graduate

Hall, John Leslie (1891-1978)

Photograph of Admiral John L. Hall
National Archives #80-G-253483
Cropped by author

A huge man and one of the best athletes to graduate from the Naval Academy, "Jimmy" Hall commanded amphibious forces in Europe and the Mediterranean during the Second World War. He was a critic of the "Mulberry" artificial harbors used at Normandy, correctly predicting that they would be destroyed by the first storm, and declaring that "It was the greatest waste of manpower and steel and equipment that I had seen planned for any operation in World War II" (Tuohy 2007). He improved the quality of naval gunfire support by having Navy gunners cross train with Army artillerymen, shifting the emphasis from firing on "targets of opportunity" to  direct support of ground formations.

Transferred to the Pacific, Hall participated in the Okinawa campaign. At one one point he observed that Turner's flagship had anchored closer to shore than his own; he threatened to fire his own flagship captain if he didn't move in closer. His flagship captain complied.

Hall was considered an outspoken, competent, forceful leader, but with a surprising sense of humility.

Service record

1891-4-11

Born at Williamsburg, Virginia
1910

Attends College of William and Mary
1913-6
Ensign
Graduates from Naval Academy
1934
Commander
CA Augusta
1940--7
Captain Commander, BB Arkansas
1941-10-1   
    
Chief of staff, Battleships, Atlantic Fleet
1942-11-19     

Commander, Moroccan Sea Frontier Forces
1943-2-9

Commander, Amphibian Group 8
1943-11
Rear admiral     
Commander, XI Amphibious Force, Europe
1945-1

Commander, Amphibian Group 12
1945-10

Commander, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet
1946
Vice admiral

1948

Commandant, Armed Forces Staff College
1951-8

Commander, 14 Naval District
1953-5
Admiral
Retires
1978-3-6

Dies at Scottsdale, Arizona

References
Naval Historical Center (accessed 2009-7-6)
Pettibone (2006)

Tuohy (2007)
"U.S.S. John L. Hall" (accessed 2011-11-7)


Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional