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His home port

Retired admiral stays close to alma mater

Retired admiral stays close to alma mater

April 29, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

SAINT JAMES -On the one hand, the man signing books on Saturday during alumni weekend at Saint James School served in three wars, once was chief of Naval Operations and served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

But retired U.S. Navy Adm. James L. Holloway III also was a member of the Saint James class of 1939, and was greeted by former graduates and current students who know him personally from his regular visits to his old school.

Charles Gellad, a 1985 graduate of Saint James, now manages a hotel in Virginia, but he couldn't stay away from alumni weekend and the Holloway book signing.

"I know of Admiral Holloway, and know he's a St. James alumnus," Gellad said as he waited for Holloway to sign his book "Aircraft Carriers At War: A Retrospective of Korea, Vietnam and the Soviet Confrontation."

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Nica Sutch bought four books for Holloway to sign - two for Father's Day and one each for her sons who attend the school, Jimmy Sutch, a senior, and Joey Sutch, a freshman.

Both of her sons know the admiral through his visits to the school.

"He's here a lot ... very active on campus," Nica Sutch said. "My boys know him because he watches them play their sports."

Tammy Twigg was getting a copy of the book for her son, Andrew Twigg, also a Saint James senior.

"The admiral is quite a fixture around here and Andrew knows him," she said.

Holloway said after he retired from the Navy in 1978, many people were after to him to write a book. He shrugged off those efforts until three years ago, when he was convinced that he'd had a unique experience that ought to be shared.

"I was in combat in World War II, Korea and Vietnam," said Holloway, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1942 in just three years because of the war.

Holloway served on ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific in World War II. Then during the Korean War, Holloway flew jets and earned numerous awards.

From 1965 to 1967, Holloway commanded the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear submarine.

"I also commanded the entire fleet in 1972 during the Vietnam War," Holloway said.

In between the three wars, Holloway also served in Cuba and Lebanon.

All of those experiences affected his understanding of what war was about and led to the book, Holloway said.

"I saw a lot of wonderful things and some unfortunate things," he said.

Holloway said he became very depressed over the confrontations with the former Soviet Union, and tried to point out in the book how those experiences changed his outlook over the years.

"I would now rather see negotiations than confrontations," he said.

Former President George H.W. Bush wrote the book's preface.

The book costs $25 and is available in bookstores and at Amazon.com.

Holloway is donating all royalties from sales of the book to the Naval Historical Foundation in Washington, D.C., where a new wing is being built to house the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.

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