Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Air Force 1
Lieutenant Colonel 2
04 Jun 1935 2
07 Jun 1978 2

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Tilden Stewart Holley 2
04 Jun 1935 2
Male 2
07 Jun 1978 2
Cause: Air Loss, Crash - Land 2
Age at Death: 43 2
Body Recovered: Not recovered 2
Casualty Date: 20 Jan 1968 2
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died While Missing 2
Hometown: Cameron, TX 2
Marital Status: Single 2

Vietnam War 1

Air Force 1
Lieutenant Colonel 2
Air Wing:
366th TFW 2
Enlistment Type:
Regular 2
O5 2
Major Command:
7th AF 2
Air Force 2
Pilot, Tactical Fighter F-110 (USAF) 2
389th TFS 2
Baptist - Other Groups 2
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 2
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 87 2
Panel: 34E 2

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Til was my first husband. Prince Charming who rode into my life on a red e-type jag steed! He was a gentle, kind, spirit and his early death made me very, very sad. Although the record at this site states that the gender is "not available" he was very definitely male!

Tilden was my first love and my first husband also. Although we were divorced in 1962, I was heartbroken when I heard of his tragic death. He has remained and continues to remain a part of who I am. I would love to hear from people who knew him after we departed and learn that he was happy and enjoying life. Rosemary Martin

Short Facts

Moss Point, MS

Tilden S. Holley was born and graduated from high school in West Point, MS.  He was married to Rosemary Scarbrough in July 1956.  They were divorced in 1962. 

War Dead Project

Cameron, Milam Co., TX

Tilden Stewart Holley


Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam War

Service No.: 426584519

Born: 4 Jun 1935

Died: 20 Jan 1968 (probable date of death)

Declared Dead: 7 Jun 1978

Age at time of loss: 32 years, 7 months, 16 days

Home of Record: Cameron, Texas

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single

Religion: Baptist

Entered Service:

Overseas Duty: Unknown

Unit: 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron, DaNang Air Base, South Vietnam

Type of Airplane: McDonnell-Douglas F-4C Phantom II Jet

Missing-in-Action (MIA): 20 Jan 1968

Other Personnel in Incident: 1LT James A. Ketterer (MIA)

Casualty Type: (A3) Hostile, died while missing

Cause of Death: air loss (crashed on land, pilot - fixed wing)

Casualty Location: 17?40' N x 106?29' E (map coordinates: XE 573537)

Burial: Body Not Recovered

Milam County War Memorial:

The Vietnam Wall, Washington, DC: Panel 34E - Row 087


Circumstances of Loss


LTC Holley was the aircraft commander of an F-4C aircraft flying in a flight of two on a night armed reconnaissance mission when he was reported missing-in-action. Flight members observed an orange streak of light through the clouds while the aircraft was making passes over the target. A brief beeper was heard after the light was observed, but no radio transmission were received and no parachutes were seen. LTC Holley was continued in a missing status until 7 Jun 1978 when his status was administratively changed by the Dept. of the Air Force to killed-in-action. Since his remains have not been recovered and returned, he is listed by the Dept. of Defense as unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.


The following was compiled by Homecoming II Project 1 Apr 1990 by Operation Just Cause with the assistance of one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.


REMARKS:     Ejected; killed in shoot-out


SYNOPSIS:  The F-4 Phantom jet, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The 2-man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2) and had a long-range (900 to 2,300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F-4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.


CPT Holley was the pilot of an F-4C in a flight of two aircraft dispatched from Da Nang, South Vietnam on a night armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. An armed reconnaissance mission's purpose was to seek out enemy targets and strike them. CPT Holley's backseater on the mission was 1LT James A. Ketterer, whose responsibility was to operate the bombing equipment and other technical equipment onboard the aircraft.


While striking a target near the city of Quang Khe, Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam, flight members observed an orange streak of light through the clouds while CPT Holley's aircraft was making passes over the target. A brief beeper was heard after the light was seen , but no radio transmissions were received and no parachutes were observed. Evidently, the aircraft had been hit by enemy fire.


Even though the Air Force states that no parachutes were seen, and no emergency radio beepers were heard, subsequent information is included in the Defense Department raw data which may reveal the fates of CPT Holley and 1LT Ketterer. The DIA notation on CPT Holley's incident indicates that he successfully ejected from the aircraft, but was killed in a shoot-out with enemy troops in the area. 1LT Ketterer's DIA remarks simply state he is dead, and list the report code numbers.


Because these men were not found presumptively dead until 1978, it must be concluded that the DIA reports relating to the two were not confirmed. If they had been confirmed reports, these two men would have had timely status changes to "Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered." There is an extremely remote possibility, therefore, that the two did not die at the point they reached the ground.


TS was my best friend's big brother and I think I fell in love with him the first time I ever laid eyes on him. I couldn't have been more than 10 or 11 yrs old. I had a minor flirtation with him in 1962 but he frightened me as he was newly divorced & I was still very young. We corresponded from then on. I sent him poetry books. I remained close to his parents after he and his brother, Anthony, were both killed in Vietnam. For years I could still smell him ...............

I wore a bracelet depicting MIA Major Tilden Holley's name during the Vietnam War.  I am trying to locate any known family members in order to get the bracelet to them for safekeeping.  I can be reached at (337) 889-9903.  Thank you for any information

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