Gary Leroy Holz

Army of the United States
17 May 1945 - 08 October 1967
Auburn, Washington
Panel 27E Line 073

The database page for Gary Leroy Holz

11 Apr 2005

I would like those who did not know my big brother, my hero, to know a little bit about him. Gary L. Holz was my big brother and my friend. He always treated me kindly, and looked out for me as we were growing up. I beat him to Vietnam and I think that may have upset him a little as he had to take care of me in his own mind. I was with the 4th Infantry Division as an 11B10, Rifleman, I was based out of the Michelin Rubber Plantation in 1966/67. Gary was a door gunner with the 1st Cav and he was very proud of his unit, as I was, our unit had taken heavy losses and Gary was very concerned about me, I do believe he came to Vietnam, so I could go home. On 05 Oct 67 on approach to the LZ at Phan-Thiet Vietnam his chopper turned onto its side and fell to earth and exploded upon impact. Gary was found leaning up against a bunker burned and in shock, he died on 08 Oct 67. I was told of his death about 5 days later. I was then sent home to be with my parents before his body arrived home, this was very hard on my parents and me as we waited for Gary to come home. Gary left a 2 year old son, Marty Holz, at home - he has grown into a fine man and a father. I know that Gary would have been very proud of him.

I miss my Big brother, and I know that he is with his buddies and with God now, but the hurt and the pain will never leave me as I remember Vietnam like it all happened yesterday. I would like to thank the founders of the "Virtual Wall" for what they are doing, and may all of those who gave all, "May They All Rest in Peace". Thank You.

Ron Holz
4th Inf Div Grunt, Vietnam 66/67

When we were young, my big brother Gary (right) and me (left)

20 Apr 2005

Gary Holz in Fatal Viet 'Copter Crash - Gary LeRoy Holz, 22, former resident of 812 26th St. S. E., Auburn, died in Vietnam, Sunday, as a result of burns and injuries received in a helicopter crash Thursday. Born in Fargo ND, 17 May 1945, he moved to the Steel Lake area in 1952, attended Washington Elementary, Cascade Junior High and graduated from Auburn High School in 1963. Gary worked for Glenn Rockey Construction Co., two years before enlisting in the Army 7 Sep 1966. He had his basic training at Fort Lewis and volunteered for duty in Vietnam last April. Shot down earlier in Vietnam, he was a helicopter gunner with the 227th Aviation Battalion, Ft. Airborn Division [sic]. Surviving, all of Auburn, are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon H. Holz; a son, Martin Bradley Holz; a half brother, Dallas Lindsey; a brother, Pvt. Ronald V. Holz, U. S. Army, stationed in Thailand; a sister, Jo Ann and his grandmothers: Mrs. Pauline Aure and Mrs. Laura Holz. His body is being escorted back to Auburn by his brother with services to be arranged by the Price-Helton Funeral Chapel.

Auburn Globe-News 11 Oct 1967

Gary Holz, Vietnam Casualty, Is Buried - Funeral service for Army Cp. Gary L. Holz, who died in Vietnam, were at Messiah Lutheran Church in Auburn Monday, The Rev. Eric Sigmar officiated. Military Graveside services in Mt. View Cemetery were under the direction of the Price-Helton Funeral Chapel. Corporal Holz died 8 Oct (1967) from injuries sustained in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Surviving, all of Auburn, are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon H. Holz; a son, Martin Bradley Holz; a half brother, Dallas Lindsey; a brother, Pvt. Ronald V. Holz, U. S. Army, stationed in Thailand; a sister, Jo Ann and his grandmothers: Mrs. Pauline Aure and Mrs. Laura Holz.

Auburn WA Globe 18 Oct 1967

Based on e-mails received 19 Aug 2003 from an eye-witness, Tom Johnson, and a researcher, Bruce Swander, the circumstances were as follow:

"On 5 Oct 1967, Holz was aboard a UH-1H helicopter as a door gunner, along with two pilots and a crew chief. Holz, a supplyman by training, apparently wanted to get into some of the action. While his records show that he was with Headquarters (HHC), he was actually with A Company that day when they went to take off.

"The location was Landing Zone (LZ) Betty near Phan Thiet, the capital of Binh Thuan Province - northeast of Saigon on the South China Sea. This particular helicopter was new, and had just been upgraded from a UH-1D to a -1H to increase its power and speed. They were scrambling to go pick up some troops and insert them just north of Phan Thiet where contact had been made."

Pfc Holz was the only survivor, but died of wounds sustained three days later on 8 Oct 1967.

Courtesy of
Darilee Bednar

Faces from the Wall

11 Oct 2005

Gary was in the "Gearlords" car club in his home town of Auburn, Washington. He helped make it a great club, all the club members felt a great loss with Gary's passing.

We are very proud to have been Gary's friends.

Forever Gearlords

From the founder of the "Gearlords" car club and a fellow Vietnam vet,
Larry L. Fox
951 White Road, Cle Elum, Washington 98922

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 05 Oct 1967 a new UH-1H (tail number 66-16803) of Company A, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, was in formation flight on final approach. At approximately 100 feet altitude, the aircraft pitched up to 90 degrees nose high attitude, rolled right, crashed inverted, and burned. Although the aircraft crashed into a troop area, only one person on the ground was injured - but all four crewmen died:
  • WO Ralph E. Bowen, Jackson, MI, pilot
  • WO Donald R. Phipps, San Jose, CA, copilot
  • CPL Gary L. Holz, Auburn, WA, gunner (died 10/08/1967)
  • PFC Stanley R. Uding, San Pablo, CA, crew chief
Investigation revealed a failed trunion bearing on the main rotor pitch control, causing loss of control.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/02/2015