HALL, JAMES WAYNE REMAINS RETURNED 03/15/2000
Name: James Wayne Hall Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy Unit: 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 Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A7C Refno: 1940 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 1998.
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.
================================ No. 125-00 (703)697-5131(media) IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 14, 2000 (703)697-5737(public/industry)
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 States.
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 identification.
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 were found.
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 priority.
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 Stars.
JIM BRIGHAM 2/7TH CAV SEARCH TEAM LEADER-VIETNAM