Sunday, January 01, 2006

Veterans remember submarine inventor

By Justo Bautista
April 09, 2005

Submarine veterans will hold a memorial ceremony at the gravesite of Paterson inventor John P. Holland at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on Union Boulevard in Totowa Monday morning.

"We will say a prayer and place three wreaths at the grave site," said Tom Coulson, a trustee of the Submarine Memorial Association, which runs the New Jersey Naval Museum on River Street in Hackensack. The ceremony starts at 11 a.m.Holland, an Irish immigrant, settled in Paterson and taught school there. Interested in the science of submarines, he tried to interest the Navy in his plans. The Navy initially turned him down, and, according to Navy history, that's when Irish revolutionary groups in America became interested, financing several of Holland's submarines that were tested in the Passaic River.

The Navy bought one of his submarines, the Holland VI, in 1900 and renamed it the USS Holland, the forerunner of today's submarine fleet.

The Submarine Memorial Association, SubVets Inc., and U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II, contributed funds for a new Holland headstone several years ago. The slab depicts Holland going down the hatch of one of his submarines.



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