“The MiGs came up, the MiGs were aggressive, we tangled, they lost”
Col Robin Olds, 3 January 1967
Operation Bolo was a brilliantly planned and executed MiG sweep led by one of the greatest fighter pilots in history, Robin Olds. The key to its success was deception. The Wolf Pack Phantoms went north that day using F-105 call signs to lure enemy MIGs up to play. When the MiGs arrived at the Merge that day, they were in for a rude awakening when they found Phantoms with a justice load out of sparrows and sidewinders. They expected to see Thuds loaded with bombs, but instead found themselves quickly turning into flaming metal, hair, teeth, and eyeballs. After all, MIGs were born to die!
Between Olds, Ford, and Rambler flights, seven MiG-21s met their doom that day. Not a bad days work for Robin and his boys. I'm guessing there may have been some singing and drinking that night at the bar. I'm just saying....
This video clip from History Channels Dogfights gives a great recap of the engagement. Robin Olds was one of a kind, and the Air Force could use a lot more of him. Fortunately his fighting spirit lives on in the thousands of fighter pilots still flying today. He continues to teach us all what it means to be a fighter pilot.
Operation Bolo Tally Board:
1st Lt. Ralph F. Wetterhahn
1st Lt. Jerry K. Sharp
Capt. Walter S. Radeker III
1st Lt. James E. Murray III
Col. Robin Olds
1st Lt. Charles C. Clifton
Capt. Everett T. Raspberry, Jr.
1st Lt. Robert W. Western
Maj. Philip P. Combies
1st Lt. Lee R. Dutton
Capt. John B. Stone
1st Lt. Clifton P. Dunnegan, Jr.
1st Lt. Lawrence J. Glynn, Jr.
1st Lt. Lawrence E. Cary
Hopefully Ill be flying like him soon. T-6 solo next week hell yeah!!