One fascinating aspect of Navy culture is how the call to serve at sea is often intergenerational. The
Navy has frequently recognized this in the naming of
its warships. For example, the guided-missile destroy-
er USS Porter is named after the 19th-century officers
David Porter and his son, David Dixon Porter. USS
Mustin honors three generations of the Mustin family
who served in the Navy from 1896 to 1989. There are
Mustins still serving today with the fleet.
Of the many father-son — and father-daughter,
mother-daughter and mother-son — combinations
that have served with distinction over the 240-year history of the Navy, there is only one case where both parent and child achieved the rank of four stars: Adms.
James L. Holloway Jr. and James L. Holloway III.
Born in Fort Smith, Ark., in 1898, the senior Holloway spent much of his youth in Texas where his father
was an osteopathic physician. Earning an appointment
to the Naval Academy, he arrived at Annapolis in 1915 to
join the Class of 1919. As a result of the United States
entering World War I on April 6, 1917, Holloway’s class
commissioned a year early and he received orders to the
destroyer Monaghan, which performed escort duties during the latter months of the war.
While visiting to Charleston, S.C., he attended a reception at the Carolina Yacht Club and met Jean Gordon Ha-good, the daughter of an Army major general. They married on May 11, 1921. On Feb. 23, 1922, the couple had a
son who would share his father’s and grandfather’s name.
At the time, the senior Holloway was executive officer
of the destroyer McCormick. He quickly rose through the
ranks in the surface navy and made a name for himself in
gunnery. He served as the assistant gunnery officer
embarked on the battleship Nevada. As head of the Chief
of Naval Operations’ Gunnery Training Section, he oversaw the development and adoption of the Draper
Gunsight that would be used to direct shipboard anti-aircraft weapons during World War II.
Holloway commanded Destroyer Squadron 10 that
screened landings at Casablanca, North Africa, in
November 1942. Later in the war, he had command of
the new battleship Iowa.
His son also attended the Naval Academy, as part of
the Class of 1943. The junior Holloway’s class graduated
a year early as well due to an ongoing global war. At first,
he followed in his father’s footsteps. Assigned to the
destroyer Bennion as a gunnery officer, he contributed to
the American victory at Surigao Strait. Surprisingly, his
father suggested he choose a new career path.
“The war in the Pacific is being won by aircraft carriers. The future of the Navy lies in naval aviation,” the
senior Holloway said.
Thus, his son applied for flight training and earned his
wings of gold. During the Korean War, he flew the F9F-
2 Panther on numerous combat missions and eventually
fleeted up to command Fighter Squadron 52.
The senior Holloway continued on active duty and during his tour at Fleet Training Command Pacific, he headed
a board that examined officer training. Its resulting report,
forever known as “the Holloway Plan,” revamped the
Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps program to become
a leading source for naval officer commissions.
The senior Holloway received his fourth star and his
final active-duty assignment as commander in chief,
U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.
During that tour, he deftly handled America’s peaceful
intervention during the Lebanon crisis of 1958. His son
commanded Attack Squadron 83 embarked on Essex,
and its Douglas A- 4 Skyhawks flew cover for the
Marines ashore in Beirut.
With the retirement of his father, James L. Holloway
III continued his career climb to serve as the 20th chief
of naval operations (CNO) from 1974 until 1978.
Notable accomplishments along the way included his
command of Enterprise during its first combat cruise to
Vietnam and his role at the conclusion of that conflict as
commander, Seventh Fleet. Having commanded a
nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at war, he became a leading proponent of the follow-on Nimitz-class carrier.
These 10 ships in service today represent a fitting legacy for two warriors whose combined service spanned
nearly seven decades. While the senior Holloway put in
place personnel policies that contributed to these ships
having well-trained and educated crews and air wings, the
junior Holloway saw the first two ships of the class enter
service during his tenure as CNO.
Given this legacy, it would be fitting and appropriate
for the Navy to recognize this remarkable father-son
duo with the naming of a USS Holloway. ;
Dr. David F. Winkler is a historian with the Naval Historical
The Holloway Legacy
Worthy of Recognition
By DAVID F. WINKLER