[[caption-width-right:300:Robin Olds being carried by his men after the success of Operation Bolo, 1967]]

The son of an Army Air Corps general, Robin Olds is best known as a [[AcePilot Triple Ace combat pilot]] who was willing to [[MilitaryMaverick break a few rules]] to [[CombatPragmatist get the job done]]. Not to mention his self-confessed tendency to [[BrutalHonesty say exactly what he happened to think]], no matter how inappropriate it was or who he was talking to.

Due to his father's career, Robin grew up around the likes of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, and knew that it was his destiny to become a fighter pilot one day. He enrolled in The United States MilitaryAcademy at West Point in June of 1940, and graduated in 1943 (while West Point was normally a four-year institution, the intensity and scale of the fighting in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII necessitated an abridged curriculum). He was trained to fly the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, and was deployed to England in 1944. By the end of the war partway through the next year, he had been credited with 12 air-to-air kills, [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority had risen to the rank of Major,]] and had become the commander of the 434th Fighter Squadron (his predecessors having all been promoted or killed in combat or accidents).

After the war, he went on to fly fighter jets, and married Hollywood actress Ella Raines. He ended up being sidelined throughout the UsefulNotes/KoreanWar, and he would not see combat again until he was assigned as Commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing during the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar. During the war, he introduced classic dogfighting strategies to pilots who had never been trained in air to air combat, and was the mastermind behind Operation Bolo, where [=McDonnel=] Douglas F-4C Phantom fighter jets from three different wings worked together to lure out the North Vietnamese [=MiG=]-17s and [=MiG=]-21s and engage them in combat. To accomplish this, Olds' wing [[AWolfInSheepsClothing masqueraded as slower and more vulnerable F-105 Thunderchief fighter bombers]], pouncing on the North Vietnamese pilots as soon as they came in range. This was also around the time he cultivated the BadassMustache that he is also known for.

He gained four more kills in Vietnam, and upon learning that he would be withdrawn from combat upon getting his fifth kill[[note]]Which would make him the first American ace of the Vietnam War, and ''very'' valuable to the North Vietnamese for propaganda reasons[[/note]], proceeded to let his wingmen take any kills he set up until he was withdrawn at the end of his tour. He would later become Commandant of Cadets at the Air Force Academy and be promoted to Brigadier General. He finished his career in the Air Force with the Office of the [[TheInquisitorGeneral Inspector General]], before he retired in 1973.

With the help of his oldest daughter, Christina, Olds finished his memoirs, titled ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Fighter Pilot]]'' shortly before he died of congestive heart failure in 2007.

[[http://badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=784151231971 Has an article on ''Badass of The Week'']]


