Holt, Charles John, III, 1st Lt

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1035-Bombardier
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 39th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945
First Lieutenant

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by A3C Michael S. Bell to remember Holt, Charles John, III ("Tim"), 1st Lt.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Beverly Hills, CA
Last Address
Shawnee, OK

Date of Passing
Feb 15, 1973
Location of Interment
Memory Lane Cemetery - Harrah, Oklahoma
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

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 Military Association Memberships
Famous People Who Served
  2014, Famous People Who Served [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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 Unit Assignments
Aviation Cadet Flight School62nd Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy39th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
  1943-1943, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1944-1945, 62nd Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy
  1944-1945, 39th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Air Offensive Campaign Japan (1942-45)1
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-29 Superfortress  
  1944-1945, B-29 Superfortress
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
As they say, like father, like son. Cowboy hero Tim Holt avidly followed in the boots of his famous character-actor dad, the granite-jawed Jack Holt (b. Charles John Holt), who appeared in hundreds of silents and talkies (many of them westerns) over the years. The two actually appeared together as father and son in the western The Arizona Ranger (1948), and Jack was glimpsed (as a hobo in the Mexican flophouse that Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Tim were staying in) in the classic The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Also a part of the acting Holt clan was the beautiful "prairie flower" Jennifer Holt (nee Elizabeth Marshall Holt), Tim's younger sister, who appeared in scores of 1940s oaters. The three, however, never performed together in a single film.

Tim was born Charles John Holt, Jr. in Beverly Hills on February 5, 1918, to Jack and his wife, Margaret Woods, at a time when Jack was just making a dent in silent films. Nicknamed "Tim", he was raised on his father's ranch in Fresno, where he performed outside chores and learned to ride a horse. Tim, in fact, made his debut at age 10 in one of his father's westerns, The Vanishing Pioneer (1928), based on a Zane Grey story. He played Jack's character as a young boy.

The boyishly rugged, athletically inclined Tim attended military school in his teens, excelling in polo. While studying at college, he married his college sweetheart, Virginia Ashcroft, in 1938. At this point he decided to try to put together an acting career. Virginia herself made a very brief foray into acting.

Tim apprenticed at various stock companies before he eased his way back into films with an unbilled part in History Is Made at Night (1937). He then earned strong notices in the classic Barbara Stanwyck tearjerker Stella Dallas (1937) and as Olivia de Havilland's brother in Gold Is Where You Find It (1938). His horseback riding capabilities and fast-drawing technique quickly kicked in with The Law West of Tombstone (1938), and he joined a superb cast in John Ford's classic western Stagecoach (1939) as a by-the-book cavalry lieutenant.

Hardly confined to westerns at this early stage, Tim showed impressive acting abilities in comedy (5th Ave Girl (1939)), adventures (Swiss Family Robinson (1940)), and high drama (Back Street (1941)), all for RKO Pictures. He reached an early peak when Orson Welles cast him against type as the cruel, malicious son George in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), a role Welles initially contemplated playing himself. By the mid '40s, however, Tim had settled into the western genre. He starred in a series of dusty RKO features partnered with comic Cliff Edwards by his side and also appeared solo elsewhere.

World War II interrupted his thriving career. He was a decorated hero (Distinguished Flying Cross, Victory Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation among his awards) while serving in the Air Corps and was discharged with the rank of second lieutenant. Wounded in Tokyo on the last day of the war, he was also given the Purple Heart. He made an auspicious return to films in the role of Virgil Earp in Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946) and then continued in a somewhat lesser vein with "B"-level oaters. He came to the forefront one more time, co-starring with gold prospecting rivals Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston in John Huston's masterpiece The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), arguably the high point of Tim's entire film career, which rightfully earned him the best notices he ever received.

Richard Martin became his second sidekick in another popular string of RKO westerns, with Tim repeatedly making the "top ten" ranks of money-making cowboy stars. Appearing almost exclusively for RKO from 1939 on, Tim eventually became disillusioned with the quality of his pictures and decided to abandon films after appearing in RKO's Desert Passage (1952) while still a popular draw. Divorced from his second wife, Alice Harrison, he retired for the most part to his Oklahoma ranch with his third wife, Berdee Stephens, and their three children. He later became a manager for a radio station in Oklahoma City. In 1957 he came out of retirement to head up the cast in the subpar sci-fi horror film The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) and then quickly returned to obscurity.

Little was heard from Tim over the years save a co-starring role in a low-budget hillbilly moonshine extravaganza for exploitation king Herschell Gordon Lewis called This Stuff'll Kill Ya! (1971). He was diagnosed with bone cancer in August of 1972 and passed away rather quickly on February 15, 1973, shortly after his 54th birthday. Buried in Oklahoma, he was posthumously inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame in 1991 and was a recipient of the "Golden Boot" award in 1992.
Other Comments:
AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED-FLYING-CROSS--By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 2 July 1926 (Bull 8, WD 1926), and persuant to authority delegated by Headquaters United States Army Strategic Air Forces in letter, file AG 323; subject: "Ddefinitions of Administrative Responsibilities", dated 6 August 1945, announcement is made of the award of the Distinguished-Flying-Cross to the following named officers and enlisted men of the 62nd Bombardment Squadron, 39th Bombardment Group.

        For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 29 May 1945. These individuals were members of a combat crew of a B-29 aircraft on a devastating medium altitude, daylight incendiary strike from a base in the Mariannas against Yokohama, Japan. From the initial point until long after bombs away, they were subjected to a shattering concentration of continiously pointed anti-aircraft fire which scored several hits on this bomber, and to vicious attacks by ten enemy fighters: Despite this fierce opposition, however, these crewmen, maintained their plane exactly on the briefed heading to the target without resorting to evasive tactics. They dropped their bombs accurately on the briefed aiming point with devastating effect. Immediately after bombs away, they were still under intense fire, they dropped out of comparative safety of the formation to escort a severly damaged Superfortress which could not stay in position. Thereafter, unitl the coast of Japanwas left behind, these crewmen repeatedly repulsed attempts by interceptors to bring down the damaged B-29. Soon after leaving the Japan coast, and still over hostile waters, the crippled bomber was ditched. This crew circled the survivors and remained until a dumbo appeared on the scene. The courage and fortitude displayed by there veterans of reported missions against the Japanese homeland, together with their airmanship, which was instrumental in saving the lives of a ditched crew, reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

Major LUTHER A. JONES, JR. Air Corps, United States Army, as Airplane Commander.
First Lieutenant CHARLES J HOLT, Air Corps, United States Army, as Bombardier.
Second Lieutenant ROBERT J. LANDREGAN, Jr. Air Corps, United States Army, as Radar Observer.
Master Sergeant MARSHALL A. GOLDSTON, JR., (then Technical Sergeant), Air Corps, United States Army, as Flight Engineer.
Staff Sergeant ALVIN KASSELL, Air Corps, United States Army, as Left Gunner.
Staff Sergeant ROBERT J. DE ANGELIS, (then Corporal) Air Corps, United States Army, as Tail Gunner.

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