Holloway III, James L.


1974 TLS as Chief of Naval Operations, served on destroyer duty in WW II, naval aviator in Korea, commanded 1st nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise and 7th Fleet in Vietnam, CNO 1974-78


Autograph ID: 6796
Condition: Very good, scant traces of clip stain at top left, inked docket top right.
Description: “(b. 1922) USNA 1943, naval aviator and Admiral, highly decorated in WW II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. After Vietnam, he began the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Carrier Program. He was Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) 1974–78. In WW II, he served in destroyers in the Atlantic and Pacific. As the destroyer Bennion’s gunnery officer at the Battle of Surigao Strait, he took part in a night torpedo attack sinking a Japanese battleship, assisted in destruction of a destroyer, attacked a cruiser with torpedoes, and the next day shot down 2 Zeroes at short range, receiving the Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal. After WW II, he was a naval aviator with 2 carrier tours to Korea, flying missions against North Koreans and Chinese, commanding Fighting Sqdn 52 when his CO was shot down. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 3 Air Medals in the Korean War, sharing in a Navy Unit Commendation awarded the carrier Valley Forge. In 1958, as CO of Attack Sqdn 83 with the carrier Essex, he covered Marine landings in Lebanon and supported operations there until Essex joined the 7th Fleet in the Formosa Straits where he flew missions defending Quemoy and Matsu against a threatened Chinese invasion. He commanded the carrier Enterprise, the Navy’s 1st nuclear-powered aircraft carrier 1965-67, for 2 combat cruises in the Gulf of Tonkin. She set a record for combat sorties flown, won a Battle Efficiency “E” award for best carrier in the fleet, awarded a Navy Unit Commendation (NUC). He twice received the Legion of Merit. Returning to the Pentagon in 1968 he created the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Carrier Program, building supercarrier Nimitz and paving the way for 9 more, awarded the Navy’s Distinguished Service Medal (DSM). In 1970, he led 6th Fleet Carrier Striking Force in the East Mediterranean conducting carrier air operations after Syria invaded Jordan. On Syrian withdrawal, he was awarded a 2nd DSM and shared in an NUC awarded his flagship, the carrier Independence. He led 7th Fleet in 1972 in Vietnam, personally led a cruiser-destroyer gunfire strike force in the Battle of Haiphong Harbor. During Operation Linebacker II, he directed carrier strikes against Hanoi that led to the 1973 cease-fire. 7th Fleet later did airborne mine clearing operations in North Vietnam ports under the Paris Peace Accords. For duty as 7th Fleet Commander, he received a 3rd DSM. Vice CNO 1973-74, as CNO 1974–78, he oversaw the evacuation of Cyprus; rescue of the SS Mayaguez crew and operations against Cambodian forces; evacuation of Americans from Lebanon; and the Aug. 1976 Korean DMZ incident which led to a standoff between Allied and North Korean armies, receiving a 4th DSM and 2 Defense Distinguished Service Medals. In 1980 he led the investigation of the aborted Iranian hostage rescue attempt and in 1985 was technical advisor to the film “Top Gun.”

TLS on 8 ½ x 7 letterhead as Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, April 25 1975, to Major General DeWitt C. Smith Jr., Commandant, Army War College. ADM Holloway has nominated 2 RADMs to attend the 21st National Security Seminar at the AWC, appreciated the opportunity for Navy participation. With envelope.

DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, twice (and longest-serving) Army War College commandant 1974 -77, 1978-80. Joined the Army 1942, commissioned 2nd lieutenant, with the 4th Armored Div. in combat after Normandy to the end of the War. Wounded 3 times, awarded Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged 1946, returned to active duty in Korea and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Maxwell Taylor, served in the “Old Guard” at Fort Myer, a battalion XO and commander in Germany. He served at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. Led a combat brigade of the 1st Infantry in Vietnam. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson, Colo. was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. After his stints at the War College, he retired in 1980.”
Type: Letter

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