Art Fesler-Butts is a member of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association.
The LeRoy’s Spanish Trail Chapter of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association Chapter No. 104 in Tucson recently presented its World War II Medallion of Remembrance to U.S. Army Air Corps 2nd Lt. Jack Holder of Queen Valley.
The medallion was presented by Apache Junction residents and auxiliary life members Dr. Anne Fesler-Butts, M.D., Lt. Col./retired; and Arthur Fesler-Butts, Sgt. 1st Class/retired.
The medallion has engraved on one side The Greatest Generation: Valor, Fidelity and Sacrifice with the NCOA on the head of an Eagle. The opposite side is an Eagle on the flat map of the Earth saying the NCOA encircled by the words: World War II Remembrance.
Holder enlisted at the age of 18 in July 1943 soon after graduating from Monta Bella (California) High School. He married Evelyn Ann Widmeyer of Duluth, Minnesota, in 1943 while he was on furlough after flight school training.
Holder’s original flight training was to be for nine months but due to changes in Army policies, his actual training took 20 months.
He began his basic training at Sheppard Field in Texas. From there he went to Lakeland, Florida, where he was trained on a Stearman biplane. Holder went to Greenville, Missouri, for basic flying training on a Voltre fixed landing gear plane. This was the first plane he flew that did not have retractable gear. After that training, he ended up in Selma, Alabama, where he was trained on the AT-6 advance training plane.
Holder enlisted to be a pilot with the hopes to fly against the Japanese. But due to the extensions of flight training, he never made it into combat or even overseas. He was designated as flight officer and not a pilot due to his age; at that time, a pilot had to be at least 20 years old.
He also never made it to combat because the U.S. Army had all the pilots that it needed at that time.
In July 1945, two years after enlisting, Holder was discharged and promptly enrolled into USC where he received his B.S in mechanical engineering. He and his wife Evelyn later moved to Rigby, Idaho, where he founded the Holder Machinery and Steel Fabrication business. He owned the business from Aug 1967 to 1997. In Rigby, they also raised their son, a U.S. Air Force veteran who now heads the family business; and a daughter who has become an attorney.
Evelyn and Jack Holder moved to Queen Valley more than 42 years ago.
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