CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 3, Number 37
Photo by Andy Porter
Terri Trick holding picture of her uncle, Howard Holding
NEVER GIVE UP: I have stated on many occasions that in the world of genealogy, you never give up. This is something that Terri Trick of Walla Walla, Washington knows to be the truth.
Howard Holding was a U.S. Navy pilot who died in World War II , and when Trick received the phone call concerning the location and finding of her uncles plane, she was in a state of shock. Holding had died in World War II during an attack on Yap Island, and now six decades later, the crash site was identified.
At her Walla Walla home, Terri Trick shows a photo of her uncle, Howard Holding, a U.S. Navy pilot who died in World War II during an attack on Yap Island. After more than six decades, the crash site was identified, and Trick traveled to Yap to take part in a ceremony to honor her uncle. She was finally able to put closure to this mystery concerning her uncle.
It all happened on September 4, 1944, and Holding was just one of three U.S. pilots lost that day raiding Yap Island. This location was a Japanese stronghold in World War II. It was reported that Holding’s plane crashed after being struck by another plane that had been hit by ground fire. Searcher found no remains at the time.
According to Andy Porter who reported on the discovery of Holding’s plane, another individual was involved in the story in addition to the caller, Pat Ranfranz of Shoreview, Minnesota, who left the message on Trick’s answering machine. Ranfranz was on his own quest to discover an uncle lost over Yap in World War II.
It came to be learned that Sgt. John R. McCollough, a 20-year-old crewman aboard a B-24 shot down during a June 1944 bombing mission was also the subject of a hunt to find a missing relative. Ranfranz went to Yap several times, and on his first expedition, he found the crash site of one of the three Hellcats that went down on the island in September of 1944. In 2006, the remains of the other two were located. After much detective work, the Hellcat in the harbor was identified as Holding’s.
Identifinders International, a company that specializes in forensic genealogy, aided Ranfranz in locating Trick. Holding was only 22 years old when he died, and he was last seen in November of 1943 when he came home on leave before being deployed.
After his death, the family only knew that he had been shot down in the Pacific near Yap Island. Most of the family members had passed away before this closure took place.
FORENSIC GENEALOGY: At the recent fall book festival held in and near the State Capitol, I had the pleasure of meeting the author of one of my favorite genealogy books, Forensic Genealogy by Colleen Fitzpatrick. I had reviewed her book earlier and would tell you more about it here, but a check of previous formats will reveal my review. My copy of the book has already been placed in the Veach-Foshee Memorial Library Collection at the Mansfield Female College Museum, Mansfield, Louisiana – in DeSoto Parish.
This book is the one you need if you are into DNA analysis to reveal some of the history in your lineage. It emphasizes the creative parts of an investigation over the mechanics. Reading the book is interesting whether you ever take this route in your research or not. You can check it out online by looking it up by title. Then go to the website, and you will learn complete details of purchasing this excellent book.
Fitzpatrick has really done a fantastic job in putting together this book. She was aware of the review I had given her book and was pleased to meet me in the area where she was autographing her books.
To read more about Colleen Fitzpatrick and here work, go to her website: http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/index.html.
INFORMATION SOUGHT: Les Rolston is the author of three Civil War books and has recently begun the research for a fourth. His other books are Lost Soul, Long Time Gone, and the soon to be released Home of the Brave. The new one will be called No Ordinary Soldier.
The premise of the new book is that one Civil War soldier only from each the Union and Confederate state will represent said state. Rolston is looking for men who are not well known, just ordinary men, but who performed feats of bravery and honor. He wants to tell readers who these men were in civilian life.
Any suggestions of an ancestor or any soldier who you believe may be of interest to readers are sought. The only stipulation is that there be enough surviving material for Ralston to work with in compiling the book.
Here is the contact information: Les Rolston, 25 Emmons Avenue #4, Warwick, RI 02888, or Lesrol2@gmail.com.
FREE SERVICE: Correspondence to this column should be directed to Damon Veach, Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Queries and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Claitor’s Publishing can serve as a distributor for self-published genealogy titles. Go to their homepage for details on how you can obtain this excellent service.
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