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LTjg Randolph Holder

LTjg Randolph Holder


LtTjg Randolph Holder

Randolph Mitchell Holder was born 20 September 1918 in Jackson, Miss., and was commissioned Ensign 10 April 1940 following flight training. Reporting to Torpedo Squadron 6 in the famous carrier Enterprise, he took part in the early carrier operations in the critical months following Pearl Harbor and then fought in the pivotal Battle of Midway, first of the great American successes in the sea war. In the gallant attack of the torpedo planes early 4 June 1942, Holder and his comrades attacked the Japanese ships without fighter cover. Though Holder and many others were shot down while pressingthis attack, they forced radical maneuvers and diverted Japanese air cover so as to make the later raids lethal to the enemy fleet. Lieutenant (j.g.) Holder was presumed dead next day, 5 June 1942, and was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroism.

Taken from "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships"


  There were two ships named for LTjg Randolph Holder

The first ship named for LTjg Holder was the Edsall Class Destroyer Escort USS HOLDER (DE-401) which was launched by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, TX, 27 November 1943, and commissioned 18 January 1944 with Lieutenant Commander G. Cook in command. After completion of her shakedown cruise, HOLDER departed 24 March 1944 to take part in escorting a convoy bound for Mediterranean ports. The convoy was attacked by German torpedo bombers just before midnight 11 April 1944 off the coast of Algeria. DE-401 and the other escorts immediately opened fire and began making smoke, but a torpedo struck the HOLDER amidships on the port side, causing two heavy explosions. Her crew remained at their guns to drive off the attackers and protect the convoy while damage control fought fires and flooding to keep the ship seaworthy. She then taken in tow to Oran for repairs. She was eventually towed back to New York, where she arrived 9 June 1944. She was decommissioned at New York Navy Yard 13 September 1944 and the stern part of her hull was used to repair USS MENGES (DE-320) since The aft third of MENGES had been destroyed by torpedoing 3 May 1944. The rest of Holder was scraped.

USS HOLDER (DE-401) received one battle star for World War II service.


The second HOLDER (DD-819) was a Gearing Class Destroyer launched by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, TX, 25 August 1945 and was commissioned 18 May 1946 at Orange, TX, with Commander B. K. Atkins in command.HOLDER went to the Caribbean for her shakedown training. Operating out of Norfolk, VA, she went through a period of training exercises between August and October 1946 then sailed for the Mediterranean returning to Newport in March 1947. Holder operated out of Newport until 1949 when she took part in a Midshipman cruise to northern Europe. When she returned from this cruise she changed her home port to Norfolk.

Her classification was changed to DDE-819 on 4 March 1950. When Egypt seized the Suez Canal in 1956 causing a crisis in the Middle East, HOLDER steamed to join the 6th Fleet. HOLDER sailed to the Mediterranean in March 1958 and took part in the landings at Beirut, Lebanon, in July. The Holder was again reclassified 7 August 1962 as DD-819. She participated in the naval quarantine of Cuba when offensive nuclear missiles were being introduced there. HOLDER and other ships took up station to intercept and inspect shipping. The destroyer made an inspection of a Russian ship leaving Cuba on 8 November 1962, and remained on duty in this area until 21 November.

HOLDER entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard 17 December 1962 (Emerging in October 1963) for Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) Overhaul, a major repair and modernization which added ASROC and DASH, including a helicopter hanger and flight deck, which increased the ship's antisubmarine capability. From 12 January to 4 February 1965 she participated in the recovery of NASA's unmanned Gemini II capsule. Between 26 April and 17 May HOLDER patrolled the Dominican Republic's coast during the struggle to prevent a Communist take over there.

HOLDER transited the Panama Canal 6 June 1966 on her way to the Pacific Fleet and Viet Nam. Her operations included plane guard ship for RANGER (CVA-61) in Tonkin Gulf, naval gunfire support off Vietnam, plane guard for INTREPID (CVS-11). and she also acted in support of CHICAGO (CG-11). Sailing for home 10 November via the Suez Canal, HOLDER arrived in Norfolk 17 December.

HOLDER was stricken 1 October, 1976, transferred to the Ecuadorian navy 11 May, 1980 and renamed PRESIDENTE ELROY ALFARO, eventually stricken and broken up for scrap in early 1992.




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      was last Modified: 07 January 2011