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Olds' class was given an abridged second class course of study until January 19, 1943, when it began an abridged first class course.

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C., a school established to prepare men for the entrance examinations to the military academies.His father was Captain (later Major General) Robert Oldys (later Olds), Olds virtually made daily contact with the small group of officers who would lead the US Army Air Forces in World War II (one neighbor was Major Carl Spaatz, destined to become the first Chief of Staff of the USAF), On November 10, 1925, his father appeared as a witness on behalf of Billy Mitchell during Mitchell's court-martial in Washington, D. He brought three-year-old Robin with him to court, dressed in an Air Service uniform, and posed with him for newspaper photographers before testifying.His father was made commander of the pioneer B-17 Flying Fortress 2nd Bombardment Group at Langley Field on March 1, 1937, and promoted to lieutenant colonel on March 7.When Germany invaded Poland, Olds attempted to join the Royal Canadian Air Force but was thwarted by his father's refusal to approve his enlistment papers.Olds completed Millard Prep and applied for admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point.As a plebe, Olds played football on a freshman squad that began the season with three losses but finished 3–4–1 while the varsity won only one game in its second consecutive losing season. At 6 foot 2 inches in height (1.88m) and weighing 205 pounds (92 kg), he played tackle on both offense and defense, lettering both seasons.

Army's record in 1941 was 5–3–1, with wins over The Citadel, VMI, Yale, Columbia, and West Virginia, a scoreless tie with Notre Dame, and losses to Harvard, Penn and Navy.

After he received a conditional commitment for nomination from Pennsylvania Congressman J.

Buell Snyder, Olds moved to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where he lived in the YMCA and supported himself working odd jobs.

Rising to the command of two fighter wings, Olds is regarded among aviation historians, and his peers, as the best wing commander of the Vietnam War, for both his air-fighting skills, and his reputation as a combat leader.

Olds was promoted to brigadier general after returning from Vietnam but did not hold another major command.

His initial twin-engine training at Williams Field, Arizona, was in the Curtiss AT-9, followed by transition fighter training In early 1944 he became part of the cadre assigned to build up the newly activated 434th Fighter Squadron and its parent 479th Fighter Group, based at Lomita, California.