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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

German air attack off Algiers - Although Holder was brought home,
she was considered a war loss, 17 of her crew were lost and remain on eternal duty

USS Holder (DE 401)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - Y - D
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

Class: Edsall
Type: FMR (geared diesel, Fairbanks-Morse reverse gear drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1200 tons (light), 1590 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 20' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 4 Fairbanks-Morse Mod. 38d81/8 geared diesel engines, 4 diesel-generators, 6000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 21 kts
Range: 9,100 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 8 / 201
Holder (DE 401) Building and Operational Data:
  • 6 October 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 27 November 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Annette Holder, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Holder
  • 18 January 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr G. Cook in command
  • 11 April 1944: Irreparably damaged by German aircraft 35 miles north-east of Algiers, Algeria (17 killed, 12 wounded), she was considered a war loss
  • 13 September 1944: Decommissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the stern section of her hull was used to repair USS Menges (DE 320)
  • 23 September 1944: Struck from the NVR
  • 20 June 1947: Hulk sold and broken up for scrap by John Witte Co., Staten Island, N.Y.
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    6k Randolph Mitchell Holder was born 20 September 1918 in Jackson, Miss., and was commissioned Ensign 10 April 1940 following flight training. Reporting to Torpedo Squadron 6 in the famous carrier Enterprise, he took part in the early carrier operations in the critical months following 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 04 June 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, 05 June 1942, and was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroism.

    USS Holder (DE 401) (January - September 1944) was the first ship to be named in his honor, she was succeeded by DD-819 (1946-1976).

    (Photo Courtesy of the USS Holder Association thanks to Doug Dame)
    Bill Gonyo
    Downey, Cal.

    Assoc. Researcher
    ***Menges / Holder*** 110k USS Menges (DE 320) (left) and Holder (right) in drydock prior to their "melding." Note the welded repair plate across Menges' stern area which was used during her tow across the Atlantic.

    (U.S. Navy Photo)
    Holder 76k Late 1944 photo of the recently decommissioned USS Holder (DE 401) and the USS Menges (DE 320) dry docked together at the New York Navy Yard. At this time the stern of the Holder was used to repair the destroyed stern of the Menges.

    (U.S. Navy photo)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    Holder 64k ex-USS Holder's hulk mothballed, prior to being sold for scrap in 1947. She had been torpedoed amidships in 1944, and cannibalized. Note huge patch amidships. Her hulk had apparently been used as some kind of weapons test platform, as she is carrying a 5"/38 gun, Mk33 and Mk37 gun directors and other devices not fitted when she was active.

    (U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #NH 81348, courtesy of D. M. McPherson, 1974 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)

    Holder History
    View the USS Holder (DE 401) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Holder's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 18 Jan. 1944 - 21 Mar. 1944Lcdr. George Cook, USNR
    2.) 21 Mar. 1944 - 13 Sep. 1944Lcdr. Winthrop Porter Buck, USNR (Niagara Falls, N.Y.)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has
    been made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list
    only a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
    Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    USS Holder Web Site (DE 401 and DD 819)
    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Holder
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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 07 May 2017