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Robin Olds was quite a character.
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Source: www.nytimes.com via BenEspen on Gentlemint
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A hero. Read his biography, Fighter Pilot. It is great.
I'll check it out.
It's a wonderful book. That guy accomplished so much.
First I am amazed there has yet to be a movie made about Olds. It is really really amazing. Second, yes, great book. He exemplifies what leadership is all about. He does not command his men, he leads them. Flying with them, taking on as much risk as they would. Thanks for sharing!
Exactly! Over and over again! For example, immediately after he's reassigned, his CO tells him to stop officers in the O club from breaking the glasses, a ten year tradition from WWII. Robin wondered why the old man didn't take care of it himself but pressed on. He called his squadron commanders in and told them their heads will roll if one glass is broken. Then he went to the O club and introduced the men to a new tradition, a game he learned from the RAF called 'high-cock-a-lorum' or 'buck-buck'. The men loved it and along the way they trashed the place. When the CO found out he chewed Robin out, up one side and down the other. Then he demanded to know what the heck he was supposed to tell higher headquarters. Olds' response is classic:
"Sir, I suggest you tell them the club has not been redecorated since it first opened. The fixtures were already beyond repair. A collection has been taken and the squadrons are footing the replacement costs, as should be, but more important, in compliance with your order, not one glass was broken the entire evening."
He always seemed to find a way to comply and yet accomplish the mission. Except in Nam where national policy frustrated him no end.
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