William & Mary | Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections Database


Hall, John Lesslie, Jr. (1891-1978)

Hall, John Lesslie, Jr. (1891-1978)
Historical Note
John Lesslie Hall, Jr. (11. April 1891 - March 1978) was an admiral of the United States Navy during World War II. Hall was a native of Williamsburg, Virginia, and attended the College of William and Mary for three years before transferring to the U.S. Naval Academy where he graduated in 1913. He starred in football for three seasons at William and Mary and four years at the Naval Academy. As a matter of fact, he excelled in three sports at the Academy and was awarded the coveted "Academy Sword" for athletic excellence. Admiral Hall was the Chief of Staff of the Western Naval Task Force during the North African landings in 1942 and received the Distinguished Service Medal for opening ports and preventing sabotage while Commander Northwest African Sea Frontier. In February 1943, he became Commander Amphibious Force, North African Waters (Eighth Fleet), expertly cross-training Army artillerymen and Navy gunners so that his ships' call-fire missions could be conducted in direct support of troop advances rather than at "targets of opportunity." His concept proved devastating to enemy forces and tank divisions as he led one of the major assault forces engaged in the Sicilian Occupation (9-12 July 1943) and the bitterly contested landings at Salerno (9-21 September 1943). These bold achievements brought him two awards of the Legion of Merit. In November 1943, he took command of the 11th Amphibious Force in the United Kingdom, earning the Army's Distinguished Service Medal for his superb leadership of this amphibious Force "O" which landed and so effectively supported the Army V Corps on the Omaha beach sector off the coast of Normandy in June 1944. he received a second Navy Distinguished Service Medal for command of the Southern Attack Force (TF 55) during the Okinawa campaign. In October 1945, he became Commander Amphibious Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He later was Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District and Commander of the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia. From August 1951 until his retirement in May 1953, he was Commander Western Sea Frontier with additional duty as Commander Pacific Reserve Fleet. General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave him the nickname "Viking of Assault". General George Patton, tough critic of fellow military leaders, heaped high praise on him. Admiral Hall died in 1978 at the age of 87. The frigate USS John L. Hall (FFG-32) was named in his honor. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/John Lesslie Hall, Jr..


4 sept 2007

By this creator

Records or Manuscript Collections
Hall Family Papers, 1810-2007 and undated
John Lesslie Hall, Jr. Papers, 1893-1973