Veteran Of The Day – Army Veteran Harry H. Hollowell

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May 2, 2022
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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Harry H. Hollowell, who served with the Buffalo Soldiers before serving in the Army band.

Harry H. Hollowell was born in Arkansas in 1914 and spent his childhood in Eureka, Kansas, after a family relocation. Growing up, Hollowell was a proficient musician who mastered the violin, trombone and other instruments. After attending Wichita State University in Kansas, he enlisted in the Army in 1936 and joined the 10th Cavalry Regiment. The regiment traces its origins to 1866, when Congress authorized the creation of four infantry regiments and two cavalry regiments predominantly comprised of African Americans. Located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the 10th Cavalry Regiment also served in the Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, the Mexican Expedition and World War II.

Hollowell served with the 10th Cavalry Regiment for six years before he entered the Army Music School in 1942. After graduating, he was promoted to warrant officer and served as a bandmaster. He was one of the earliest African Americans to serve as a bandmaster. In this role, he led various Army bands and music programs across the U.S., including at Fort Dix in New Jersey; Fort Carson in Colorado; and Forts Riley and Leavenworth, both in Kansas.

In addition to his U.S. assignments, Hollowell served overseas, including in Okinawa, Japan; Germany and Liberia. He continued to serve in music-related roles until he retired in 1964 at the rank of chief warrant officer 4 – the first African American to earn that rank.

In retirement, Hollowell worked at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks as the director of music for 22 years. He also remained active in various local music groups. He died in February 2005. Hollowell Drive, located at Leavenworth, Kansas, was named in his honor in 2009. His daughter, Louise Hollowell Jones, who attended the ceremony, spoke of her father as “the hardest working man I’ve ever known. He was a man full of grace and goodness.”

Harry H. Hollowell is buried in Leavenworth National Cemetery in Kansas.

We honor his service.


Carry the Load

In 2022, VA is joining forces with Carry The Load to honor veterans during the “Memorial May” March, a national relay visiting 50 VA national cemeteries to honor our nation’s fallen service members. A link to this webpage is here. The complete list of participating cemeteries can be found here. Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.


Writer: Raymond Lin

Editors: Annabelle Colton, Theresa Lyon

Researcher: Patrick E. Woods

Graphic Designer: Brittany Gorski

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