Holden, Elmer L. (KIA)

Elmer Larry Holden, SSgt., USAF (KIA)
February 19, 1944 – June 09, 1968

Remains recovered 09/2003 – see note below

Name: Elmer Larry Holden
Branch/Rank: United States Air Force/E5
Unit: 37 AERO R&R SQ
Date of Birth: 19 February 1944
Home City of Record: OKLAHOMA CITY OK
Date of Loss: 09 June 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 162144 North  1070534 East
Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: HU3E
Refno: 1206
Other Personnel in Incident: James Locker, Jack Rittichtier, Richard
Yeend, all KIA/BNR

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File. Updated 2020.


Border Laos, Thua Thien 22 miles NW of A Shau


Nov. 14.98

Air Force Looks for Missing Copter
The Associated Press

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AP) — The Air Force is hoping flight simulations can help solve the disappearance 30 years ago of a rescue helicopter in Vietnam.

The project may lead to similar efforts to find other aircraft that vanished during the Vietnam War, former flight engineer Bob Baldwin said Wednesday as the nation marked Veterans Day. …


Coast Guard pilot’s body recovered from Laos
Molly Kavanaugh; Plain Dealer Reporter

In the months following the June 9, 1968, helicopter crash in the jungles of Laos, Carol Rittichier held onto hope her husband was still alive.

The two met at Kent State University and within two months became engaged. After 11 years of marriage, they told people they were still on their honeymoon….


The US Government has found Jolly Green 23 and recovered the remains of Lt. Rittichier, USCG, Capt. Yeend, USAF, SSgt Holden, USAF,  and Sgt. Locker, USAF.

LT Rittichier will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on 6 Oct at 1300.  The funeral service will be held at the Old Post Chapel, FT Myer, VA.

The funeral is open to the public.  However, I need to know who is coming so I can plan for the reception.

Can you spread this word to your POW-MIA Community?  If anyone wants to attend the funeral could they please contact me at 202-267-4009 or E-mail at jbrewster@comdt.uscg.mil

Thank you


LCDR James Brewster, USCGR
202-267-4009 (v)
202-267-4823 (f)


The State (Columbia, SC)
Thursday, October 9, 2003

Vietnam War casualty to be buried Saturday

Air Force Staff Sgt. Elmer “Larry” Holden will be buried Saturday, 35 years after he died in the Vietnam War. Holden, a flight engineer assigned to the 37th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Da Nang, Vietnam, died with three other crewmen when his helicopter was shot down while searching for a missing U.S. pilot near Hue……





  • Accounted For
  • 08/19/2003

On August 19, 2003, Joint Task Force–Full Accounting (JTF-FA, now DPAA) identified the remains of Staff Sergeant Elmer Larry Holden, missing from the Vietnam War.

Staff Sergeant Holden entered the U.S. Air Force from Oklahoma and was a member of the 37th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron. On June 9, 1968, he was the flight engineer aboard an HH-3E Jolly Green Giant (tail number 67-14710, call sign “Jolly Green 23”) that took off from Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, on a search and rescue mission for a downed A-4 pilot in Salavan Province, Laos. At the rescue site, the aircraft was struck by enemy fire, crashed and exploded; SSgt Holden was killed in the incident. An active enemy presence prevented searchers from recovering his remains at the time. Joint search teams eventually investigated the crash site and recovered human remains that U.S. analysts identified as those of SSgt Holden.

Staff Sergeant Holden is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

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