The Robin Olds Air Warrior Combat Memorial (AWCM)

USAF Academy Colorado
Fall of 2019

The AWCM is an Air Force approved memorial designed to honor the warrior ethos and the first 100 years of aerial combat, 1917-2018. The memorial is a gift from the graduating class of 1971which has been raising the necessary 1.2 million dollars from donations from class members and others who value the warrior ethos.

The statue of Robin Olds in the memorial is being sculpted by sculptor James Nance also of the class of 1971. Brigadier General Olds was selected to represent the warrior ethos for several reasons. First he was a triple ace in WW2 and Vietnam with 17 aerial victories to his name. Secondly he was the “John Paul Jones” of the USAF and an exceptional, lead from in front, combat wing commander in Vietnam. His men idolized him and would follow him to hell and back…and often did. Finally he was the beloved and admired commandant of cadets at the USAFA Academy for all four years of the class of 1971.

Learn More from Air website*

*Warning this link will take you away from this website

General Description of the Memorial +

The AWCM memorial has five components:

  • Hardscape
  • Landscape
  • The Robin Olds bronze Sculpture
  • Brushed Stainless Steel Panels
  • Three scale models cast in bronze of the three aircraft which Robin Olds flew in aerial victories.

Hardscape and Landscape +

AWCM:  Hardscape component

  • The memorial will be titled the Air Warrior Combat Memorial.
  • Located within a traffic circle with a diameter of 132 feet
  • Composed of a plaza and two sets of architectural concrete walls holding stainless steel panels
  • Interior courtyard
  • benches and planter boxes

AWCM: Landscape component

  • Outside the walls, dense evergreen landscaping to provide for a visual separation between the memorial and traffic and establish enclosure.
  • Borrowed horizon visual elements of mountains and Academy campus
  • Trees inside  and outside of plaza to create a vertical component

Robin Olds Sculpture +

Located within the plaza will be a bronze sculpture of Robin Olds who represents the spirit of the Air Warrior.For best sunlight illuminating the face, the sculpture will face South.

The Olds sculpture will be standing on a pedestal measuring 32 inches tall and 5 feet square at the bottom.  The sides will be beveled at a 30 degree angle..

The beveled sides of the pedestal will contain bronze plaques honoring Robin Olds and his accomplishments

Concrete Walls and Stainless Steel Panels +
Brushed stainless steel panels measuring 5 ft in height and 10 ft long will be affixed to four concrete walls with heights that vary from 8 to 9 ft
The concrete walls will be oriented in two sets of angled wings, one on the outside of the plaza and one on the interior courtyard.Outer WallsThe outer set of walls will measure 80 feet long and 50 feet long with a gap in the apex where the sculpture will be located
The outer walls will contain stainless steel panels which delineate a etched timeline of major accomplishments in aerial combat.
The timeline will begin in 1900 and end in 2017
The etched timeline will become blue in 1959 to honor the “Long Blue Line”
The break pivot point between the two timeline walls will occur in the year 1971 to honor the class of 1971Inner Courtyard WallsTwo concrete walls measuring 41 feet long each will be connected at a pivot point and be located on the East and South side of the interior courtyard
The interior walls facing the courtyard will contain stainless steel panels measuring 30 inches tall and 10 feet long
The steel panels will contain etched text of inspirational quote
The lyrics of the AF Song:
The Airman’s creed:
The Oath of office:
Code of Conduct
The Southern most wall on the outside surface will contain large individual letters with the name of the memorial
A large cut aluminum air Force Chevron will also be affixed beside the memorial name
On the outside East of the courtyard wall will be provisions for dedication and donor recognition

Aircraft +

Three stainless steel poles will hold three bronze scale model aircraft representing the three aircraft Robin Olds flew in aerial combat victories.The three aircraft will be grouped in a tight formation located directly behind the Olds statue

Three plaques located on the center pedestal will describe each aircraft and detail the aerial victories by Robin Olds.

The aircraft are the P-51, P-38, and F-4 C/D (Note graphic uses a F-4 E)

The aircraft will be all created in the same scale of 1/6 which will make them the following lengths:

P-51: 5.3 ft.

P-38: 6.3 ft.

F-4: 10.5 ft.

The 1/6 scale is optimal, too large they would overpower the statue, too small they will look insignificant like toys.

The aircraft will be mounted flying in level flight with wings banked in a 45 degree as if rolling in on the memorial for a low pass.

The lowest wing will be 7 feet from the ground

These aircraft will add a degree of continuity to the B-52 airpark as well as provide a history lesson on the advances in air combat and how far we have come since WW2 in aircraft design.

It will also dramatically demonstrate how small the WW2 aircraft really were and give the viewer a new appreciation of what those past warriors faced.

Memorial Purpose +

To honor the first 100 years of Aerial Combat with a timeline denoting major milestonesTo honor Robin Olds and his contributions to Air Combat as a prime example of the warrior ethos.

To inspire a spirit of the “Warrior Ethos” in all Academy graduates and cadets whatever their mission.

To reinforce the primary mission of the USAF–“To Fly, Fight, and Win.”

To generate a feeling of “Pride” in being an AF officer and warrior.

To promote “Patriotism” and “Esprit De Corps.”

To honor our shared “Warrior Heritage.

To connect with the past and the contributions of previous generation of warriors.

Click Any Image to View Full-Sized Version and Captions