Court is named for one of the most decorated heroes of
World War I.
Nelson Holderman's parents moved to Tustin when he was
young, growing oranges, walnuts and apricots on acreage
near Tustin High School's present location. He attended
Tustin Grammar School and enlisted in Santa Ana's National
Guard unit, serving on the Mexican border during the 1916
Pancho Villa raids.
Promoted to captain, Holderman led his company as it was
called into active service in October 1918. They were
sent to France and became involved in fierce battles against
the Germans in the Argonne Forest. They later earned the
name "The Lost Battalion" after they were cut off and
surrounded by the enemy for five days, stopping the Germans
from capturing the position despite repeated attacks.
was said to be wounded on Oct. 4, 5 and 7. On Oct. 6,
he rushed through enemy machine gun and shell fire and
carried two wounded men to safety.
earned Holderman a Medal of Honor and the Distinguished
Service Cross when he and his company returned to Santa
Ana to a rousing welcome in April 1919. He also received
two Croix de Guerre medals for his bravery in leading
returning to Tustin, Holderman rejoined the National Guard
and was appointed a colonel. The governor of California
named him commandant of the Yountville Soldier's Home
in 1926. Holderman served at the home until his death,
building new facilities for veterans and raising four
children there with his wife, the former Marguerite Talbot.
Holderman is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in
San Bruno. Along with Tustin's Holderman Court, Holderman
Park in North Tustin is also named for the war hero.