Oct. 22, 1907
May 30, 1984
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force
William Evans Hall attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. He was active in athletics at the Academy; serving as captain of the track team in his first class year. He also received Honorable Mention All American as a football center. Hall graduated with the Class of 1929 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in Field Artillery.
After serving four years with the Field Artillery, Hall entered Primary Flying School at Randolph Field, TX, in 1933. A year later, he graduated from the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, TX. During his early Army Air Corps days, Hall completed a number of routine assignments - serving successively with the 78th Pursuit Squadron at Albrook Field in the Panama Canal Zone and, in 1937, as operations officer with the 14th Air Base Squadron at Bolling Field, Washington, DC.
In the fall of 1939, Hall attended the Air Force Tactical School at Maxwell Field, AL, and upon graduation in 1940, he returned to Bolling Field as Post Adjutant; in July 1941, he became Assistant Executive Officer. In September 1941, he became Special Assistant to the Air Inspector, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces, at Bolling. A year later, Hall was appointed Secretary of the Air Staff, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces, and, in March 1943, he became Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces.
During 1944-45, a crucial period of World War II, Hall was assigned as Chief of the U.S. Mission to Bulgaria. Later, he was appointed Deputy Commander of the 15th Air Force in Bari, Italy. Following V-E Day on 8 May 1945, Hall returned to Washington, DC, as Deputy Assistant Chief of the Air Staff for Personnel, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces. In 1946, he was appointed Air Member of the Advisory Group to the Chief of Staff (General Dwight D. Eisenhower) of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Washington, DC.
The following year, Hall became Chief of the Armed Forces Division, Office of the U.S. Military Government of Germany. At some point during this assignment, he also served as Chief of the U.S. Air Survey Mission to Turkey that conducted a modernization study of the Turkish Air Force. His next assignment was as Director of Intelligence, Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the European Command, Berlin, Germany, during the Berlin Airlift. In 1949, He was made Director of Intelligence, 1130th Special Activities Group, Bolling AFB, with duty station at Heidelberg, Germany. Reassigned in November 1949, Hall was named Deputy Director of Legislation and Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC; he became Director in May 1951.
In January 1951, Hall was appointed Commanding General of the Fourth Air Force at Hamilton AFB, CA. During the fall of 1952, he was assigned as Vice Commander of the Continental Air Command, Mitchel AFB, NY. General Hall was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff for Reserve Forces, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC, in September 1953 - serving in that capacity through June 1957.
On 1 July 1957, Lieutenant General William E. Hall assumed command of the nationwide Continental Air Command, an organization of more than 15,000 military personnel and over 8,000 civilian employees. ConAC was responsible for training the 15-Wing Air Force Reserve; supervising the training of, and inspecting, the 24-Wing Air National Guard; and for training more than 100,000 individual Ready Reservists. In addition to commanding ConAC, Hall also had duty as Senior Member and Air Force Representative to the United Nations Military Staff Committee, New York, NY. Hall retired from active duty on 1 October 1961.
Rated as a Command Pilot, General Hall had more than 26 years of flying experience and logged more than 6,000 hours in the air. Among his awards and honors, in 1952 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Portland, Portland, OR. In 1961, he was admitted to the Reserve Officer's Association Minuteman Hall of Fame, an honor most frequently awarded to officers of 4-star rank and whose awardees make up a virtual Who's Who in the military.
Hall married Helena Callaway and they had four children together. Two of their sons also served in the U.S. Air Force; William Evans Hall, Jr. retired as a Colonel and William Spencer Hall retired as a Captain. In addition, Hall's brother, Linscott A. 'Scott' Hall, retired as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force.
In 1952 Hall, then a Major General, married Marguerite ("Maggie") Higgins. They met while he was serving in Germany, and she was the New York Herald Tribune's Berlin Bureau Chief. Maggie was already famous when they married; she was the first female journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize, which she won in 1951 for her book, entitled "War in Korea." She was in Seoul during the invasion and landed at Inchon with the U.S. Marines.
Bill and Maggie's first child, a daughter, was born in 1953 and died five days later after a premature birth. In 1958, Maggie gave birth to a son and, in 1959, a daughter. The Milestones section of Time Magazine's Monday, 30 November 1959 issue contained this slightly erroneous notice: "Born. To Air Force Lieut. General William E. Hall, 52, Commanding General, Continental Air Command, and Marguerite ("Maggie") Higgins Hall, 39, Washington correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune: a second child, first daughter; in Washington. Name: Linda Marguerite. Weight: 8 lbs.
Maggie wrote extensively about Vietnam and visited the country several times. While touring there in 1965, she contracted Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sand flies, which forced her to return to the family home in Washington, DC. Sadly, Maggie died on 3 January 1966 at the young age of 45. She is buried next to her husband in Arlington National Cemetery.
Bill Hall was a boating and motorcycle enthusiast and he loved animals. At one time, he had a kitten, two dogs (one a deaf Dalmatian), a canary, and two parakeets.
Lieutenant General William E. Hall died at age 77, in Washington, DC.