* AcePilot: ''Triple'' Ace. He scored 12 air-to-air kills fighting against the Luftwaffe in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, then two decades later, scored another four air-to-air kills against the North Vietnamese Air Force in the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar. He later went on the record saying that he passed up at least ten opportunities to score a fifth [=MiG=] kill in Vietnam, because he'd been informed that the Secretary of the Air Force intended to yank him back home for a publicity tour as soon as he achieved two-war ace status.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: When UsefulNotes/WorldWarII ended in 1945, he was a Major and the commander of the 434th Fighter Squadron. He graduated from Westpoint as a Lieutenant in ''1943''. This was as much due to many of his superiors [[AnyoneCanDie being killed in combat or accidents]] as it was to his own skills.
** AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: During the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar, he served as Wing Commander for the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, where he gained four aerial kills and was the mastermind behind Operation Bolo. Despite the fact that he had never flown the F-4 Phantom jets used by the 8th TFW until a few weeks before he assumed command of the wing.
* BadassBoast: When he took command of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, he had only been flying the F-4 Phantom for a few weeks, and had not served in combat for nearly two decades. He informed his men that he would learn from them, and that he would soon be ''better'' than any of them were. He was right.
* BadassMustache: Almost as famous for his trademark mustache ([[BrieferThanTheyThink which he only wore twice in his career]]: while fighting in the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar and leading up to his retirement) as he was for his flying and leadership.
* BatmanGambit: His most famous one was Operation Bolo, where [=McDonnel=] Douglas F-4C Phantom fighter jets [[AWolfInSheepsClothing masqueraded]] as the slower Republic F-105 Thunderchief fighter bombers that the North Vietnamese fighter jets had been mauling with the aid of ground-based radar sites. As soon as the [=MiGs=] came up to intercept them, the American fighters pounced and carried the day with a [[CurbStompBattle 7:0 kill/loss ratio]].
** Before he served in Vietnam, he was a Wing Commander at RAF Bentwaters in England when he learned he had made the list for Brigadier General, and thus would be ineligible to serve in combat. He proceeded to put together a team to perform a very unauthorized air show over his base, getting him in ''just'' enough trouble to get taken off the promotion list, and assigned to combat in South East Asia [[BriarPatching as punishment.]] Had he gotten in much more trouble, he would have likely been kicked out of the Air Force.
* TheBrigadier: Retired as a Brigadier General in the 1970's.
* BrutalHonesty: He would be the first to confess that he lacked any sense of tact. In his memoirs, he openly wondered why people kept asking him to speak in public at all...
* TheInquisitorGeneral: His final assignment before he retired was working for the Office of the Inspector General.
* ItRunsInTheFamily: His father was Major General Robert Olds, US Army Air Corps.
* KnightInSourArmor: Through much of his career in the Air Force, due to [[TheLastDJ differences in opinion]] about how the organization should do its business.
* TheLastDJ: A very outspoken proponent of conventional air warfare, especially air combat tactics. He was informed (repeatedly) by his superiors that air combat and conventional air warfare was a thing of the past. [[HarsherInHindsight Then the war in Vietnam broke out]] and it turned out that 1960s missiles weren't actually advanced or reliable enough to put an end to dogfighting.[[note]]While missiles are vastly more effective now, the Vietnam experience has meant that newer fighters are still equipped with guns and dogfighting is still taught...just in case.[[/note]] When he became Wing Commander for the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing stationed at Ubon Royal Thai Air base, he was one of the few pilots on the front lines with any actual training and experience in air combat, with his last dogfight being performed in a North American P-51 Mustang in 1945.
* LegacyCharacter: Tradition in the modern-day 8th Fighter Wing is for each Wing Commander to assume Robin Olds' Vietnam-era callsign of "Wolf", with a number when it is needed to distinguish between particular Wolves.
* LeeroyJenkins: One of his more memorable battles in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII had him and his wingman spotting a large group of German fighters forming up to attack an American bomber formation they were screening for. {{Justified|Trope}} in this case, as the German pilots had not yet organized themselves for battle, and had been caught by surprise. As Olds explained in his memoirs, once the first German pilot announced that he'd been hit, ''every other'' pilot [[OhCrap realized]] that one of the American attackers could be behind ''him''. Given that there were only two American planes there, [[ParanoiaFuel most of them would be desperately trying to evade the American that might be in their blind spot]].
* MidSeasonUpgrade: Partway through his tour in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, Olds' squadron transitioned from P-38 Lightnings to P-51 Mustangs. Later {{subverted}} in Vietnam with the transition from the F-4C Phantoms to F-4Ds, which replaced the beloved Sidewinder missiles with the more "advanced" but far less reliable Falcon missiles (He eventually had the new planes modified to use the old missiles. Note that upgraded versions of the Sidewinder are still used today, and the Falcon is not[[note]] Although the Falcon would later be developed into the Phoenix long-range missile carried by the Navy's Grumman F-14 Tomcats[[/note]].)
* MilitaryAcademy: Graduated from Westpoint in 1942, and later came back to serve as an assistant coach for the football team, before the Air Force had established its own academy. Later served as the Commandant of Cadets for the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs.
* MilitaryMaverick: Very much so. This got him in quite a bit of trouble from his straight-laced leadership, just as much as it made him beloved by his subordinates. Despite this, he had a very low tolerance for people or organizations who could not meet standards and perform their jobs. Being a Military Maverick didn't mean you stopped being ''military'', after all.
* PromotedFanboy: Due to his dad being an officer in the Air Corps, Robin grew up around such legends as UsefulNotes/WorldWarI ace Eddie Rickenbacker, and knew from an early age that he wanted to be a fighter pilot.
* RightInFrontOfMe: Rather than arranging for special treatment, he traveled to his new assignment in Thailand the same way anyone else would: Many uncomfortable charter flights. He arrived at Ubon [=RTAB=] unannounced and without fanfare, unceremoniously dumped on the end of the flightline with some enlisted men and their luggage. Once his presence on base was known, he made sure that the process for greeting new troops to the base was much improved, with personnel on hand to welcome them and give them instructions.
** When he arrived at the base's Officer's Club in his flight suit with patches from his previous assignment at Air Defense Command, he was pounced on by two lieutenants who mistook him for an unwelcome outsider. By the time the military police arrived to intervene, the three men had cleared up the misunderstanding and were having a drink at the bar.
* SaltAndPepper: His Deputy Wing Commander during the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar and at his previous assignment in England was Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr., who would go on to be the first black [[FourStarBadass Four Star General]] in the US Air Force. They had a PortmanteauCoupleName of "[[{{Pun}} Blackman and Robin]]".
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: At various points in his career, this trope was played both in his favor and against him. He got out of more than a few less-than-ideal assignments by tracking down [[AlmightyJanitor a clerk in a personnel office]] and convincing them to cut him orders for another base. He also missed out on serving in the UsefulNotes/KoreanWar due to his wife pulling strings amongst her own high-placed friends to ensure he would stay safely out of combat.
* YanksWithTanks: He served in the US Army Air Forces and the Air Force between 1943 and 1973.