HALL, JAMES WAYNE
REMAINS RETURNED 03/15/2000
Name: James Wayne Hall
Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy
Date of Birth: 18 May 1934
Home City of Record: Los Angeles CA
Date of Loss: 28 October 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 194400N 1053900E (WG682819)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 with the assistance
of 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 2020.
REMARKS: PROB DEAD - HANOI RADIO
SYNOPSIS: The Vought A7 Corsair II was a single-seat attack jet utilized by both
the Navy and Air Force in Vietnam. The aircraft was designed to meet the Navy's
need for a subsonic attack plane able to carry a greater load of non-nuclear
weapons that the A4 Skyhawk. The aircraft's unique design completely freed the
wingspace for bomb loading; the Pratt and Whitney jet engine was beneath the
fuselage of the aircraft. The Corsair was used primarily for close air support
and interdiction, although it was also used for reconnaissance. A Corsair is
credited with flying the last official combat mission in the war - bombing a
target in Cambodia on 15 August 1973.
LtCdr. James W. Hall was the pilot of an A7A which launched on a mission over
North Vietnam on October 28, 1972. His target took him near the city of Thanh
Hoa, in Thanh Hoa Province. This area, specifically the Thanh Hoa Bridge, had
been the subject of several years of joint-service bombing attacks. The area
had always been populous and heavily defended.
At a point about 5 miles west of Thanh Hoa, Hall's aircraft was shot down. A
later Hanoi radio announcement regarding a dead American pilot was thought to
relate to Hall, but the information was not specific enough to definitely
correlate to his loss. Hall was listed Missing in Action.
The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded the Missing in Action
classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates
"suspect knowledge" and includes personnel who may have been involved in loss
incidents with individuals reported in Category 1 (confirmed knowledge), or who
were lost in areas or under conditions that they may reasonably be expected to
be known by the enemy; who were connected with an incident which was discussed
but not identified by names in enemy news media; or identified (by elimination,
but not 100% positively) through analysis of all-source intelligence.
Since the war ended in 1973, nearly 10,000 reports have been received by the
U.S. relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities have
reluctantly concluded that hundreds of them remain alive today in captivity. The
United States Government, although involved in talks with the Vietnamese since
the end of the war, has been unable to bring home a single live prisoner. The
Vietnamese, on the other hand, refuse to let the issue die, with the ultimate
hope of normalizing relations with the west.
The Americans who may still be alive have been reduced to bargaining pawns
between two nations. For their sakes, everything possible must be done to bring
them home. For the sake of future fighting men and those who have given their
lives in the defense of their country, we must see to it that we never again
abandon our soldiers to enemy hands. We must bring our men home.
March 14, 2000
VIETNAM WAR REMAINS IDENTIFIED
Two servicemen missing in action from the Vietnam War have been accounted
for and are being returned to their families for burial in the United
They are identified as Navy Cmdr. James W. Hall, Los Angeles; and
Marine Maj. Charles E. Finney, Saltillo, Miss.
On Oct. 28, 1972, Hall took off from the carrier USS America in his
A-7C Corsair on a surface-to-air missile suppression mission. Over the
target area in Nghe An province, North Vietnam, Hall was heard to radio to
his wingman, "Two SAMs (surface-to-air missiles) lifting at 12 o'clock." No
other radio messages were heard. The first missile missed his wingman, but
the second struck Hall's aircraft. No parachute was observed, and no
emergency radio beepers were heard.
In 1989, Vietnam repatriated to the United States 15 boxes allegedly
containing the remains of U.S. servicemen. One was believed to be Hall, but
forensic science at the time could not confirm an identification. His case
was placed in a hold status pending the receipt of new evidence or the
development of new forensic techniques that would assist in the
Joint U.S.-Vietnamese teams, led by the Joint Task Force-Full
Accounting, conducted investigations and excavations at suspected crash
sites in 1993 and 1994. They found no remains, but did recover several
pilot-related items. Mitochondrial DNA testing assisted in confirming the
identity of the remains recovered in 1989.
On March 17, 1969, Finney was flying in an A-6A aircraft on a night
armed reconnaissance mission over Laos. Crewmen from other aircraft in the
area observed an explosion in the vicinity of the target, then a second
explosion nearby which was believed to be that of Finney's aircraft. There
were no parachutes sighted and no emergency beepers were heard. Search and
rescue efforts were terminated several days later when no signs of survivors
In 1995 and 1999, joint U.S.-Lao teams interviewed local villagers
in the area of the crash, then conducted an excavation in Savannakhet
province. A local worker turned over a military identification tag relating
to Finney's fellow crewmember. The team also recovered numerous pieces of
aircraft wreckage, personal effects and possible human remains. This
evidence aided in the final identification.
With the accounting of Hall and Finney, 2,029 servicemen remain
missing in action from the Vietnam War. Another 554 have been identified
and returned to their families since the end of the war. Analysis of the
remains and other evidence by the U.S. Army Central Identification
Laboratory Hawaii confirmed the identification of these two men.
The U.S. government welcomes and appreciates the cooperation of the
Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic that
resulted in the accounting of these servicemen. We hope that such
cooperation will bring increased results in the future. Achieving the
fullest possible accounting for these Americans is of the highest national
James Hall was originally from Shawnee, OK - graduated 1952. I was also in
that class. He had moved with his wife to Los Angles when stationed in CA.
James's little brother Tommy was also a Vietnam Vet AF and retired with 2
JIM BRIGHAM 2/7TH CAV SEARCH TEAM LEADER-VIETNAM