Biographical notes and a special story
of a WW II shoot-down
and POW experience as related by a
B-17 Ball Gunner:

The Charles Reed Holden Story

by Charles “Reed” Holden
as told through William A. “Bill” Sutton


Editors Introductory Notes

This previously unpublished story of Charles “Reed” Holden has been salvaged from the multitude of stories from World War II that are fast fading into oblivion. Literally thousands of Reed’s contemporaries are passing on, each day, with important, meaningful, stories yet untold. This tale has been pulled together through the persistent and patient, efforts of Bill Sutton, who enjoys a personal and fraternal friendship with Reed. If you have not had the chance to review Bill’s brief biographical notes, you will find them at


with an easy return to this page via your back button. We have strived to present this story through the words of Bill Sutton, with Reed’s special notations identified within quotes. There may be times in the story that their words will blend, but they will be no less meaningful or less accurate.

In the event your have not been exposed to the John C. Schumacher story, a companion Shoot-Down and POW story, you will find it at


Introduction by Bill Sutton

This story is about a young man, “Charles Reed Holden”, who graduated from High School in the post-depression years hoping to find employment in our small city, Port Jervis, N.Y. He worked for a short time at a local factory, but was soon disillusioned by the lack of opportunity, poor working conditions and meager pay. The opportunity of a military career presented itself at this time and “Reed” carefully considered that possibility. He thought it would provide a job which was better than a factory job and a chance for advancement.

If you choose to read this story, it will give you an insight as to what this gentle person, now in the autumn of his life, has been like from his youth to the present day. He has served his country, community, church and raised a family with dignity and is respected by all who have come to know him.

The story has been a challenge to write and has been compiled from notes, documents, pictures, and quiet conversations with “Reed”, also a little of my imagination has been added to piece the story together. Those of us who know “Reed Holden” are very fortunate to call him a friend and a Fraternal Brother. It has been a pleasure to delve into his life and record it for others to read and hopefully to inspire the younger generations to follow his example of dedicated service in a life well-lived.

William A. ( Bill ) Sutton

End of Introduction — Go To Table of Contents

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