Private First Class Ferrin C. Holjeson was born February 21, 1917, to Carl Oscar Holjeson and Ida Luella. He also had one brother and two sisters, Delance Holjeson, Tremonton; Mrs. Alvin Clark of Benson, and Elnora Holjeson of Smithfield.
Ferrin graduated with honors from North Cache High School and with a degree in Chemistry and a Minor in Social Science at Utah State Agricultural College in 1938. According to “Student Life” Newspaper in March 1936, Holjeson stated that he wanted to become a successful chemist and would like to make some worthwhile contribution to mankind through the aid of chemistry. He was also an Elder with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
PFC Holjeson enlisted in the service August 22, 1940, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He spent two months at Hamilton Field in California before being transferred to Fort Douglas for further training. He sailed from San Francisco in October 1941 to Hawaii and was attached to the De Monte airbase in Manila, the Philippines with the 5th Bomb Squadron.
The war department told Ferrin’s father, Carl, that his son was among the prisoners of war aboard the sunken Japenese freighter ship carrying American POWs, “Shinyou Maru,” on August 20, 1944. Very few prisoners were able to leave the sinking ship and many that did were shot by enemy gunfire. He was being held at Camp No. 2 in Davao. Ferrin was reported killed in action on September 7, 1944.
PFC Holjeson received the Purple Heart posthumously and his memorial is located in Smithfield City Cemetary in Smithfield, Utah.
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see++ www.storiesbehindthestars.org++). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smartphone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.
The Ogden Standard-examiner (Ogden, Utah) Monday, 5 March 1945, Pg 12
The Salt Lake Tribune, Friday Morning, March 2, 1945, Page 16