HOLLADY, Wendell G. (1907-1935)
Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 2/1/2023 at 13:33:06
Wendell Greer Holladay
(July 7, 1907 – May 19, 1935)
Indianola Tribune, Indianola, Iowa, Wed., May 29, 1935, p.1
Lieut. Holladay is Buried Here Monday, May 27
Funeral of Army Flyer Who Met Death by Crashing Into Mountain Held at M. E. Church
The funeral of Lieut. Wendell Greer Holladay, who was killed when his Douglas single motor airplane crashed into the side of a mountain near Heavener, Okla., Sunday, May 19, while taking part in army maneuvers in a flight to Shrevesport, La., was held here Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Methodist Episcopal church. In charge of Lieut. Clifford Motley, reserve officer stationed at Brooks Field, Texas, the body of Lieutenant Holladay, found by a sergeant in a CCC camp last Thursday, five days after his plane had cracked up in the Kiamichi Mountains, arrived in Indianola early Monday morning from Des Moines.
The funeral was semi-military in character. The casket was draped with the national emblem and Lieutenant Motley stood guard over the body of his friend before the funeral. Lieutenant Motley brought word that the machine, a 740 horse power observation plane, had taken off at the army field at Muskogee, Okla., at about 9 o’clock Sunday morning, May 19, on the second lap of a triangular flight which began at Brooks Field, Texas, and which was to have ended there. Flying conditions were bad, but Lieutenant Holladay had received orders to take off which he accomplished successfully. Arriving at the Kiamichi mountains in Oklahoma after a two hour flight from Muskogee, he had succeeded in piloting his plane through the fog and low over-hanging clouds up over one range and headed toward another.
Unable to see ahead of him because of the mist on his windshield, Lieutenant Holladay is believed to have pointed the nose of his machine upward in the hope of scaling the next range. Instead, he crashed into a heavily wooded section. Examination of the scene of the accident showed that the plane had mowed a lane a hundred yards long through the pine trees and then cracked up on the side of the mountain.
The plane caught fire and the body of Lieutenant Holladay was badly burned. His mechanic, Pvt. Ira Hicks of Siloam Springs, Ark., was thrown out of the machine. Both are believed to have met death instantly. The army plane was identified by the number on the radio set in the cockpit, and if further identification of the pilot was needed it was provided in the form of a ring with a peculiar setting and stone which he wore on the little finger of his left hand. When Lieutenant Holladay failed to report within the time limit, army officers began an investigation. On Monday, May 20, Major C. E. Griffin, in command at Brooks Field airport, informed Mrs. S. M. Holladay here over the long distance telephone that her son had been missing for twenty-four hours.
Search Is Ordered
At the same time Major Griffin ordered out sixty army planes to search for the two missing fliers. Mrs. Holladay notified her husband who was out on the road on a business trip and her two sons, Dr. W. T. Holladay of Amboy, Ill., and Leslie Holladay of Falls Church, VA. The latter immediately got in touch with the Washington headquarters for CCC camps and requested that the personnel of these camps join in the search. An order to the effect was issued and the boys in a half dozen camps in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas joined forces with the sixty army fliers and constabulary from these four states.
Sergeant Finds Plane
A sergeant in an Oklahoma CCC camp took the trial up a peak in the Kiamichi range, and arriving at its top he leveled his field glasses over the surrounding area. At a point below him he observed the “bulls eye” on an army plane. He immediately notified his superior officers and a short time later they were at the scene of the accident. At about the same time U.S. army officers arrived. The bodies were removed to Heavener, Okla. where that of Lieutenant Holladay was entrained for Des Moines Friday night. Lieutenant Motley explained that Lieutenant Holladay had taken off the Brooks Field base on a three legged observation flight which took in Muskogee and Shrevesport. Other army fliers as well as owners of private planes had cracked up in these same mountains. Lieutenant Holladay was duty with the Twelfth Observation group, Twelfth squadron.
Flag Draped Casket
A large group of sorrowing friends who attended the funeral indicated the high regard in which Lieutenant Holladay was held in this community. The flag draped casket stood in front of the pulpit against the background of floral pieces that completely filled the front part of the pulpit. The funeral was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Mearle A. Gable. Dr. Gable declared that people as they lived their lives should create worthwhile memories. This he said, Lieutenant Holladay had done, and memories he created would act as a solace to his loved ones through the years. Dr. Gable told of a letter he had written to his mother in which he asked her to send his church letter to Texas. This, he said, had been done, and his membership was transferred there.
Dr. Gable also spoke of Lieutenant Holladay’s flight over Indianola last winter when he deposited tokens of his love and friendship for some of his fraternity brothers on the front lawn of Prof. Hiram S. Doty’s home. These were worth while memories, Dr. Gable said. He described his as earnest in the presence of duty and honest in his obligations. The casket was not opened. Pallbearers were members of the Kappa Theta Psi fraternity of which he was a member. They were Richard D. Watson, Paul White and Carl Williams of Indianola, William Kidder of Des Moines, Charles Shultz of Algona and Charles Evans of Iowa City. Two musical numbers, “Abide With Me” and “Crossing the Bar” were sung by Miss Leola Ellis with Miss Dorothy Peterson at the organ. Interment was in the Indianola Cemetery.
Lieutenant Holladay is survived by his parents and his two brothers. He was born in Indianola July 7, 1907. He graduated from the Indianola high school in 1925 and received his liberal arts degree at Simpson in 1930. After his graduation he taught in Kingsley, Iowa. He enlisted in the department of aviation, U.S. army, in October 1932, and entered the officers’ training school at Randolph Field, Texas. He graduated in March 1934 and received his lieutenant’s commission in February of this year. He was a member of the Masonic order and also of Phi Mu Alpha, honorary national musical fraternity.
Warren Obituaries maintained by Karen S. Velau.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen