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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Holt

Birthplace: Woburn, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Reading, MA
Middle Name: Alan

Date of Birth: 13 June 1942

Date of Death: 19 September 1968

Rank: Captain

Years Served: 1965 - 1968
Robert Alan Holt

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Robert Alan Holt
Captain, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve)

Robert Alan Holt was born on 13 June 1942 in Woburn, MA, the son of Clifford Winfield and Shirley F. Burbank Holt.

Bob Holt enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1965. He entered the 38th Officer Candidate Course at Quantico, VA, and was assigned to the 1st Platoon of Alpha Company. He graduated on 17 December 1965 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the USMCR. At The Basic School in Quantico, he was assigned to Basic Class 3-66 in the 2nd Platoon of Delta Company and completed that course in May 1966. After Basic School, Bob went to Naval Air Station, Glynco, GA, where he successfully completed the Naval Flight Officer curriculum and earned his 'Wings of Gold' as a Naval Flight Officer. He was then assigned to a US-based squadron to get fully qualified as an F-4 Phantom Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) (MOS 7582).

Captain Holt's next orders sent him to the Republic of Vietnam. He arrived in-country on 4 May 1968 and was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 542 (VMFA-542 'Tigers'), Marine Aircraft Group 11, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, flying out of Da Nang.

On 19 September 1968, Bob and his pilot, Captain John A. La Voo, were assigned the lead aircraft on Mission 412, a strike against an NVA logistical storage site in North Vietnam approximately 64 kilometers northwest of Dong Ha (XE 807068). Their wing aircraft for the strike was piloted by Captain Sauer with Captain Renninger as RIO. The flight briefed at 14:00 and took off at 15:20 from Da Nang. Bob’s aircraft was armed with 6 Mark-8 (500 pound) bombs and 4 Zuni rockets. During their first run at approximately 15:40, Bob and Captain La Voo dropped their 6 bombs on the target and their wing aircraft did the same. As they returned for a final rocket pass, they were taken under fire by NVA anti-aircraft gunners. They were in a 45-degree dive to deliver their Zuni rockets, when the aircraft received disabling enemy fire. Their wingman saw Bob and Captain La Voo’s aircraft roll to the right and then partially recover before impacting the ground. The wing aircraft said there was no evidence of attempted ejection by either crewmember.

Bob and his pilot were originally listed as MIA during the period 19–24 September 1968, but this status was revised to Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered. After the war concluded, the repatriation of their remains became the responsibility of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC). It was a long and complicated process that brought the remains of these two aviators home for burial. In July 1992, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team visited the suspected area of the crash to interview several informants with firsthand knowledge of the crash site. One of the informants turned over remains that were said to have been taken from the crash site. The team also examined some aircraft wreckage in the possession of the villagers. Another joint team re-interviewed one of the informants in August 1993. In January 1994, a third team surveyed the crash site again and recommended it for excavation. Then, in May 1994, excavation team members recovered numerous crew-related items as well as human remains. A fifth team continued the excavation in June and July 1994 and recovered additional remains and crew-related artifacts. The remains were repatriated on 4 August 1994. A sixth team completed the excavation in August 1994, recovering some further artifacts, but no remains.

Anthropological analysis of the remains and other evidence by the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, confirmed the following on 19 May 1999:

1. Some remains were identified as belonging to Captain La Voo;
2. Some remains were identified as belonging to Captain Holt; and
3. Some remains could not be identified as belonging to either man.

Burial of Remains

On 19 July 1999, an unusual, unique ceremony was held in Arlington National Cemetery. With full military honors, the identifiable remains of the pilot, Captain John A. La Voo were interred. In a separate plot next to Captain La Voo, the unidentifiable remains of both crewmen were interred. Finally, Captain Holt’s identifiable remains were returned to his father, Clifford, and transported to Reading, MA, where they were formally interred at Forest Glen Cemetery, where his mother, Shirley B. Holt, was buried.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Purple Heart
Air Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Naval Flight Officer Badge


The name Robert A Holt is located on Panel 43W Line 037 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

[Thanks to Captain Dave Mellon, USMCR, a classmate of Bob Holt in the 38th Officer Candidate Course and Basic Class 3-66, for the valuable information he provided for this bio. Capt Mellon served as a platoon commander in Vietnam and was wounded.]

Honoree ID: 254145   Created by: MHOH




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