Everett W. "Brick" Holstrom, 0-397395, Brigadier General
Pilot Crew 4
Graduated from Pleasant Hill High School, Pleasant Hill, Oregon, in 1934 and attended Oregon State College until he entered military service at Fort Lewis, Washington in December, 1939. Commissioned as Second Lieutenant and rated as pilot upon graduation from Kelly Field in 1940. Destroyed first enemy submarine sunk off West Coast of the U.S. on December 24, 1941 while a member of the 95th Bomb Squadron. Remained in the China-Burma-India Theater after Tokyo Raid as 11th Bomb Squadron Commander until the end of 1943. Following World War II, was assigned to Strategic Air Command where he has held various operational assignments and is one of the few men who has commanded wings and flown all the multi-engine jet bombers in the SAC inventory - B-45, B-47, B-52 and B-58. Commanded SAC's first supersonic Bombardment Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. Retired July 1, 1969. Decorations include Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Commendation Ribbon with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, and Chinese Army, Navy and Air Cops Medal, Class A, 1st Grade. Holds aeronautical rating of command pilot and is entitled to wear the Air Force's Missile Badge.
Born May 4, 1916, Cottage Grove, Oregon
Died December 2, 2000
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, VA 22211
Section 6-T Row 9 Site 3
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BRIGADIER GENERAL EVERETT W. HOLSTROM
Retired July 1, 1969, Died Dec. 2, 2000
Everett W. (Brick) Holstrom was born at Cottage Grove, Ore., in 1916. He graduated from Pleasant Hill High School, Pleasant Hill, Ore., in 1934, and attended Oregon State College from that year and until he entered the military service at Fort Lewis, Wash., in December 1939.
General Holstrom completed basic and advanced flying schools at Randolph and Kelly Air Force bases and was awarded the aeronautical rating of pilot upon graduation in 1940. Christmas Day in 1941 was an eventful one for Second Lieutenant Holstrom as well as the Army Air Corps for it was on this day that he had the opportunity of destroying the first enemy submarine off the west coast of the United States.
The historic day of April 18, 1942, is also well remembered by the general for it was on that fateful day that he piloted a B-25 as a member of Jimmy Doolittle's raiders when the mainland of Japan was first bombed by U.S. aircraft. General Holstrom was forced to bail out in China, after dropping his payload on Tokyo. There, at Kunming, he assumed command of the 11th Bomb Squadron from early 1942 until the end of 1943.
Following World War II, General Holstrom was assigned to Strategic Air Command Headquarters as an operations staff officer. From 1950 to 1953 he was a member of the 91st Bomb Wing as director of operations and also as deputy wing commander and moved with the wing from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., to Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. From 1953 to 1955 the general was assigned to Second Air Force headquarters as director of operations. For the next two years he commanded the 301st Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and then returned to SAC headquarters from 1957 to 1959 as chief of the Operation Plans Division. On Sept. 4, 1959, he assumed duties as commander of Second Air Force's 4130th Strategic Wing, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. General Holstrom assumed command of the 43d Bomb Wing, SAC's first supersonic bombardment wing, in June 1961. He was promoted to brigadier general March 1, 1964.
The general's decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals, and two Commendation Medals. He holds the U.S. Air Force aeronautical rating of command pilot and is also entitled to wear the U.S. Air Force Missile Badge.
(Current as of April 1964)
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Up Close and Personal: OSU's Doolittle Raider
His Kappa Delta Rho fraternity mug shot in the 1940 Beaver yearbook looks to be that of a quiet, rather shy young man, sporting anything but the kind of face and physical features (you would imagine) destined for heroism in the face of death. But heroic deeds would be Everett Wayne Holstrom's fate the rest of his professional life, as we shall soon see.
A senior in forestry in 1940, born in Cottage Grove, Ore., and a graduate of Pleasant Hill High School in a community of the same name, Holstrom would leave Oregon State College sometime after the attack on Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941) to become a key participant in one of World War II's defining moments, the historic Jimmy Doolittle Raid in April 1942.
