It was May 1944 when a young American fighter pilot arrived at the Wattisham Royal Air Force base in the south of England. A couple of weeks after arriving, he was flying missions in his P-38 Lightning. Three months passed before he scored his first kills downing not one, but two German fighters over France. And this was just the appetizer for a spectacular combat career that would span two major conflicts.
That young pilot was Lieutenant Robin Olds of the U.S. Air Force’s 479th Fighter Group, just 21 years old when he arrived at Wattisham. Olds was born in Honolulu, though much of his childhood was spent in Hampton, Virginia. He was born into military aviation aristocracy since his father was the much-decorated Major General Robert Olds who served in both world wars as an airman.