Clarence Paul Holland

1917 - 1994


Their Story

Clarence Paul Holland was born on August 9, 1917, in Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, the son of Paul August Holland and Anna Rose (Goulet) Holland.[1] His father was a laborer in a copper mine.[2] By 1930, Clary had 8 siblings.[3] Clarence was known as “Clary” to family and friends. He went to high school in L’Anse, Michigan, for two years.

In 1933, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at a camp north of Baraga, Michigan, to assist in the replanting of the forests on the Upper Michigan Peninsula. His mother did not like him being separated from the family, but other work was not available at the time. The CCC provided food, clothing, and quarters for the boys, who were paid one dollar per day. Each month, twenty-five dollars was sent home to their families with the boys being allowed to keep the five-dollar balance. This was about 1933-1934 when the Great Depression had set in and family resources were at a minimal level. In large part, Clary’s decision to enter the CCC was to help the family. That decision was not lost on his father who, though he never showed favorites, always had a particular soft spot for Clary.[4]

The mining industry was hit hard in Upper Michigan, and many were out of work. The Holland family moved from Michigan to Rock Island, Illinois, in 1935. Many of the family’s men found work at the Farmall Plant of the International Harvester Company, including Clary.[5] He married Grace P. Bell on July 29, 1939, in Rock Island. Clary was laid off from International Harvester in 1942. He then went to work for Peerless Dairy as a route salesman from January 1943 until he was inducted into the Navy in January 1944.

Here is a timeline of Clarence P. Holland’s time in service, where he served as an Aviation Ordnance Mechanic, 2nd Class Petty Officer:

26 Jan 1944            Inducted into U.S. Navy at Rock Island, Illinois[6]

9 Feb 1944             Entered the Navy at Great Lakes, Illinois, near Chicago

18 Apr 1944            Graduated Basic Training, Farragut, Idaho

9 Sep 1944             Graduated Ordnance Training, Farragut, Idaho

16 Nov 1944           Completed Naval Air Gunners Course, NAGS Jacksonville, Florida

11 Jan 1945            Ordnance Maintenance Training, Whidbey Island, Washington

9 Feb 1945             Completed Aircrewman Training, NAGS Jacksonville, Florida

19 Jun 1945            Qualified as Gunner in PB4Y Type Aircraft

19 Jun 1945            Completed Advanced Training in PBY4 Types

19 Jun 1945            Awarded Air Crew Insignia with no stars, Jacksonville Air Station, Florida

20 Jun 1945            Ordered to Flight Status

10 Aug 1945           Departed continental USA

13 Aug 1945           Reported to VPB-200 from VPB-197

12 Sep 1945           Transferred to VPB-119

15 Sep 1945           Crossed 180th Meridian

19 Sep 1945           Reported to VPB-119 from VPB-200

9 Dec 1945             Transferred to USA for discharge

9 Jan 1946              Discharged at Great Lakes, Illinois[7]

During Clary’s service he flew as a gunner on the PB4-1 Liberator and the PB4Y-2 Privateer. These two aircraft were built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation.  The PB4B-1 was a Navy version of the Army Air Corps B-24 Liberator. The Navy version carried more electronic warfare equipment than the B24.

After the war, Clary returned to Rock Island.  He became a sales manager for Thoms-Proestler Co., Davenport, Iowa.[8] Clary and Grace had twins, a boy and a girl, in 1955, adding to their five other children.[9]

He was a member of a senior citizen group and did volunteer work at the former Franciscan Medical Center, Rock Island. He enjoyed fishing, playing bridge, and golf; in fact he had a hole-in-one before he quit playing. Clarence P. Holland, 76, died January 13, 1994, at Trinity Medical Center, East Campus, Moline, Illinois.

Clarence P Holland’s memorial page – Honor Veterans Legacies at VLM (

PO Holland on left and his buddy “Rocky”  F.R. Rossbank. They are standing in PB4Y-1 gunner window, with a .50 caliber machine gun. 

 U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 –

This photo was taken in late 1944 at the Naval Training Center at Jacksonville, Florida. This was a crew training facility.  The facility was used to form crews and train them before going overseas.

The “193” that was written on the side turret was for the 193rd class to go through the training.

The crew members pictured are, bottom row, kneeling from left to right

  1. R. W. Dacquet AMM 3C   2. F. R. Rossback AOM 3C  3. C. P. Holland AOM 3C

4. A. C. Schultz AMM 2C  5. A. L. Morgan ARM 3C  6. L. A. Browne ARM 3C 

Second Row, Standing, From right to left. 7. J. C. Beeson ARM 1C Radio Operator

8. R. E. Lechtenburg Ensign Co-pilot  9. W. V. Harmon Lt. Pilot 

10. G. S. Pearson Ensign Co-pilot  11. F. s. Vetterlein AOM 3C 12. C. T. Coates AMM 2C

[1] Clarence Paul Holland (1917-1994) – Find a Grave Memorial

[2] – 1920 United States Federal Census

[3] 1930 United States Federal Census –

[4] Personal interview with Jeff Holland, son of Clarence P. Holland

[5] 29 Jul 1939, 4 – The Dispatch at

[6] Fold3 – Holland, Clarence P in U.S. Veterans’ Gravesites, ca.1775-2019

[7] 14 Jan 1946, 16 – The Rock Island Argus at

[8] 14 Jan 1994, 28 – The Dispatch at

[9] 13 Aug 1955, 11 – The Rock Island Argus at