Pearl Harbor survivor Jack Holder dies at 101 yrs old after telling his incredible story.
Jack Holder was a Pearl Harbor survivor. He was a World War Two pilot who flew 11 missions in the Pacific and Europe. The soldier died in Arizona at the age of 101.
Holder’s close friend and the person in charge of his estate, Darlene Tryon, said that he died on Friday at a hospital in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix. The veteran’s death was also reported by the Pearl Harbor National Monument.
Holder was born in Gunter, Texas, to a family. In 1940, he was just 18 years old when he entered the Navy. On December 7, 1941, he was stationed at Ford Island in Oahu’s Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked the US naval facility.
Holder often discussed the events of that day. The first bomb that dropped on Pearl Harbor was approximately 100 yards away from him, he claimed, adding that he saw soldiers swimming through flaming oil in the water.
To escape being shot, the veteran jumped into a ditch. He huddled beneath the protection of a sandbag castle. Holder said in a 2016 interview that he worried whether this was going to be the day he died. That morning, he watched as Japanese dive bombers bombed Pearl Harbor. He remarked that he realized they couldn’t stand by and let the war ravage Europe any longer.
Holder spent the days after the incident constructing a makeshift machine gun pit. He protected himself by lining a ditch with sandbags.
The Pearl Harbor assault, which launched the United States into World War Two, killed around 2,400 troops. The USS Arizona alone lost 1,177 sailors and Marines, accounting for over half of the total casualty toll.
Holder took part in the Battle of Midway while serving in the Navy. Before being sent to England, he flew missions over Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands, as well as flights along the French coast and the English Channel.
Holder received several awards, including two distinguished flying cross medals, six air medals, a presidential citation, and six commendation medals. He was honorably discharged from the army in 1948.
Holder worked as a corporate and commercial pilot for 25 years after being honorably discharged from the military. He enjoyed golf in his spare time and subsequently relocated to an Arizona retirement home.
He became an active wartime educator after retiring. As per his friend Darlene Tryon, he was a frequenter of Pearl Harbor commemorations, museums, and school.
On his 100th birthday, he was invited to take an honor flight from Mesa’s Falcon Field. When asked what his secret to living a long life was, the veteran said, excellent heart exercise and two scotches and sodas every night.
Tryon said that a memorial ceremony for Holder would be held in Phoenix in early April. At a later date, the renowned soldier will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Although there is no official data on how many men and women who fought at Pearl Harbor are still alive, the general consensus is that there aren’t many. As a result, we should remember those who served whenever we come across them.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jack Holder’s family and loved ones. Please share this article so that others may learn about his wonderful tale.