Robin Olds documentary project launches on Kickstarter
Robin Olds is recognized as one of the legendary warriors in the annals of combat, his arena being that of the sky. A West Point grad who earned football All- American honors for his performance on both sides of the line for the Army, he became a WWII ace in Europe and commanded a squadron by age 22. He is an inductee of both the College Football and the National Aviation Halls of Fame. As a fighter pilot in both the piston and jet age, his leadership and accomplishments over Vietnam remain the subject of myth.
But this warrior’s warrior, who retired in 1973 as a Brigadier General of the USAF, was also thoughtful, generous, creative and playful. He married a movie star, wrote poetry and was an accomplished artist. Though he wrote of his remarkable experiences over the years with the aim of one day publishing them as a book, sadly his health took a turn before that could happen, and he passed away in 2007 at age 85.
Fortunately for the rest of us, in the twilight of his life, his daughter, Christina, was by his side and pledged to bring his memoirs into print. And that she did, in spectacular form, with the help of another retired Air Force fighter pilot and historian, Ed Rasimus. The pair published “Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds” (2010 St. Martin’s Press), which quickly earned acclaim and must-have status for not only aviation buffs but those of military history.
It also thrust Christina into the spotlight as THE authority on her father’s colorful life, understandably with the focus on his military service and combat experience. Over the last five years Christina saw two themes converge as she criss-crossed the country on speaking engagements. One was that so much of the depth of her father was left unexplored or unknown to her audiences. The other was that almost every appearance elicited the question, “When is the movie coming out?”
Today Christina took a huge step to rectify that situation with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to raise $167,000 needed to produce a one-hour documentary about her late father. Preliminary work is underway with a professional documentary team. Her goal, provided funding is achieved, is to have the completed and as-yet-unnamed film released, and available on DVD, by June of 2017.
According to Christina in her Kickstarter post, “The genesis of the idea to do a Kickstarter project began with my desire to pull together and publish a book of Robin's drawings. As I developed the concept for that idea, it became obvious there was something even larger that needed to be done. The book of drawings has now become one of the centerpiece rewards of this campaign. This documentary project is yet another labor of love in my ongoing commitment to further my father's legacy for the benefit of our currently serving military pilots, all veterans, aviation buffs around the world and to cement his story into the history of our military aviation.”