John Parker Holden, 2nd

Second Lieutenant
HMM-163, MAG-39, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
10 November 1943 - 11 April 1968
Philadelphia, PA
Panel 49E Line 023


Naval Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
John P Holden

The database page for John Parker Holden, 2nd

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil: for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Psalms 23:4

From his wife,
Jamie C. Holden Knowles  
24 Nov 2001
30 May 2002

I was one of John's roomates at Pensacola ... and a fellow MarCad ... and I was on the scene right after the crash, flying an H-46 from HMM-262; we had gotten the notice of the mid-air collision from Dong Ha DASC on Guard Channel and we landed right next to the wreckage. I was the co-pilot, so I unstrapped and got out to see if there was anything we could do to help. John was already gone, as far as I could tell died instantly ... looked fine, as if asleep .... He had a great sense of humor, and a real sense of honor.

I miss you, Ho Tai; you were the greatest!
I will see you again.

From a friend and Whiting Field roomate,
Michael R. Mullen, Ph.D. LtCol. USMC (Ret)

The Mission

In the early morning hours of 11 April 1968, an H-34 helicopter of HMM-163 launched on a med-evac mission. The H-34 was escorted by two UH-1 gunship helicopters from VMO-6.

After picking up four wounded Marines from near Khe Sanh, the H-34 and its escorts proceeded toward Dong Ha. While enroute, a mid-air collision occurred between the H-34 and the lead UH-1 when the UH-1, which was in trail, came into contact with the H-34. Both aircraft crashed and burned near the abandoned refugee camp at Cam Lo. The casualties included

  • Aboard the H-34 (BuNo 145804):
    CAPT Eugene R Gannon, Pilot
    2ND LT John P Holden II, Copilot
    CPL John A Nixon, Gunner
    CPL Frederick D Graten, Crew Chief

    HN Frank P Addice, Corpsman
    CPL Robert W Belcher
    PFC Dennis R Davidson
    PFC Richard E Erwin
    PFC Charles R Finley

  • Aboard the UH-1E (BuNo 154968):
    CAPT Bruce F McMillan, Pilot
    1ST LT Ronald E Riede, Copilot
    CPL Paul J Allen, Crew Chief
    LCPL Michael G De Marco, Gunner
From the
Pop-A-Smoke site

A memorial initiated by his wife,
Jamie C. Holden Knowles 
24 Nov 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 05/30/2002