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Fred Olmsted '64

Taking Stock

As a former fighter pilot who survived 300 combat missions in Southeast Asia, Fred Olmsted ’64 finds pleasure in giving back to the Air Force Academy. It trained him well.

Olmsted’s nine-year Air Force logbook includes F-4 combat tours and time as T-38 instructor. He was featured in the 2006 History Channel series “Dogfights.” The “Hell Over Hanoi” episode chronicled his second MiG-21 kill during his combat missions in Southeast Asia.

“It is interesting to note that my aircraft that day was the now-iconic MiG Killer Phantom that sits in front of Mitchell Hall, tail # OY 463!” Olmsted says with pride. “At the end of this mission, the proud warrior Phantom would have another red star adorning the splitter plate!”

After his Air Force service, Olmsted flew for Eastern Airlines and retired as a FedEx captain. He later received a law degree and served as a special assistant to the FedEx Chief Pilot.

When he began exploring ways he might give back to his alma mater, gifts of stocks, bonds and mutual funds made sense.

“This is a method of giving that I highly recommend,” he says. “It makes such sense to get 100 percent of the stock’s market value as a charitable deduction even though my cost was, say, only 27 percent of that. Plus, it does not affect my cash flow and allows me to rebalance my portfolio while helping the Academy. It’s even possible to use stock to make annual Sabre Society donations.”

Olmsted’s gifts have generously supported the Holaday Athletic Center, and he is considering adding the Academy in his estate plans.

In retirement, he and his wife, Barbara, live in St. Augustine, Florida. There, he enjoys his two passions: playing golf and showing his original 1967 Jaguar.

The San Diego native, known as Lefty at USAFA because of his pitching prowess, was a standout baseball player for the Falcons. He gets together regularly with his classmates to follow and support the today’s baseball team.

For more information about gifting stock, or making a future bequest in a will or trust, contact Dale Zschoche at the USAFA Endowment, 719-238-7510,