The April Personality of the Month is long time resident of Sun Lakes, Jack Holder.
Jack was born in Gunter, TX, a small town 35 miles from Dallas. His family moved to Profitt Community, a small farming community 56 miles south of Wichita Falls. Jack attended New Castle High School where he played basketball and excelled in track, winning the state championship pentathlon competition in his junior year.
After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and after initial training was assigned to a PBY squadron on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The first bomb dropped on Fords Island landed a few hundred yards from Jack, destroying the hanger next to his. He witnessed the destruction of a significant part of the Pacific Fleet. While in the Pacific Theater, Jack participated in the Battles of Midway, Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands, flying 48 missions in the Pacific. In 1943, Jack was sent to San Diego for additional training and assigned to a B-24 group in England (yes, the Navy flew B-24s), primarily flying reconnaissance and anti-submarine duty. His aircraft was credited with the sinking of a German U-boat. He was a highly decorated airman receiving two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Presidential Citation, six Air Medals, and seven British Commendations. He is justifiably proud of his service record and has many photos of his Navy flying days on display in his den. Jack’s aircraft was nicknamed “Calverts and Coke,” which was a favorite beverage of his.
Following his discharge from the Navy, Jack earned his Flight Engineer’s rating and then his pilot’s license. He joined Union Oil Co. and flew as captain for 10 years. He changed careers and became an Assistant Golf Pro at a course in Hawkins, TX for two years. He then joined Allied Signal Corp. and spent 13 years with them as a mechanical engineer. He left Allied Signal to form an oil exploration company which he headed for four years. The oil industry fell on hard times and Jack went back to work at Allied Signal as a mechanical engineer and office manager for seven years before retiring in 1991. During that second stint with Allied Signal, Jack had very interesting field assignments being attached to several airlines including BOAC as a company representative. The assignment with BOAC enabled Jack to play many of the famous golf courses in England, Scotland and Ireland. He has always been an avid golfer and an enthusiastic fan of Ben Hogan. His den is filled with photos and memorabilia of Hogan’s playing days including a commemorative set of matched clubs, one of 2000 sets produced to celebrate Hogan’s 50 years of club making.
Jack moved to Sun Lakes in 1986, living in Cottonwood for four years before moving to Ironwood where he currently resides. It should be noted that Jack is a Super Senior member of IMGA and carries a single handicap. We are happy to have you as a member.