Randolph M. Holder

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Randolph Mitchell Holder
Born(1918-09-20)September 20, 1918
Jackson, Mississippi
DiedJune 5, 1942(1942-06-05) (aged 23)
Midway Atoll
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1940–1942
RankLieutenant (j.g.)
UnitTorpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6)
Battles/warsWorld War II
*Battle of Midway
AwardsNavy Cross (posthumous)

Randolph Mitchell Holder (born September 20, 1918 in Jackson, Mississippi), was commissioned Ensign April 10, 1940 following flight training. Reporting to Torpedo Squadron 6 (VT-6) in the famous aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6), he took part in the early carrier operations in the critical months following the attack on 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 on June 4, 1942, Holder and his comrades attacked the Japanese ships without fighter cover. Though Holder and many others were shot down while pressing this 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, June 5, 1942, and was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroism.


In 1944, the destroyer escort USS Holder (DE-401) was named in his honor; after DE-401's loss, the destroyer USS Holder (DD-819) received a similar honor in 1945.

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This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.