Second Lieutenant | Infantry


"Randy Holland was KIA in Korea at 5:10 a.m., October 8, 1952...We were with Fox Company of the 17th Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 7th Infantry Division on October 8, 1952. Randy was a second lieutenant, and relatively new to the company. I had been with the company for ten months at the time. Randy was the platoon leader of the first platoon, and I was the squad leader of the first squad of that same platoon. On this date we were given orders to take a Chinese Outpost in Kumwha Valley, North Korea. I still remember Randy drawing in the dirt with a stick and giving each of the squad leaders our assigned objective.


We started the attack about 5:00 a.m. It was just a short time into the attack that all hell broke loose. I mean it literally rained mortar rounds, grenades, and other small arms fire. Shortly into the attack, I was seriously wounded. I don’t remember if I yelled out or if Randy saw me go down. The last thing I remember was this dear man screaming to me and encouraging me to hold on as he was coming to help me. He barely got the words out of his mouth when an incoming round silenced his voice. Thanks, Randy—if for no more than your attempt. 'You were my hero.' "


– Jack L. Reynolds, RA 14-333-802


Among James' possessions that were never recovered was a .45 pistol presented to him by a beloved Captain who was leaving Japan for Korea.  James had a custom holster made and was rarely without this pistol until his death.  Every friend who visited the Holland's following James' death inquired if they'd received te pistol and holster.  In June of 1953, Mrs. Holland was still writing to the Army asking for the whereabouts of the pistol.  Though she knew it was so meager in comparison to the loss of her son, she nevertheless felt that it was important as it meant so much to Lt. Holland and held so many memories.