JONAS H. HOLDEN, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Jonas Holden '96

Date of birth: April 5, 1873

Date of death: August 16, 1915

Age: 42

Lucky Bag

From the 1896 Lucky Bag:


Biography & Loss

"Naval Cadet Jonas H. Holden in civilian attire, taken by Hart, from the book THE "MAINE" - AN ACCOUNT OF HER DESTRUCTION IN HAVANA HARBOR: THE PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN CHARLES D. SIGSBEE, U.S.N. (New York: The Century Co., 1899), opp. p. 184."

From Find A Grave:

Born in Wallingford, Vt, Jonas Holden was the son of George B Holden of Burlington, VT. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1896. In 1904 he married Lillian Walker of Burlington, VT.

After graduating from the Academy, he served on the U.S.S. Columbia. He was on the Maine when she was blown up in Havana, Cuba and was the last sailor to leave the wreck. During the Spanish American War, Commander Holden took part in many engagements in the West Indies.

Commander Holden was a passenger on the S.S. Marowijne when the ship was wrecked during a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. All on board perished.

The inscription on his headstone:

Proceeding from duty in command of the U.S.S. Annapolis to duty as director of target practice he was lost with all hands on the S.S. Marowijne during a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico August 16, 1915.

He is buried in Vermont.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1897

Naval Cadet, Columbia

January 1898

Naval Cadet, Maine

Others at this command: LTjg John Blandin '82, LTjg Friend Jenkins '86, and ENS Darwin Merritt '95.

January 1899

Ensign, Scorpion

January 1900

Ensign, Monterey

January 1901

Ensign, Brooklyn

January 1902

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Academy

January 1903

Lieutenant (j.g.), Maine

Others at this command: LCDR Leroy Garrett '79, LT Albert Beecher '84, LT William Moffett '90, and MIDN Caspar Goodrich '01.

January 1904

Lieutenant, Maine

Others at this command: LCDR Leroy Garrett '79.

January 1905

Lieutenant, Maine

July 1906

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

July 1907

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

January 1908

Lieutenant, Missouri

January 1909

Lieutenant Commander, Missouri

January 1910

Lieutenant Commander, flag secretary, Atlantic Fleet, Connecticut

January 1911

Lieutenant Commander, inspector in charge, Naval Proving Ground

January 1912

Lieutenant Commander, inspector in charge, Naval Proving Ground

January 1913

Lieutenant Commander, inspector in charge, Naval Proving Ground

January 1914

Lieutenant Commander, California

Others at this command: LT Ralph Griswold '02.

January 1915

Commander, commanding officer, USS Annapolis


Class of 1896

Jonas is the only member of the Class of 1896 in Memorial Hall.