Last Known Activity He was credited with 5.5 aerial victories in the Southwest Pacific area
in WWII. He was part of the long-range mission that shot down aircraft
carrying and escorting Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto Apr 18, 1943.
His Navy Cross citation: Awarded for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain (Air Corps), [then First Lieutenant] Besby Frank Holmes (ASN: 0-428823), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Pilot of a P-38 fighter airplane in the 339th Fighter Squadron, 37th Fighter Group, THIRTEENTH Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, attached to a Marine Fighter Command in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 18 April 1943. Participating in a dangerously long interception flight, First Lieutenant Holmes contacted a hostile formation consisting of two Japanese bombers and six escorting fighters in a complete surprise approach. Skillfully out-maneuvering the enemy, he pressed home his tactical advantage and struck fiercely, destroying one of the violently attacking enemy fighters. Shortly thereafter, upon sighting a lone enemy bomber approaching Kahili, First Lieutenant Holmes immediately took the offensive and sent the hostile plane flaming into the sea. His brilliant airmanship and determined fighting spirit throughout a daring and vital mission were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Armed Services.
General Orders: Commander Southern Pacific Fleet: Serial 001038 (June 17, 1943)