Location: [USS Holder Homepage] [USS Holder DD-819 Documents] USS Holder - DD819 2nd Anniversary Pages 1 to 3
UNITED STATES SHIP HOLDER
The USS Holder DD819 was named in honor of Lieutenant, Junior grade, Randolph Mitchell Holder, U.S. Navel Reserve who served with distinction in the United States Navy as a pilot in Torpedo Squadron 6. On 5 June 1943 LTJG Holder was officially reported missing in action as of 4 June 1942 when the plane of which he was pilot was shot down in the Battle of Midway. The first vessel so named was the DE 401. While in TG 65 on Mediterranean patrol she was struck by an aerial torpedo on 11 April 1944. She was so badly damaged that she was decommissioned and salvaged September 1944.
The keel was laid 23 April 1945 at the Consolidated Steel Corporation Ltd., Orange, Texas, and the ship was launched 25 August 1945, Mrs. Annette Holder, the mother of LTJG Holder, acting as ship’s sponsor. The Ho1der is 390½ feet long, 41 feet in beam and draws 14 feet of water, displacing at full load 3400 tons. It's firepower, speed and maneuverability place it in the most formidable destroyer class, while it’s new ASW equipment makes it one of the most modern vessels afloat.
Lieutenant, junior grade, Holder was born in Jackson, Mississippi, September 20, 1918. He received a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Mississippi State College. He enlisted in the US Naval Reserve as a Seaman second class at New Orleans, Louisiana, and shortly thereafter accepted an appointment as Aviation Cadet and took flight training at Pensacola Florida. Lieutenant, junior grade, Holder completed his flight training and on April 29, 1940, reported to Torpedo Squadron Six for active duty. He participated in the Battle of Midway with that Squadron and was lost in action on 4 June 1942.
Lieutenant, junior grade, Holder in addition to receiving the American Defense Service Medal, the Pacific Area Ribbon and the Purple Heart, was awarded the Navy Cross by the Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet in the name of the President with the‑following citation:
"For extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty while piloting an airplane of Torpedo Squadron Six in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. Participating in a vigorous and intensive assault against the Japanese invasion fleet, Lieutenant, junior grade, Holder pressed home his attack with relentless determination, in the face of a terrific barrage of anti‑aircraft fire.
The unprecedented conditions under which his squadron launched its offensive were so exceptional that it is highly improbable the occasion may ever recur when other pilots of the service will be called upon to demonstrate an equal degree of gallantry and fortitude. His extreme disregard of personal safety contributed materially to the success of our forces and his loyal conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United Status Naval Service."
This information was taken from 2nd Anniversary Booklet published aboard ship listing "Holder Happenings, Athletics, Comments from Crew, Listing of Ship's Officers, and Members of the Crew."
was last Modified: 30 August 2012