Thomas Bernard Holdbrooks

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
07 November 1948 - 28 December 1967
Mc Kinney, Texas
Panel 32E Line 087



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Bernard Holdbrooks

18 Aug 2001

Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if
they have ever made a difference in the world, but
the Marines don't have that problem.
-- Ronald Reagan --

From his High School friends,
David Mata
P O Box 615, Van Alstyne, Tx 75495
4 May 2004

Tommy Holdbrooks and I were from the same small town of McKinney, Texas, and grew up on the Mill Block in what was called the poor side of town. He was one of the good guys - friendly, loyal, always smiling.He was tall and skinny, wore thick glasses, and wasn't what you would call a tough guy. He sang in the high school choir. I was a year older and when I came home from Marine Corps boot camp wearing my dress blues, Tommy was certainly impressed and had a million questions to ask. I could tell he was proud of me. About a year and a half later after I had been overseas for about four months, I opened a letter from my mom, and there was Tommy's picture in an article from our hometown newspaper. What a shock. Tommy had joined the Marines, had been trained as a rifleman, sent to Vietnam, and was dead.

It was many years later when I learned how he had died in that bloody ambush on Go Noi Island. I also learned how excited he had been when he had come home from boot camp wearing that Marine Corps uniform. He was now officially one of the tough guys and nobody was ever more proud of that than he was. I wish I could have witnessed that transformation and could have told him how proud of him that I was, maybe in another place and another time. Semper Fi, my brother. Til we meet again.

From a friend and brother Marine,
Ronnie D. Foster
P O Box 603, McKinney, Texas 75070

15 Mar 2005

I am Tommy's younger sister. I wanted to express my thanks for this memorial. I recall the night my brother died. I was 13. I lay in bed that morning listening to my parents in the kitchen getting ready for work. My mom told my dad of a dream she had. She said that she was in Vietnam and Tommy was in a large green truck with a lot of guys sitting in the back. When they drove past Tommy held down his hands and they were covered in blood. She told my dad that Tommy was dead. My Dad agreed. I was 13 and just passed this off. The following Sunday when we came home from church, the neighbors said some Marines had been to our house. Mom sent me to the mill to bring Dad home. I told him the Marines were there.

I still miss my brother every day. I was glad recently to hear from Mr. Foster who told me of the memorial at Tommy's high school. I joined the Marine Corps when I was 21 and retired in 1996 as a CWO3. The year before I retired I was at the FBINA at Quantico and visited the Wall in DC. I left my bars for Tommy and told him I finished it.

From his sister,
Vicky Lyons

09 May 2006

It now seems like an eternity must pass before those who loved Tom so much can see him and show their love for him once more. But be assured the Lord keeps and treasures Tom. A paraphrase of 1Peter:3-5 would say:

Blessed be the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
who according to His great mercy
has caused Tom to be born
again to a living hope through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead,
to obtain an inheritance
which is imperishable and undefiled
and will not fade away, reserved
in heaven for Tom,
who is protected by the
power of God through faith for
a salvation ready to be revealed
in the last time.

From a fellow Marine parent,
Nolan Nelson
3497 Westward Ho, Eugene, Oregon 97401

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Operation Auburn, conducted 28 Dec 67 through 03 Jan 68 on Go Noi Island, Quang Nam Province, was primarily a 5th Marines operation, but E Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, was attached to 3/5 Marines to provide an extra rifle company. Go Noi Island was infested with North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong main and local forces, and very heavy fighting resulted when the Marines engaged fortified NVA and VC elements.

Echo 2/3 lost twelve men killed in action on 28 December 1967,

  • SSgt Salome Hernandez, Anthony, NM
  • Cpl Robert L. Boyer, Long Beach, CA (Silver Star)
  • Cpl Richard L. Carlson, Montclair, NJ
  • Cpl James B. Cox, Washington, WV
  • LCpl Patrick E. Anglim, Long Beach, CA
  • LCpl Carl E. Chamberlain, Nashville, TN
  • Pfc Byron A. Gaines, Jacksonville, FL (Silver Star)
  • Pfc Thomas B. Holdbrooks, McKinney, TX
  • Pfc Arturo M. Lara, Los Angeles, CA
  • Pfc Ronald J. Streckert, Chilton, WI
  • Pfc Ernesto Tarango, Los Angeles, CA
  • Pfc Herbert O. Zinnel, Dakota City, IA
and seven more on 29 December:
  • Sgt Henry L. Morgan, Benson, NC (Silver Star)
  • Pfc David A. Blough, Spencer, MA (Silver Star)
  • Pfc John A. Delozier, Tucson, AZ
  • Pfc Leo Menendez, Spelter, WV
  • Pfc Steven D. Munden, Minneapolis, MN
  • Pfc Dennis C. Smith, Deer River, MN
  • Pfc Gerald W. Ziy, St Ann, MO

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister,
Vicky Lyons

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index H
TX State Index . Panel 32E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 18 Aug 2001
Last updated 05/14/2006