From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Edward Holt, Jr. '39

Date of birth: July 6, 1915

Date of death: August 6, 1945

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:


In Freemantle, Australia, Lieut. Comdr. Edward R. Holt, Jr., reads his orders assigning him to command the USS Bullhead, as the former skipper, Comdr. Griffith, right, other officers and chiefs look on. (Official US Navy photo)
1939 Holt 2.jpg

Edward was lost when USS Bullhead (SS 332) was sunk, probably by Japanese aircraft, on or around August 6, 1945, in the Java Sea. He was only a month past his 30th birthday and was said to be one of the youngest submarine skippers in the Navy. He had made ten previous patrols.

He is discussed extensively in Overdue and Presumed Lost: The Story of the USS Bullhead by Martin Sheridan.

His career and loss is also recounted on the Clemson Alumni site; he majored in architecture and left after his sophomore year.

His wife was listed as next of kin.


From Fleet Organization:

  • Duty USS Arizona (BB-39) 1 Jul 1939 - 1 Oct 1939
  • Duty USS Cushing (DD-376) 1 Jul 1940 - 1 Nov 1940
  • Duty USS Grouper (SS-214) 12 Feb 1942
  • Executive Officer USS Baya (SS-318) May 1944 - 1 Jan 1945
  • Executive Officer USS Sealion (SS-315) Apr 1945 - 31 Jul 1945
  • Captain USS Bullhead (SS-332) 31 Jul 1945 - 6 Aug 1945
  • Ensign 1 Jun 1939
  • Lieutenant (j.g.) 1 Jun 1942
  • Lieutenant (T) 15 Jun 1942
  • Lieutenant Commander (T) 15 Mar 1944

Navy Cross

Several sites claim he was awarded the Navy Cross, but unable to find a citation and he is not listed with other recipients. Both of these facts are highly unusual for this award. There is no mention of the award in contemporaneous reporting, either, nor in an article about Bullhead from 1981.

Class of 1939

Edward is one of 77 members of the Class of 1939 on Virtual Memorial Hall.