John Copeland Holmes was born on February 6, 1925, in Indianapolis, Indiana, who served during World War II in the China-Burma-India theater.
When Holmes received his draft notice, he chose to join the Army Air Corps. He completed basic training in Miami Beach, Florida, and was later assigned to the 11th Combat Cargo Unit, which transported cargo from India to China, behind Japanese enemy lines.
Holmes ensured that his unit’s planes were ready for each mission. “We had flights every day,” he said in an interview with the Library of Congress (LOC). Holmes’ dedication and service earned him three Bronze Star Medals and a Distinguished Flying Cross. “I consider myself lucky to be back,” he said.
Following his discharge in 1945, Holmes completed a degree in economics and accounting. He married Sara Jane “Sally” Lowden Holmes. He soon became owner and president of Associated Service Corporation and held several positions in different organizations, including President of the Indiana Oil Marketers Association, Treasurer of the Broad Ripple American Legion Post, and was a member of the Meridian Street United Methodist Church, the Murat Shrine, the Mystic Tie Masonic Lodge No. 398, and the Indianapolis Valley of Scottish Rite.
Holmes died on August 25, 2016. He was 91. According to Flinn and Maguire Funeral Home, he was succeeded by his two daughters, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren after 65 years of marriage.
We honor his service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Visit the Library of Congress website to learn more.
A portion of this story was generated by AI. None of the data we reported included personal or sensitive information, and it was fact-checked and edited by a human copy editor prior to publishing.
Editor: Amanda Watkins
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This post, #VeteranOfTheDay Army Air Force Veteran John C. Holmes, was originally published by the Veteran's Administration.
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