Fighter Pilot Robin Olds
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.