Extra! Extra!, History An interview with Captain Frederick A Olds June 25, 2020 Dennis Ambruso 4 Comments An interview with Captain Fred Olds, a good friend and younger brother to General Robin Olds, WWII & Korean War Ace!
4 thoughts on “An interview with Captain Frederick A Olds”
I served under CDR Frederick Olds on the USS Sumter lst-1181. The best C.O. I ever served under.
A fearless man, and you couldn’t ask for a better skipper. I had the pleasure of serving as a Gunner’s Mate with him on the USS Sumter in the late 70’s. I’ll never forget him backing down a Russian minesweeper somewhere near the Arctic Circle who had chased down & tried to run over a group of our Seals in a rubber raft who were collecting some of their sonar buoys for observation. The raft narrowly escaped them by running it up on to our stern gate. They then taunted our ship by making runs at our stern making us think they were going to ram us us. Olds then had an interpreter chew them out in Russian over our loudspeaker and when they continued their ramming taunts he had us go to GQ with loaded 3″ 50 gun mounts & train them on the bridge of the minesweeper, threatening to fire on them if they didn’t stop. They soon left and I was relieved as it was my finger on the firing key of the gun mount!
Man, what a story! He seems like a great man!
When he was Commander, Amphibious Squadron 5, there was no one who knew more about amphibious warfare than Captain Olds! Many of his innovative ideas have since been adopted such as the use of PWCs by special warfare operators. I served on Captain Olds’ staff back then and I remember his love for fishing! The day I checked onboard he was tying flies and gave me a quick tutorial. One evening when I was Staff Duty Officer, he called me up to his stateroom to show me a huge lobster he had caught ring-netting from the pier. He asked me to hold the lobster while he retrieved his camera. I had never held one before and it scared the crap out of me when it started flapping its tale. Just before I transferred our Senior Chief Radioman and I decided to re-enlist together so Captain Olds declared that the entire staff would make a day of it at his favorite fishing hole for the ceremony, picnic, and some fishing. Shortly after we finished eating, the RMCS and I, along with Captain Olds, climbed into a boat, raised our right hands, said our “I do’s” and got to fishing. We had a great time!!