William E. Hall

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William Edward Hall
Born (1913-10-31)October 31, 1913
Storrs, Utah
Died November 15, 1996(1996-11-15) (aged 83)
Buried Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Naval Reserve
Years of service 1938–1946
Rank Lieutenant Commander
Battles/wars World War II
*Battle of the Coral Sea
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

William Edward Hall (October 31, 1913 – November 15, 1996) was a United States Naval Reserve officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions during the Battle of the Coral Sea in World War II.


Hall joined the Navy from his birth state of Utah in 1938 and by May 7, 1942 was a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, serving as a scout plane pilot with Scouting Squadron 2 (flying the SBD Dauntless). On that day, over the Coral Sea, he dive bombed a Japanese aircraft carrier, Shoho contributing greatly to its destruction. The next day, he attacked a superior number of Japanese planes and shot down three. Although his craft was damaged and he was seriously wounded in this attack, he managed to land safely. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

While in the hospital he met his wife, a navy nurse, and they married in September 1942. Hall reached the rank of lieutenant commander before leaving the Navy in 1946. He died at age 83 and was buried in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Hall's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For extreme courage and conspicuous heroism in combat above and beyond the call of duty as pilot of a scouting plane in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Coral Sea on 7 and 8 May 1942. In a resolute and determined attack on 7 May, Lt. (j.g.) Hall dived his plane at an enemy Japanese aircraft carrier, contributing materially to the destruction of that vessel. On 8 May, facing heavy and fierce fighter opposition, he again displayed extraordinary skill as an airman and the aggressive spirit of a fighter in repeated and effectively executed counterattacks against a superior number of enemy planes in which 3 enemy aircraft were destroyed. Though seriously wounded in this engagement, Lt. (j.g.) Hall, maintaining the fearless and indomitable tactics pursued throughout these actions, succeeded in landing his plane safe.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.