USS Phoenix

Excerpts From
the Book

Brothers of War


Bill Holt, My Beloved Brother

Chapter One - Bill Joins the Navy

June 16, 1941. On that morning, many years ago, Vintie Holt and three of her four sons were up early. They quickly did the morning farm chores, ate breakfast, packed lunches and walked the gravel road a half-mile to ride with Mrs. Harvey to work in the berry fields. They got into the Model A Ford with Mrs. Harvey and her daughter, Jeanette. Mrs. Harvey drove four miles towards Dallas (Oregon), slowed up, turned on to the side road at the Guthrie School and stopped. Seventeen-year-old Bill got out of the car and closed the door.

We told Bill goodbye. No hugs, no tears. We left him standing there waving goodbye as we drove off down the graveled road a few more miles to pick berries in the hot sun. It was the last time that eleven-year-old Arlie and I, twelve years old, saw Bill alive. Our mother saw him briefly four years later just a few weeks before he died.......