Pearl Harbor survivor, WWII hero Jack Holder dies in Chandler at age 101

Feb 27, 2023, 11:11 AM | Updated: Apr 10, 2023, 9:44 am

Jack Holder (Photos via Facebook/Pearl Harbor National Memorial)...

Jack Holder (Photos via Facebook/Pearl Harbor National Memorial)

(Photos via Facebook/Pearl Harbor National Memorial)

PHOENIX — Jack Holder, a Pearl Harbor survivor and World War II hero who settled in Chandler, has died at age 101.

Holder died Friday at the Chandler Regional Medical Center, according to a post on the Pacific Historic Parks Facebook page by Darlene Tryon, a close friend of Holder and executor of his estate.

Pacific Historic Parks is a nonprofit group that supports several historic sites, including Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial Facebook page also posted about Holder’s death.

Holder was born to a farming family in East Texas and joined the Navy in 1940 when he was 18. He was on duty at Ford Island within Oahu’s Pearl Harbor when Japanese aircraft bombed the U.S. naval base there on Dec. 7, 1941.

“I saw the [USS] Oklahoma turn turtle-up, I saw guys swimming through burning oil in the water,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM in 2020.

“I guess the most vivid remembrance I have is thinking ‘God, please don’t let me die in this ditch.’”

More than 2,000 U.S. military personnel, including more than 1,000 aboard the USS Arizona, were killed in the attack, prompting the U.S. to enter World War II.

Holder went on to fly more than 100 missions during the war, including at the Battle of Midway.

“Jack was an incredible man, a patriot who served his country with distinction and honor,” Tryon wrote. “After surviving the Pearl Harbor attack, he fought in key Pacific battles that turned the tide of the war.”

Holder published a memoir titled “Fear, Adrenaline, and Excitement” in 2016.

In December 2021, Valley nonprofit Grounded No More took the war hero on an honor flight out of Mesa’s Falcon Field to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Holder will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be announced, Tryon said. A memorial service is being planned for Phoenix in early April.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A border wall constructed of shipping containers and topped with concertina wire, built on federal ...

Brandon Gray

Shipping container border wall cases involving federal government and Arizona dismissed

Two cases between Arizona and Federal officials involving shipping containers at the U.S.-Mexico border were voluntarily dismissed, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

1 hour ago

FILE - John Holman, of Denver, Colo., right, and others with the group "No Labels" take part in a r...

Associated Press

A third party signed up 15,000 voters in Arizona. Democrats worry that’s enough for a Biden spoiler

More than 15,000 people in Arizona have registered to join a new political party floating a possible bipartisan “unity ticket” against Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

2 hours ago

Maricopa County is seeking sanctions against Kari Lake and her attorneys over the Republican’s la...

Associated Press

At Kari Lake’s 3rd trial related to Arizona election, county makes case to protect ballot signatures

An election official and lobbyists were among the witnesses brought by Maricopa County attorneys on the first day of a trial Thursday in another lawsuit filed by Kari Lake, the defeated Republican in last year's Arizona governor's race, to deny her request to see signed ballot envelopes of 1.3 million early voters.

4 hours ago

AP Photo/Matt Rourke)...

Associated Press

President Joe Biden to deliver speech in Arizona next week, pay tribute to John McCain

President Joe Biden will travel to Arizona next week to deliver a democracy-focused address that will also pay tribute to the late John McCain.

5 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Homeless ID Project)...

Homeless ID project helps nearly 800 people in downtown Phoenix during first month

Nearly 800 state IDs were issued during the first month of the Homeless ID Project in downtown Phoenix.

5 hours ago

people standing at mather point...

SuElen Rivera

Grand Canyon National Park to stay open if federal government shuts down, Arizona Gov. Hobbs says

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs said the state is prepared to keep Grand Canyon National Park open regardless of a government shutdown. 

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.

Pearl Harbor survivor, WWII hero Jack Holder dies in Chandler at age 101