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Sgt. Johnny Holmes

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Information about Sgt. Johnny Holmes

Profile image of Sgt. Johnny Holmes

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Sergeant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
July
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/3/1921
Birth Location:
Alliance, Ohio

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Sergeant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
July
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/3/1921
Birth Location:
Alliance
See how Sgt. Johnny Holmes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

United State Army 761st Tank Battalion “Black Panther” Sergeant Johnny Alfred “Bobo” Holmes was born on September 3, 1921 in Alliance, Ohio. Growing up in Alliance and Evanston, Illinois, Holmes attended Freedom Elementary School and Evanston Township High School from 1938 to 1939.

Joining the United States Army in 1939, Holmes experienced intense racism for the first time. After the onset of World War II, Holmes was chosen to become a part of the all black 761st Tank Battalion. Like the Tuskegee Airmen, this unit was intended by American reformers to be a step towards integrating the United States armed forces. Training in Custer, Michigan, Fort Knox Kentucky, Camp Claiborne, Louisiana and finally at Fort Hood, Texas, Holmes learned all the nuances of the M4 tank. Beginning in November of 1944, the 761st Tank Battalion under General Patton’s command engaged the enemy for 183 straight days, spearheading many of Patton’s offensives at the Battle of the Bulge and in six European countries. “Patton’s Panthers” lived up to their motto, “Come Out Fighting” defeating 6,000 enemy soldiers, capturing thirty towns and in 1945 liberating Jewish prisoners from concentration camps at Dachau, Lambach and Buchenwald.

In 1946, Holmes returned to private life, working for the City of Chicago. He retired from the Doehler Corporation, married twice and became involved in real estate.

Holmes passed away on March 22, 2013 at the age of 91.

Johnny Holmes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2006.

See how Sgt. Johnny Holmes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - The slating of Sergeant Johnny Holmes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls his mother's involvement in bootlegging during Prohibition
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes shares what he knows about how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes the sights of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls running errands with his sister in Alliance, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his early interest in becoming a soldier
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls a story from his service in World War II, pt.1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls a story from his service in World War II, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls his experience of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes remembers Evanston Township High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes talks about his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls enlisting in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes talks about his early experiences in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes how the 758th Tank Battalion was formed
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his specialized tank training
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls facing racial discrimination in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls being sent into combat during World War II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes remembers the Battle of Metz
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes remembers arriving at the German concentration camps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls liberating a German concentration camp, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes recalls liberating a German concentration camp, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes talks about visiting war memorials
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes reflects upon World War II
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his life after World War II
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes explains how his war experience influenced his view of civil rights
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes his career after his U.S. military service
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes reflects upon his life and legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes gives advice to youth interested in U.S. military service
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sergeant Johnny Holmes narrates his photographs