Captain R.S. Holtan 224th Parachute Field Ambulance

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by brithm, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. brithm

    brithm Senior Member


    This my first post on the forum. I am researching the 6th Airborne Division in Normandy, I came across name Captain Reider Scott Holtan who was the 8th Parachute Battalion's Regimental Medical Officer.

    He dropped during the night of D-Day and was captured on the 6th June 1944 but was killed on the 19th August 1944 by an allied aircraft in a POW troop train.

    Would anyone know of this event? Or know of any other POWs who came in contact with Captain Holtan maybe know where he was captured and who was in his aircraft with him.

    Any info would be a great help

  2. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Welcome Brithm, here is the CWGC certificae for your guy............... will try to see what I can find about his death, and im sure some others will be along shortly. In Memory of

    246803, Royal Army Medical Corps
    attd. Airborne Forces.
    who died age 32
    on 19 August 1944
    Son of David and Ida Holtan. husband of Mary Frances Holtan, of Stratfordon-Avon. L.M.S.S.A.
    Remembered with honour
  3. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Just to add to the previous post the date of the strafing of the train, I believe, was on 29th June 1944. When the train left Paris it was shot up by Typhoons of the RAF (not sure about this), Capt. Holtan was wounded in this action but died of his wounds on 19th August 1944. If anyone would be able to add any information or detail would be greatly appreciated.
  4. Tug1970

    Tug1970 Member

    Capt. Reidar Scott Holtan's Step-in smock


    Recently I came across this early British Airborne Step-in smock, the smock is named inside to an R S Holtan R.A.M.C. Of course I immediately typed this into a well known search engine and found this thread.

    I've attached a few photographs below of the Step-in smock which clearly show the name R S Holtan. I wonder if anybody has information as to when R S Holtan first transferred into Airborne Forces given that this is an early 1942 smock and therefore replaced by the Denison in that same year. I wonder if he took part in any of the earlier raids as this smock has definitely been through the mill although training was equally as hard back in the day.

    I will ask the staff at the Airborne Assault museum Duxford if they can find out anything more about R S Holtan. With a name like Reidar Holtan I would imagine he is of Norwegian decent. If anybody can help put some more pieces towards this jigsaw it would be much appreciated.


    Bruce Wilson

    Capt. Reidar Scott Holtan's Step-in smock

    Step in 1.JPG

    Step in 2.JPG

    DSC03171 (Large).JPG

    DSC03170 (Large).JPG

    Step in 10.JPG

    Step in 3.JPG

    Step in 4.JPG

    Step in 5.JPG

    Step in 8.JPG

    Step in 11.JPG
  5. Tug1970

    Tug1970 Member

    Jon Baker, curator at Airborne Assault managed to find out slightly more about Capt. R S Holtan.

    "Hi Bruce,
    Gosh what a wonderful find!

    He was on Parachute Course 44, December 1942, so right at the end of the usage of the jacket I would think? We have him listed as Normandy combat only, attached 8 PARA.

    All the best,
  6. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    brithm likes this.
  7. Tug1970

    Tug1970 Member

    Absolutely fantastic stuff, thank-you very much.

    En route to the Ardennes at the moment so unable to fully investigate this new material but as soon as I get back I'll get right on it.

    Once again thanks for the input.

    Bruce Wilson
  8. hambut

    hambut New Member

    There are a couple of group photographs that show Captain Holtan whilst at Tilshead, shortly before D Day. Can provide more information if you would like
  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hello hambut and welcome

    I'd love to seem them as there isn't much on Captain Holtan in all the usual places. If you feel comfortable doing so you could post them here. If you wish to remain private brithm would be your best contact on the subject.

    Regards ...
  10. Tug1970

    Tug1970 Member

    I'd really love to see the photograph as well, I've found out a lot about his family and where he lived in Norway unfortunately about a week after attending a course in his home town of Horten!!!

  11. brithm

    brithm Senior Member


    Some photos of Holtan at Tilshead would be great.

    8PARA kindly sent me this photo of Holtan and may also have one of him after his capture. He lived in Stratford Upon Avon and I believe his daughter had only just been born before he left for Normandy, very sad.


    Attached Files:

  12. Tug1970

    Tug1970 Member

    Fantastic stuff, thanks. :salut:

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