots heaven bit at the end of the book almost embarrassing to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A "ace" pilot in three wars
Published 13 days ago by Lars Jönlid
5.0 out of 5 stars simply great book
This is the first of the flying books I've read in ages that I have truly enjoyed a truly great man and fascinating life.

Well worth anyone's time to read . Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top five books written regarding air combat and personal...
One of the best books written regarding air combat and personal flying experiences. Comparable with Sagittarius Rising (Cecil Lewis) and First Light (Geoffrey Wellum).
Published 4 months ago by S W Bond
5.0 out of 5 stars Best this year
This has been one of my best military reads. Olds gives a brilliant account of his life. Money well spent
Published 6 months ago by D. Dunnett
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
For those with a passion for aviation specifically military aviation this is for you. Well written and emotive, the story of his career will strike chords with any involved in the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Keen
5.0 out of 5 stars Fighter pilot
I've read hundreds of aviation books over the years but this is one of the best
Robin Olds warrior leader fighter pilot what a top bloke
Well written book loved it
Published 8 months ago by ROBIN FOULKES
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, rip-roaring biography that's 110% Sierra Hotel!**
Fighter pilot Robin Olds was born with flying in his blood. His father Robert Olds was a captain in the Army Air Corps, and houseguests included the likes of Hap Arnold, Tooey... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read!
A great summary of life in the airforce in its wartime and post-war years. Written with care and love about a man who was clearly worshipped by those under his command. 5 stars!
Published 10 months ago by steve pace
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb aviation biography
Robin Olds' daughter has done an excellent job finishing off her Dad's memoirs. His career began at the end of WW2 and went all the way through to Vietnam where he had to be... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Strobes
5.0 out of 5 stars The Main Man.
A really enjoyable "warts and all"book about aerial warfare,by people who did it.Robin Olds was not just an Ace,but a gentleman as well.
Published 17 months ago by Mr. Jc Jones
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