HALL, WILLIS ROZELLE
Name: Willis Rozelle Hall
Rank/Branch: E6/US Air Force
Unit: TDY-Civilian/Lockheed; Lima Site 85-Phou Pha Thi, Laos
Date of Birth: 09 August 1927 (Rose KS)
Home City of Record: Bellevue NE
Date of Loss: 11 March 1968
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 202600N 1034400E (UH680600)
Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered
Others In Incident: Clarence Blanton; James Calfee; James Davis; Henry Gish;
Melvin Holland; Herbert Kirk; David Price; Patrick Shannon; Donald
Springsteadah; Don Worley (all missing from Lima 85); Donald Westbrook
(missing from SAR 13 March)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 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.
SYNOPSIS: When Willis Hall volunteered for a sensitive assignment called
Project Heavy Green, his wife had to sign a secrecy agreement too. Hall, an
Air Force man, was to be temporarily relieved of duty to take a civilian job
with Lockheed Aircraft. He would be operating cryptographic equipment at
Lima 85, a radar base in Laos, whose neutrality prohibited U.S. military
presence. No one was to know.
Lima 85 was on a peak in the Annam Highlands near the village of Sam Neua on
a 5860 ft. mountain called Phou Pha Thi. The mountain was protected by sheer
cliffs on three sides, and guarded by 300 tribesmen working for CIA. Unarmed
US "civilians" operated the radar which swept across the Tonkin Delta to
For three months in early 1968, a steady stream of intelligence was received
which indicated that communist troops were about to launch a major attack on
Lima 85. Intelligence watched as enemy troops even built a road to the area
to facilitate moving heavy weapons, but the site was so important that
William H. Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Laos, made the decision to leave the
men in place. When the attack came March 11, some were rescued by
helicopter, but eleven men were missing. The President announced a halt in
the bombing of North Vietnam.
Donald Westbrook was flying one of 4 A1E's orbiting on stand-by to search
for survivors of the attack at Phou Pha Thi when his plane was shot down
March 13. Westbrook was never found. Finding no survivors, the Air Force
destroyed Lima 85 to prevent the equipment from falling into the hands of
In mid March, Mary Hall was notified that Lima Site 85 had been overrun by
enemy forces, and that her husband and the others who had not escaped had
been killed. Many years later, she learned that was not the whole truth.
Reports indicate that all the men missing at Phou Pha Thi did not die. One
report suggests that at least one of the 11 was captured; another indicates
that 3 were captured; and another indicates 6 were captured. Information has
been hard to get. The fact that Lima Site 85 existed was only declassified
in 1983, and finally the wives could be believed when they said their
husbands were missing in Laos. Some of the men's files were shown to their
families for the first time in 1985.
Mary Hall and the other wives have talked and compared notes. Mary still
wears her wedding band and lives in a small Kansas town on the same street
with two of Willis' sisters. A black POW/MIA flag flutters over her
doorstep. She continually seeks information from a government she no longer
trusts, believing there is a lot of information still to be had.
Mary and the other wives of the men abandoned at Phou Pha Thi think someone
survived the attack on Lima Site 85 that day in March 1968. They wonder if
their country will bring their men home.
National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietam
Dolores Alfond - Voice/Fax 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea --- Voice/Fax 718-846-4350
WEB SITE ---- http://www.nationalalliance.org
December 31, 1998
We end 1998 on a very sad note as we report the passing of Mary Hall,
wife of T/Sgt. Willis R. Hall - POW/MIA - Laos - Lima Site 85. Mary
passed away Wednesday, December 30th. Those of us who were fortunate
enough to know Mary will miss her greatly. She was a woman of strong
faith, great spirit and enormous courage. As her good friend, Ann
"she fought the good fight and now one of God's soldiers has gone home."
Both Dolores Apodaca Alfond and Lynn O'Shea got to know Mary well over
the last several years. She was our rock during the annual meetings in
Washington D.C. Mary was our island of calm in a sea of craziness.
Quite simply, Mary was a cool lady.
To Mary's son, Steve and daughter Jean, we offer our deepest sympathy.
We can only imagine how much you will miss her, because we know how much
we will miss her.
Services will be Monday morning, January 4th, 1998, at 10:00 AM.
Cards may be sent to: The Family of Mary Hall
c/o Timmons Funeral Home
510 North 7th Street
Fredonia, Ks. 66736
In Lieu of Flowers, Steve and Jean ask that contributions be made to:
The National Alliance of Families
P.O. Box 40327
Bellevue, Wa. 98015
Jan. 8, 2005 Bits N Pieces
The National Alliance of Families mourns the passing of Jean Hall Press,
daughter of POW/MIA T/Sgt. Willis R. Hall and our dear friend the late Mary
Hall. To Jean's husband Fred, her children Keith and Laura, and her brother
Steve, we offer our deepest sympathy.
Memorial donations may be made to: The Rockville Church of the Nazarene, 47
East Street, Rockville, CT 06793 or The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
(www.ovarian.org) 500 NE Spanish River Boulevard, Suite B, Boca Raton, FL