Robert Hugh Holland was born in Ceylon on 1st December 1919 and educated at Malvern College. He entered RAF College Cranwell in April 1938 as a Flight Cadet. The outbreak of war caused the course to be shortened and Holland graduated in September 1939. He was granted a Permanent Commission in October.
Holland arrived at 11 Group Pool, St. Athan on 24th October and, after converting to Spitfires, he joined the newly-reformed 92 Squadron at Tangmere at the end of the month. Over France on 23rd May 1940 he claimed two Me110s destroyed and a Ju88 damaged; on the 24th a Do17 destroyed; and on 2nd June a Me109 destroyed and a He111 damaged near Dunkirk.
Holland shared in the destruction of a Do17 on 8th July and shared a Ju88 on the 25th. He was shot down in combat west of Ashford on 15th September, baled out and was injured on landing. He probably destroyed a Me109 in the action. Holland was admitted to hospital at East Grinstead. At some time he was treated by Archie Mclndoe and became a Guinea Pig.
On 15th October he got a probable Me109, on the 26th and 1st and 2nd November he claimed Me109s destroyed, on the 13th damaged a Do17 and on the 15th and 17th damaged Me109's.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 26th November 1940).
In early 1941 Holland was posted to 91 Squadron at Hawkinge as a Flight Commander. He claimed a Me109 destroyed on 13th March, got a probable Me109 on 24th April and damaged one on 11th May.
He remained in the RAF after the war and died on 17th November 1954 in an aircraft accident as a Wing Commander. He was in Vampire FB Mk. 5 VV229 of 233 OCU which collided with VV552 of the same unit and exploded near Port Eyon, Gower, Wales during a practice formation attack on 17th November 1954. F/Sgt. PWD Green in VV552 was also killed.
Photos and text courtesy of Battle of Britain Monument website