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HONORED ON PANEL 25E, LINE 13 OF THE WALL

CHARLES JAMES HOLLAND

WALL NAME

CHARLES J HOLLAND

PANEL / LINE

25E/13

DATE OF BIRTH

07/27/1939

CASUALTY PROVINCE

KONTUM

DATE OF CASUALTY

08/18/1967

HOME OF RECORD

ELIZABETH

COUNTY OF RECORD

Union County

STATE

NJ

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SFC

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR CHARLES JAMES HOLLAND
POSTED ON 8.18.2015
POSTED BY: Irvin Moran

48 years ago

Hard to believe it was 48 years ago today that SFC Holland was K.I.A. In some ways it seems like just yesterday. He will always be remembered by those who served with him.

Irvin "Bugs" Moran
173rd Airborne Brigade LRRP
1967-68
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POSTED ON 7.4.2015
POSTED BY: Irvin Moran

An American Hero

I served with SFC Holland in the 173rd Airborne Brigade's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) Platoon prior to his death.  I joined the platoon in June of 1967 as it was conducting extremely dangerous missions in the Dak To area of the Central Highlands.  I was a "new guy", but SFC Holland was extremely approachable and answered all the questions I had concerning the current operations.  SFC Holland was very knowledgeable and professional, and could easily have been on an Army recruitment poster for airborne rangers.  He was a respected Team Leader and well liked in the platoon.  Although I did not run a mission with him for the two months prior to his death, I knew from other platoon members that he conducted his missions with courage and aggressiveness.  The Dak To area of Vietnam had thick jungle covered 3, 000 foot mountains with steep ravines and few clearings for choppers to land.  This area was located where the borders of Cambodia,  Laos and South Vietnam all come together, and it provided the trail networks for North Vietnamese troops to infiltrate into Vietnam.  The area was extremely active in the summer of 1967, and our missions were conducted to find these NVA units that were operating in these mountains.  On the day SFC Holland was K.I.A., (August 18, 1967) I had just returned from a mission, and SFC Holland's team and other teams were still out. Word went around quickly that SFC Holland's team was in extreme trouble with no radio contact.  Eventually that day the team was located and extracted by chopper, but SFC Holland was M.I.A.  The team had been hit hard by a large NVA force which immediately pursued them through the difficult terrain.  SFC Holland went back to the surveillance site to retrieve the team's radio.  This action allowed the rest of the team to escape and be extracted without serious injuries.   The following day, team members accompanied a reinforced infantry line company back to the site and located and returned SFC Holland's remains.  He had fought valiantly to the end.  At the time, it was believed that SFC Holland was going to be put in for an award of thd Medal of Honor for his actions on that day.  I learned years later that he received the nation's second highest award for valor, the Distinguish Service Cross.  He was a true American hero and everyone should read his medal citation. General James Gavin of the famed 82nd Airborne Division during WWII once stated "show me a man who will jump out of an airplane and I will show you a man who will fight".  SFC Charles J. Holland showed them.

Irvin W. Moran
173rd Airborne Brigade LRRP, 1967-68 
Green Bay, Vrginia
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POSTED ON 6.23.2014
POSTED BY: Lona Maney Harris

Forever

I'm still your girl! You're still the love of my life! Until we meet again.........
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POSTED ON 12.6.2013
POSTED BY: Thomas Golden

I played at the park named after you

I played at the park named after you and never knew your name.
My uncle told me stories of your exploits in Vietnam when you returned home for leave.
One day out of curiosity I researched your life and discovered your story, I want to take some time and insure they post something at that park that tells your story.

You will always live if we keep as long as we keep your story alive.
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POSTED ON 8.18.2013
POSTED BY: A Vietnam Vet

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

Distinguished Service Cross

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class [then Staff Sergeant] Charles James Holland (ASN: 12588446), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Troop E, 17th Cavalry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate) in the Republic of Vietnam. Staff Sergeant Holland distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 18 August 1967. On this date, in an area 15 miles northeast of Dak To Special Forces Camp, Dak To Province, in support of Operation GREELEY, the Team's mission was to penetrate an area heavily infested by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army elements, to conduct surveillance of enemy routes and to detect and report all enemy activities. Because heavy enemy activity had been reported in the area, the mission was considered to be very dangerous. Only minutes before the team was to be infiltrated, information was received that six-to-eight Viet Cong had been observed from an aircraft and that they had fired on the aircraft from a location 1,000 meters from the team's primary landing zone. When offered the opportunity to postpone the mission, Sergeant Holland declined, merely changing the location of the infiltration landing zone. During the first few hours after landing, the team located more than 25 foxholes, only 2 to 3 weeks old. The following morning they established an observation point from which they could watch both nearby Highway 14 and a known enemy trail a short distance away. The observation point, located on the side of a hill, was well concealed by the vegetation, but permitted an unobstructed view. A short time later, 21 Viet Cong were observed moving along the trail. After calling for artillery fire, voices and movement were heard to their rear and they were assaulted by intense enemy automatic weapons fire, hand grenades and M-79 grenade launcher fire. Sergeant Holland immediately returned fire but, realizing the extreme danger to his men, ordered the team to withdraw from the area. He remained behind to provide cover fire for his men, several times overtaking them only long enough to give additional instructions. When all the men had safely reached the bottom of the hill, it was noted that the radio had been left behind. Completely disregarding his own safety, Sergeant Holland charged back up the hill, firing his weapon in order to draw the enemy fire from his men. As a result of his gallant actions, it was possible for the remainder of the team to be safely extracted from their vulnerable position. The following day, Sergeant Holland's lifeless body was found a short distance from the point of initial contact. Because he was wearing part of the equipment which had been left behind, it was determined that he had reached the observation post and was overtaken by the enemy force while attempting to return to his men. From an examination of the area in which his body was found, it was discovered that he had valiantly fought the enemy until he was overcome. Moreover, evidence revealed that he had inflicted serious injury on several enemy soldiers. His courage in the face of a determined enemy force was instrumental in saving the lives of his team members. Sergeant Holland's conspicuous gallantry, his profound courage and his intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 15 (April 8, 1968)

Action Date: 18-Aug-67

Service: Army

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Company: Troop E

Regiment: 17th Cavalry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate)
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