Earnest Arthur Olds

Colonel Olds was declared “Killed in Action” on 2 May 1978, over 10 years after he was reported “Missing in Action” on 11 March 1968.  Ernie was flying an F-4D from Da Nang Air Base in South Viet Nam to North Viet Nam at the time of his “missing” status.  He is survived by his wife, Susan, of Salisbury, MD, two sons Ernest W. and Jeffrey A., and one daughter, Ellen C., their spouses and six grandchildren.


Ernie came to the Academy directly out of high school in Elmhurst, IL.  There his interest in flying spurred him to join the Civil Air Patrol, which led him to join the Aeronautical Engineering Club at USNA.  Also, being musically inclined, he joined NA-10 and other musical groups.  Later, he became a model railroader.


After graduation from the Naval Academy, Ernie married and entered Air Force  pilot training at Marana Air Base , AZ.  There he excelled and after more training was assigned to Misawa Air Base, Japan.  Following this tour, Ernie went to the University of Michigan where he gained two degrees – Aeronautical Engineering and Instrumentation Engineering.  Then he went to Holloman AFB, NM (Missile Development) and on to the Flight Test Division at Griffiss AFB, NY.  Being a proficient pilot with a broad engineering background, Ernie applied for the NASA training program, in which he advanced until the final selection process. Ernie then went to McDill AFB for F-4 training, and subsequent deployment to Da Nang, Viet Nam. Great pilot, great engineer, and great guy.