Robert Henderson Holmes

Robert Holmes was born in 1913 and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in the class of 1937. He served as the third commanding officer of the USS Bennion during its service in the Pacific. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his service during the Okinawa campaign with the following citation:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander Robert Henderson Holmes, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. Bennion (DD-662), in action against enemy Japanese forces while assigned to Radar Picket Duty off Okinawa from 1 April 1945 to 1 June 1945. When his ship was attacked by enemy suicide and dive bombing planes on nineteen occasions, Commander Holmes directed the accurate delivery of gunfire from his batteries, succeeding in destroying thirteen enemy aircraft while the Combat Air Patrol under his command accounted for twenty-three planes and possibly four others. Although the Bennion suffered minor damage and casualties from two near-misses by suicide planes, he continued to fight his ship skillfully during this action and contributed materially to our success in this strategic area. His professional ability, courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


When the Bennion was decommissioned in June 1946, he was ordered to the United States Naval Academy as an instructor. In June of 1950, he was made the executive officer aboard the USS Dixie (AD-20) based in San Diego. During the Korean War, he served in Japan aboard the Dixie. He retired from the Navy in 1961 with the rank of captain and worked for an engineering firm for 14 years before retiring again in Port Ludlow, Washington. Captain Holmes died in December of 1993.
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