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Robin Olds
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    (July 14, 1922-June 14, 2007)
    Born in Honolulu, Hawaii
    Birth name was Robin Oldys, Jr.
    US Air Force pilot during World War II and Vietnam
    Had 16 confirmed kills (12 in WWII, 4 in Vietnam)
    Commandant of Cadets at the US Air Force Academy (1967-71)
    Brigadier General
    Inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame (2001)
    He was 'only the second cadet in the history of West Point to earn the dubious honor' of being reduced in rank from cadet captain to cadet private, as a result of drinking while on leave.
    During his first dogfight, both engines of his plane quit from fuel exhaustion because he had forgotten to switch from the plane's drop tanks to its internal fuel tanks.
    He was frequently at odds with the Air Force brass.
    During Vietnam, he sported a decidedly non-regulation mustache, commenting 'It became the middle finger I couldn't raise in the PR photographs.'
    He was married and divorced twice.
    He was placed on a year's probation, fined $900 and ordered to perform 72 hours of community service after being busted for driving under the influence and resisting arrest (2001).
    In high school, he was elected class president three successive years.
    As a tackle at West Point, he was named college football 'Player of the Year' by sportswriter Grantland Rice (1942).
    Despite stalling out during his first dogfight, he was able to destroy a German plane attacking in 'dead-stick mode' before getting his engines restarted.
    He and John 'Pappy' Herbst formed the Air Force's first jet aerobatics demonstration team (1946).
    He planned and executed Operation Bolo, a mission that destroyed nearly half of North Vietnam's MiG fighters with no American losses, the most decisive US air victory at that point in the war (January 2, 1967).
    He restored morale at the Air Force Academy in the wake of a cheating scandal.
    He said, 'Don't try to bullshit the troops, but make sure they know the buck stops with you, that you'll shoulder the blame when things go wrong.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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