WWII navigator supported wife's efforts at VA

| Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

As an Army Air Corps navigator aboard a B-17 bomber during World War II, Vincent Holden completed 34 missions over the Rhineland, Ardennes and central Europe.

His expertise earned him an Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters.

Mr. Holden's neighbor in Level Green, George Kuhn, recalled that on one mission, when the lead plane miscalculated their direction, Lt. Holden reconfigured the route and the squadron completed the mission.

“So in future missions, when Vincent boarded the plane and said to the men, ‘Never fear, Holden's here!,' they knew he meant it,” Kuhn said.

Vincent Alban Holden, formerly of Level Green, died Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Independence Court, Monroeville. He was 96.

Born in West Newton, he grew up in Manor with four brothers in the family of Vincent J. and Elsie Taylor Holden.

After graduating from high school, Mr. Holden attended Thiel College in Greenville, where he studied meteorology.

After his discharge from active military duty, Mr. Holden joined the Army Reserve and began his career in the patent department of Westinghouse Electric Corp. In 1959 he married Virginia Elizabeth Ayres Holden.

Dayle Kuhn, George Kuhn's wife, appreciated Mr. Holden's devotion to his wife, a volunteer for numerous causes who knitted socks and slippers for patients in VA hospitals.

“In order to enable his wife to continue her volunteer commitments for such charitable groups as Eastern Star, American Legion Auxiliary and the Animal Rescue League, Mr. Holden did the cooking and cleaning,” she said.

Mr. Holden's wife Virginia and brothers James, Novello, Dallas and Regis preceded him in death.

Visitation is 10:30 a.m. Thursday. A blessing service will begin at noon in John M. Dobrinick Funeral Home Inc., in Trafford, with the Rev. Thomas Dansak officiating, and a military service will follow in the funeral home. Private interment in Penn-Lincoln Memorial Park, North Huntingdon.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or jvondas@tribweb.com.

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