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Lieutenant Olds completed fighter pilot training with the 329th Fighter Group, an operational training unit based at Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale, California.His initial twin-engine training at Williams Field, Arizona, was in the Curtiss AT-9, followed by transition fighter training In early 1944 he became part of the cadre assigned to build up the newly activated 434th Fighter Squadron and its parent 479th Fighter Group, based at Lomita, California.In March 1943, Olds was braced by an officer upon returning from leave in New York City, and compelled on penalty of an honor violation to admit he had consumed alcohol.The infraction reduced him in rank from cadet captain to cadet private, characterized by Olds in his memoirs as "only the second cadet in the history of West Point to earn that dubious honor." He walked punishment tours until the day of his graduation in June.He entered the academy a month later but after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Olds was sent to the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for flight training.This training ended a year later by Christmas 1942. Eichelberger, replaced the head coach (an Army officer) with Earl "Red" Blaik, a 1920 graduate and head coach at Dartmouth, who had recruited Olds in 1939.
The remainder of his career was spent in non-operational positions, as Commandant of Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy and as an official in the Air Force Inspector General's Office.Olds returned to West Point, hoping to graduate early and see action in the war. Olds played on the varsity college football team in both 19.As a plebe, Olds played football on a freshman squad that began the season with three losses but finished 3–4–1 while the varsity won only one game in its second consecutive losing season. At 6 foot 2 inches in height (1.88m) and weighing 205 pounds (92 kg), he played tackle on both offense and defense, lettering both seasons.Buell Snyder, Olds moved to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where he lived in the YMCA and supported himself working odd jobs.He passed the West Point entrance examination and was accepted into the Class of 1944 on June 1, 1940.