U. S. Air Force Lt. Col. Donnie Holland, 42, formerly of Bastrop, LA, and the son of Doug and Christine Holland, died in the second day after the aerial attacks began in Iraq in January, 1991, as part of Operation Desert Storm. Holland, a pilot, was flying an F-15 Eagle and was reported missing in action on January 17, 1991, after successfully completing intensive bombing operations on the first day of the war. He was listed as missing in action until the end of the war when his remains were returned to U. S. authorities.
Lt. Col. Holland and his family including his wife, Cindy Holland, and his son, Matthew Holland, and his daughter, Heather Holland, were living in North Carolina where he was stationed at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. A 1966 graduate of Bastrop High School, he graduated from Northwestern State University with a degree in education in 1970 and taught industrial arts and drafting for five years before entering the Air Force. He had served 17 years in the Air Force and had flown F-4 Phantoms for 15 years before switching to the F-15 Eagle.
A memorial service was held in Bastrop at the Morehouse Parish Veterans Memorial on Sunday, March 17. Funeral services were held on Saturday, March 23, at the First Baptist Church of Bastrop with Rev. Jim Taylor, Dr. H. McCullough and Rev. James Crain officiating. Following that service a line of cars drove to Hamburg where lines of people, including Boy Scouts and VFW members, stood in silent tribute as the procession passed by the square. There were signs posted signifying his contributions, along with yellow ribbons trimmed in black on many of the businesses. Also, as the procession passed, the bells of the Hamburg United Methodist Church tolled their respect.
Air Force personnel from Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, LA, were in charge of the ceremony at the Promise Land Cemetery outside Hamburg. Burial with full military honors, including a “Missing Man” fly over by fellow airmen from his base in North Carolina in F-15 Eagles, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of Taps were included in the grave-side ceremony at the Promise Land Cemetery. Lt. Col. Holland was buried in a family plot where his grandparents are buried.