Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral James L. Holloway: A Lifetime of Service

23 February 1922–


Photo #: NH 94061-KN Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN
Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN, Chief of Naval Operations, 1974-1978. Portrait by Albert Murray, 1979. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Catalog #: NH 94061.

James Lemuel Holloway III was born 23 February 1922 in Charleston, South Carolina. The son of Admiral James L. Holloway Jr., he became the twentieth Chief of Naval Operations on 1 July 1974, relieving Admiral Elmo Zumwalt as the Navy’s top military leader. Holloway also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During his tenure, he faced the challenges of inflation and defense spending cuts during the height of the Cold War. After the fall of Saigon in 1975 and rising tensions with the then-Soviet Union, Holloway convinced President Gerald Ford to end the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) II treaty proposal to ban the cruise missile, which is still the Navy’s principal weapon for a number of surface and underwater platforms. Considered one of his most significant contributions to the Navy as the CNO, Holloway established the Battle Force Fleet organization that would exploit the expanded warfare capabilities of surface combatants and enable a full range of naval abilities to handle hostile threats. When Holloway’s tenure as CNO ended in 1978, he had served under three presidents: Richard Nixon, Ford and Jimmy Carter

Holloway began his naval career when he graduated as a member of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1943. During World War II, he served aboard destroyers in the North Atlantic and African waters. In the Pacific, he participated in the Saipan, Tinian, Palau and Leyte Gulf campaigns as gunnery officer of the destroyer USS Bennion (DD-662). Following WWII, he served as commanding officer of Attack Squadron 83, deputy CNO for Air Warfare, and commanding officer of USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) for two combat cruises in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. In 1968, he returned to the Pentagon where he established the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Carrier Program, and in 1970 was promoted to rear admiral. With his promotion, he was assigned as the commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet where he directed strike operations against objectives in North Vietnam during Operations Linebacker I and II. In 1974, he was named by President Nixon to be the next CNO. 

In 1978, Holloway retired from the Navy with 36 years of service. Still closely involved after retirement, he served as president of the Naval Historical Foundation from 1980–1998 and ten years more as chairman. In 2007, Holloway published Aircraft Carriers at War, and was instrumental in the online publishing of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships project. 

During his lifetime of service, Holloway received 28 American military personal decorations, unit awards and campaign and service medals and ribbons. He received 20 foreign decorations as well. He was a combat veteran of WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War. As a civilian, he received the Distinguished Public Service Medal for his service as president of the NHF, was technical advisor to the movie “Top Gun,” and a dormitory at Saint James School in Washington County, Maryland, was named “Holloway Hall” in honor of him—one of the high school’s most notable alumni.

***** 

Biography

Papers/Reports

Z-Gram #121

Positions

Artifact

Selected Imagery


Photo #: NH 103828  Midshipman James L. Holloway, III, USN,
Midshipman—1941. Courtesy of Admiral James L. Holloway, III (Retired), 2006. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Catalog #: NH 103828.


Photo #: NH 103852  Lieutenant Commander James L. Holloway, III, USN
Lieutenant Commander James L. Holloway III standing on a F9F Panther jet fighter in 1953, while serving as acting commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 52 (VF-52) during the Korean War. Donation of Admiral James L. Holloway, III (Retired), 2006. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog #: NH 103852.


Photo #: NH 103831  Captain James L. Holloway, III, USN,
Captain James L. Holloway III photograph taken 15 June 1962. Courtesy of Admiral James L. Holloway, III (Retired), 2006. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Catalog #: NH 103831.


Photo #: NH 103854  Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN
Admiral James L. Holloway III, chief of naval operations, with his father, Admiral James L. Holloway Jr. (USN) Retired. They were the only U.S. Navy father and son to have both attained four-star rank while on active duty. Donation of Admiral James L. Holloway, III (Retired), 2006. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog #: NH 103854.


Photo #: NH 103826  Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN,
Admiral James L. Holloway III, chief of naval operations (left), congratulates Master Chief Operations Specialist Robert Walker upon his selection as the next Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. Taken in Washington, D.C., 25 June 1975. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog #: NH 103826.