Indeed, it was the Pearl Harbor surprise attack that triggered Holstrom's wartime fame. Incensed that his Pacific battle fleet had been butchered while sitting at anchor that quiet Sunday morning, President Franklin D. Roosevelt quickly pressed U.S. military leadership to retaliate in like fashion. If the Japanese had the technology to strike across the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, so did America. But the only way to match the brilliance of the Japanese navy was to do it the way the Japanese had done it, with carrier-based bombers transported to within striking distance of key cities. Quickly, 80 volunteer pilots and crews were assembled under Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle and transferred, along with 16 B-25 bombers, to the USS Hornet. Departing San Francisco on April 1, 1942, Hornet was on-station by April 18. Early that morning Doolittle and his men were on their way. The plan was for the B-25s, each carrying a payload of four 500 pound bombs, to attack the cities of Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo and then fly to the Churchow airfield in China and safety.
This is exactly what happened, with the exception that Osaka was missed in favor of targets around Yokosuka and Yokohama. Doolittle was the first to depart the Hornet's wooden flight deck, his "Plane No. 1" lifting from the giant carrier with airspeed at the very edge of stall (the point at which an airplane can no longer keep itself aloft). Holstrom, now a lieutenant, piloted Plane No. 4, recording a departure time of 0833 a.m. His crew included: co-pilot Lucien Nevelson Youngblood of Pampa, Texas; navigator Harry C. McCool from La Junta, Col.; bombardier Robert J. Stephens from Hobart, Okla.; and another Oklahomian, gunner Bert M. Jordan of Covington. Piloting Plane No. 5 was Oregonian David M. Jones of Marshfield, who would spend most of the rest of the war as a German POW. He was a graduate of the University of Arizona.
After completing their mission over Tokyo, Holstrom and his crew flew toward China but ran out of fuel before reaching Chuchow and had to bail out. All survived to be assigned other duties in the war effort. Of the 80 volunteers who took part in the Doolittle Raid, nine were casualties, three by way of execution after a trial in which they were found guilty of killing civilians. Historians today give the raid little military value, citing instead its importance as a morale booster for the country at a time when the war in the Pacific seemed to be going from bad to worse.
Holstrom was sometimes called "Brick" by close friends and associates, and the rest of his career as an Air Force pilot is extraordinary. After graduating from advanced flying schools at Randolph and Kelly Air Force (known as the Army Air Corps at the time) bases and still several months before the Doolittle Raid, Holstrom, on Christmas Day 1941, became the first pilot in U.S. history to destroy an enemy submarine off the west coast of the United States.
After his rescue in China in April of the following year, "Brick" Holstrom assumed command of the 11th Bomb Squadron at Kinming, China, a position he held from May 1942 until the end of 1943. His commanding officer at Kinming was the legendary Claire Chennault of Flying Tigers fame.
Following World War II, Holstrom continued his career in the Army Air Corps, serving through the name change to the United States Air Force. He became operations staff officer at headquarters for the Air Force's newly formed Strategic Air Command (SAC) division and from 1950 to 1953, was a member of the 91st Bomb Wing as director of operations and deputy wing commander, moving with his unit to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and then to Lockbourne AFB in Ohio. From 1953 to 1955, he was assigned to Second Air Force headquarters as director of operations. For the next two years, he was back at Barksdale as commander of the 301st Bomb Wing.
From 1957 to 1959, he was back at SAC headquarters as chief of the Operation Plans Division and on Sept. 4, 1959, became commander of the Second Air Force's 4130th Strategic Wing at Bergstrom AFB, Texas. In June 1961, he assumed command of the 43rd Bomb Wing, SAC's first supersonic bombardment wing. He was promoted to brigadier general March 1, 1964, and retired at that rank July 1, 1969. Settling in Carmel, Calif., shortly after, he died there on Dec. 2, 2000.
Holstrom was and is one of the most decorated alumni in OSU history, receiving the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals, and two Commendation Medals. He held the USAF aeronautical rating of Command Pilot and was also authorized to wear the USAF Missile Badge.
The Doolittle Raid by Carroll V. Glines, Schiffer Military/Aviation History, 1991.
The "Biography" Web site of the United States Air Force, under the title "Brigadier General Everett W. Holstrom."
The Oxford Companion to World War II by I.C.B. Dear and M.R.D. Foot, Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 309.
Alumni card file, Oregon State University Alumni Association, CH2M HILL Alumni Center.
The Beaver, 1938-1940 yearbooks.
-- By George P. Edmonston Jr.