HALL, THOMAS RENWICK
Name: Thomas Renwick Hall Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Unit: VF 211 Date of Birth: 28 February 1941 Home City of Record: Carrollton VA Date of Loss: 10 June 1967 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 205800N 1054000E (WJ692184) Status (in 1973): Released POW Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F8E Missions: 100+ (Second Cruise) Other Personnel in Incident: none
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2010.
REMARKS: 730304 RELSD BY DRV
SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.
The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF models were equipped for photo reconnaissance.
The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war.
Lt. Thomas R. Hall was the pilot of an F8C sent on a combat mission over North Vietnam on June 10, 1967. His flight route took him to Ha Tay Province, North Vietnam, where his aircraft was shot down about 5 miles southwest of Hanoi. Hall successfully ejected from his crippled aircraft and was captured by the North Vietnamese.
For the next 6 years, Hall was held in various prisoner of war camps, including the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" complex in Hanoi. He was released in the general prisoner release in 1973.
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive today. These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorably return unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly held. It's time we brought our men home.
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977 Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602 Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and spelling errors). UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
THOMAS R. HALL, JR. Lieutenant Commander- United States Navy Shot Down: June 10, 1967 Released: March 4, 1973
I was born in Richmond, Virginia on 28 February 1941, the first son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Hall. I grew up in Virginia, graduating from Warwick High School in 1959. After attending Virginia Tech for four years, I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and joined the Navy in September 1963. I entered the Navy school of pre-flight in January 1964 and proceeded through the jet pipe-line, receiving my wings at Kingsville, Texas in August 1965. While pre-flight, I met the former Miss Barbara Jo Pelt and we were married a year later in March 1965.
After receiving my wings, I was sent to NAS Miramar, California to VF-124, the F-8 Crusader RAG. Upon completing the RAG, I joined VF-211 aboard the USS Hancock in March 1966 right after our daughter, Donna, was born. I completed the cruise with VF-211 and we deployed again in January 1967 aboard the Bonnie Dick. On 6 June 1967, I was shot down by enemy flak and rescued by a helicopter from the USS England. On 10 June 1967, I was shot down again just south of Hanoi and captured.
The first few years of detainment were the hardest since I was isolated from all but one or two prisoners and I was constantly harassed by our captors. We did have covert communication with other prisoners and this was a primary factor in helping us endure the ordeal. We were able to bolster each other's morale and give each other strength during times of depression.
In 1970 I received my first letter and moved into a cell with five men. From then on, our spirits were higher and our outlook brighter. For the most part, we were always optimistic of our future and maintained a faith that our country would secure our release. Upon our release in 1973, I was extremely proud and happy to find that the support and concern for POWs was far beyond what I had ever expected.
It was a wonderful feeling - one that I could never describe. I am very proud to be an American and to have served with such a group of outstanding men. I will always treasure the friendships that I made while I was in prison.
==== Thomas Hall Jr. retired from the United States Navy as a L/Commander. He and his wife Barbara reside in North Carolina. Barbara says Tom now builds and flies "ultralights" in their small rural community.
During Tom's captivity, Barara worked, as my wives did, to bring attention to the plight of the captives through the POW bracelet campaign. A neighbor of theirs STILL wears Tom's bracelet.