Photo #: NH 103815  Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN, Chief of Naval Operations President Gerald R. Ford
Admiral James L. Holloway, chief of naval operations, shakes hands with President Gerald R. Ford following the commissioning ceremony of USS Nimitz (CVAN-68) at Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia, 3 May 1975. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog #: NH 103815.


The current CNO, Admiral Frank Kelso, with former CNOs at the Pentagon, 19 October 1990. Those present are (from left to right): Admiral Carlisle A.H. Trost, CNO in 1986-1990; Admiral Thomas Hayward, CNO in 1978-1982;   Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, CNO in 1970-1974; Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, CNO in 1955-1961; Admiral Kelso; Admiral Thomas Moorer, CNO in 1967-1970; Admiral James Holloway, CNO in 1974-1978; and Admiral James Watkins, CNO in 1982-1986.  Photographed by Dave Wilson. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.
Admiral Frank Kelso, chief of naval operations, with former CNOs at the Pentagon, 19 October 1990. Those present are (from left to right): Admiral Carlisle A.H. Trost, CNO, 1986–1990; Admiral Thomas Hayward, CNO, 1978–1982; Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, CNO, 1970–1974; Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, CNO, 1955–1961; Admiral Kelso; Admiral Thomas Moorer, CNO, 1967–1970; Admiral James Holloway III, CNO, 1974–1978; and Admiral James Watkins, CNO, 1982–1986. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog #: NH 96677-KN.


UA 490.22 ADM James L. Holloway III Collection
Lieutenant James L. Holloway III on the deck of USS Kearsarge (CV-12) 1947. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Catalog #: UA 490.22.


Photo #: NH 103803  Commander James L. Holloway, III, USN
Commander James L. Holloway III seated in the cockpit of a Douglas A4D Skyhawk attack aircraft, while serving as commanding officer of Attack Squadron 83 (VA-83) on USS Essex (CVA-9), 25 June 1958. Photographed by Piatek. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog #: NH 103803.


Photo #: NH 103853  Captain James L. Holloway, III, USN
Captain James L. Holloway III, commanding officer, USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) looks through an old flight book which Attack Squadron Thirty-Five (VA-35) has kept since he flew with them off USS Kearsarge (CV-33) during the later 1940s. Photographed on board Enterprise in April 1967. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog #: NH 103853.


Photo #: K-94833 Vice Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN
Vice Admiral James L. Holloway III, commander, Seventh Fleet, greets Republic of Vietnam President Ngyuen Van Thieu, as the President arrives on board USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) for a visit, 30 June 1972. Official U.S. Navy photograph. Catalog #: K-94833.


NH 103813  Chief of Naval Operations change of command ceremonies
Senior attendees line up at the U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent's quarters, Annapolis, Maryland, during CNO change of command ceremonies held on 29 June 1974. Those present are (from right to left): Admiral James L. Holloway, III, incoming CNO; Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, outgoing CNO; Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger; and Vice Admiral William P. Mack, Naval Academy Superintendent. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog #: NH 103813.


Photo #: NH 103855  Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN,
Admiral James L. Holloway III, chief of naval operations, Attends a social function at Helsinki, Finland, in 1977. With him are (left) Admiral of the Fleet N.I. Smirnov, first deputy commander-in-chief, Soviet navy, and (center) the Chief of the Finnish navy (presumably either Rear Admiral S.O. Wikberg or Rear Admiral Bo Klenberg). Donation of Admiral James L. Holloway, III (Retired), 2006. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Catalog #: NH 103855.


Photo #: NH 103859-KN  Admiral James L. Holloway, III, USN (Retired),
Admiral James L. Holloway III, chairman of the board, Naval Historical Foundation seated at the Dewey desk in the foundation's offices, Building 57, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., on 13 June 2006. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C., 2006. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Catalog #: NH 103859-KN.

Published: Wed Apr 17 07:29:40 EDT 2019