Lawrence Holland was born on May 15, 1934, in Redlands, California. He was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Colorado on February 4, 1956, and went on active duty beginning March 27, 1956. Lt Holland then completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Laredo AFB, Texas, before attending Fighter Interceptor and F-86D Sabre Combat Crew Training. His first assignment was with the 25th Interceptor Squadron in Okinawa, where he served from February 1958 to August 1959. Lt Holland then attended B-52 Stratofortress Combat Crew Training and was assigned to the 9th Bomb Squadron of the 7th Bomb Wing at Carswell AFB, Texas, from August 1959 to November 1961. He next served as an instructor with the Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from November 1961 to August 1964, and then following F-100 Super Sabre Combat Crew Training, he was assigned to the 615th Tactical Fighter Squadron at England AFB, Louisiana, in December 1964. Holland deployed with the squadron to Clark AB in the Philippines in March 1965, and was killed in action over South Vietnam on June 12, 1965. His remains have never been recovered.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Lawrence Thomas Holland, Major, U.S. Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia while serving as Pilot of an F100D Supersabre of the 615th Tactical Fighter Squadron, in action in Southeast Asia, on 12 June 1965. On that date, Major Holland led a flight of F-100 aircraft against a heavily defended area which had been captured by the Viet Cong. He was directed to destroy automatic weapons positions and structures within the target area. Major Holland led his flight on one low level attack and destroyed a significant gun position. However, heavily concentrated automatic weapons fire from several other ground positions was reported. With complete disregard for his personal safety and despite the withering ground fire, Major Holland continued the attack and delivered his ordnance directly on target. His outstanding dedication to duty, superior initiative, and mission performance resulted in the destruction of numerous hostile ground positions of vital significance to the Viet Cong. Major Holland's courage and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the American fighting man. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, and in dedication of his service to his country, Major Holland reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.