Eric G. Hall

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Eric G. Hall
AVM.Eric.Gordon.Hall.jpg
AVM (Major-General) Eric Hall in 1965
Birth name Eric Gordon Hall
Nickname(s) The heavy hitter
Born 12 October 1922
Rangoon, Burma
Died 17 June 1998 (aged 76)
Maryland, United States
Buried at Maryland, United States
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Air Force
Years of service 1947–1977
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Air Vice Marshal (Major-General)
Unit No. 6 Squadron Globe Trotters
Commands held Chaklala Air Force Base
Air War College
Defence and Air Attache Pakistan Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Deputy Commander-in-Chief
Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL)
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Yom-Kippur War of 1973
Awards Hilal-i-Jurat (1947)
Sitara-e-Jurat (1965)
Hilal-i-Imtiaz (military) (1971)
Other work Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan

Air Vice-Marshal Eric Gordan Hall (Urdu: ايريک گورڈن حال; 12 October 1922 – 17 June 1998), was a Pakistan Air Force bomber and fighter pilot, and former director general of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). A two-star general in the Pakistan Air Force, Hall had served as Vice Chief of Air Staff and was one of the distinguished Christian pilots who participated in the Indo-Pakistan wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971. He is also notable as the Director-General of the Pakistan Air Force's Air Force Science Research Laboratories (AFSRL) when he headed the atomic weapon's research as part of Pakistan's nuclear technology project.

Defence attaché[edit]

Through his vision, dedication and hard work, he rose to the rank of Air Vice Marshal and Deputy Chief of Air Staff. During his service, Hall commanded a number of PAF Bases and also served as the Commandant of the PAF Staff College. In 1960 and the early 1970s, Hall served as a Defence and Air Attache in the Pakistan Embassy, United States.[1]

Indo-Pakistan war of 1965[edit]

He commanded the air transport Base at Chaklala as a Group Captain (Colonel) in 1965. With war being imminent, he was conscious of the PAF’s lack of specialist aircraft. Hall hit upon the idea of converting C-130 Hercules into heavy bombers.[2] With some modifications, the transport aircraft were made capable of carrying up to 20,000 lbs of bombs.

Having conducted trials to prove their efficacy, the Group Captain volunteered to lead the first bombing mission over the Kathua bridge on 11 September 1965. The mission was fraught with danger as the totally unarmed C-130 was highly vulnerable to enemy action.[3] The success of this mission prompted the high command to authorize thirteen more bombing missions with C-130s, including the precision bombing of Indian heavy guns at Atari on the banks of the BRB Canal. The success of these missions proved that the now Air Vice Marshal had hit the bull’s eye with his innovative idea. For his valour and vision Hall was awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat in 1965.[4]

Retirement[edit]

AVM Eric Hall retired from the Air Force in 1978 immediately after the successful U 235 project. He was given an honorable discharge from the Air Force and made Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the Government of Pakistan.

Hall migrated to Maryland, in the United States, where in August 1982 with his wife Marjorie, he founded and served as corporate president of Hall Enterprises, Inc.[5] The company engaged in the business of importing and exporting Pakistani furniture, giftware and military spare parts. Hall died in the United States in 1998.[6]

References[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
AVM Patrick Desmond Callaghan
Deputy Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force
1971–1974
Succeeded by
AVM Ehsan Kadir
Preceded by
Officer Created
Director-General of Air Force Science Research Laboratories, Chaklala AFB
1974–1978
Succeeded by
Dr. Ghulam Dastigar Allam