Robert G. Hall
Commissioned Lt. (junior grade) 2 Mar 1944
Indoctrination School—Hollywood, FL 25 Apr 1944-21 Jun 1944
Gunnery School—Norfolk, VA 1 Jul 1944-23 Sep 1944
USN—Brooklyn, NY 23 Sep 1944-9 Nov 1944
Armed Guard Center—New Orleans, LA 8 Nov 1944-1 Feb 1945
Halifax, Nova Scotia 22 Nov 1944- SS James K. Paulding
Cherbourg, France 18 Jan 1945 (fuse explosion 29 Dec 1944)
(Leopoldville 24 Dec 1944)
Robert G. Hall Lt. (jg)
Daniel L. Slaydon S1c
Kenneth Soderburg S1c
John Roberts S2c
Phillip Panarese S1c (wounded)
Leonard Suttle S1c (removed for illness)
USN—Brooklyn, NY 24 Feb 1945- SS Thomas W. Symons
14 May 1945
Robert G. Hall Lt. (jg)
Gibraltar 19-20 Mar 1945
Mediterranean Sea 25 Mar 1945
Marseille, France 28 Mar 1945- 4 Apr 1945
Oran, Africa 8-10 Apr 1945
Armed Guard Center—New Orleans, LA 25 Jun 1945-18 Sep 1945 SS Archers Hope?
Temporary duty status 11 Sep 1945- 24 Sep 1945
Advanced to Lt. (D) 1 Nov 1945
USN—Brooklyn, NY 6 Apr 1945-15 Jun 1945
Navy Supply Corps School—Boston, MA 4 Oct 1945-19 Oct 1945
MRDO—Baltimore, MD 24 Oct 1945-14 Feb 1946
Naval Curator –Ft. Washington 17 Sep 1948
Naval Transp. Service—Ft. Washington 15 Aug 1949
MSTS Vol. Unit W-1—Washington D.C. 24 Aug 1949-1 Jul 1950
Vol MSTS Unit W-1—Washington D.C. 1 Jul 1950-30 Jan 1951
Biography/Obituary of Robert G. Hall
Napa Register, California 23 Nov 1999
Robert George (Bob) Hall of Napa died Nov. 9, 1999, in his 90th year after a short illness. He passed away peacefully at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Martha and David Smith (Albany, OR), where he had gone to live in August.
Born on the family farm in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, on July 14, 1910, Mr. Hall graduated from Ohio State University in 1933 and went to work as a landscape architect for the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, where he serve3d until 1966. He then spent three years in the Federal Highway Administration before retiring from government service in 1969.
During his tenure with the National Park Service, Mr. Hall was involved in many interesting projects. Several of these included redesigning the locks for the Roosevelt White House, planning and overseeing construction of the bridges for the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and the Carolinas, supervising the restoration of Independence Hall in Philadelphia for the U.S. Bicentennial, and directing (together with famed architect Aero Saarinen) the building of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
Mr. Hall met his wife (then a college student) when they were both working in Yellowstone Park. He and Marjorie Miles Hall were married in October 1935 in East Helena, Mont.
During World War II, Mr. Hall served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy out of Norfolk, Va., aboard ships in the American, European and African theaters. Mr. And Mrs. Hall and their children subsequently lived in Roanoke, Va; Evanston, Ill.; Washington, D.C.; Omaha, Neb.; San Carlos, Calif.; Abington, Pa.; and Denver, Colo.
Mr. Hall retired in November 1969 and moved to Napa’s River Park neighborhood along with a number of other National Park Service families retiring at the same time.
He and his wife were avid golfers and were members of the Napa Valley Country Club for 30 years. They were also members of the Bonsai Club of Napa Valley.
Mr. Hall is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marjorie Miles Hall; three children, Nancy E. Hall of Los Angeles, Martha Hall Smith of Albany, Ore., and Charles T. Hall of Anchorage, Alaska; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were made by the Neptune Society. At Mr. Hall’s request, there will be no services.
Bob hall will be greatly missed by his family and by many neighbors and friends in Napa. Those wishing to send condolences to Marjorie Hall and family may address notes in care of Smith to 1257 NW Hwy 20, Albany, Ore., 97321.
Oral Interview about WWII experiences (28 Nov 1991)
JJ: You've been in the military, World War II. Tell me something about that. What did you do? What experiences did you have?
RH: Well first of all, I took my training in Hollywood Beach, Florida in the Navy, the U.S. Naval Reserve and I started as a Lieutenant J.G. (Junior Grade). We had to spend two months in training. Part of it was physical and a lot of it was navigation and things like that. I was Officer of the Day (night as it turned out) when the invasion started in Europe and I heard it on the news at about 5 o'clock on the morning.
JJ: Now which invasion was this?
RH: That was crossing the [___] into France, D-Day. Was it D-Day? I never know which day it started. Anyhow, I was sent to Norfolk, Virginia and was trained as a gunnery officer for the Armed Guard. That was Navy crews on merchant ships, to protect against submarines and aircraft. Then I was sent to pick up a ship in Maine, Searsport, Maine, where they loaded our ship with ammunition, 10,000 tons, and we convoyed to Europe. Ammunition ships were always caught in the corner, because if they got hit, they wouldn't take the whole convoy. And they always had a gas ship that was always straight back from the convoy.
We were supposed to go to Antwerp, but they had the V-2 missiles going in there and we didn't want to blow up the whole port, so we were rescheduled to go to Cherbourg, France. So we landed there...and we went in a convoy of six ships. We were in the lead ship, and this captain that we had was always drunk, so we had to do the business. I don't know where they got that captain, in a bowery ___, I guess, but he'd never been on an ocean ship, so I think he was a Great Lakes captain. But anyway, he was a no-count. But anyway, we got below the Sweb Cannel, where they swept the mines, we could see the mine sweepers broken up to the north of us, but we didn't hit any. Of course we had guys with rifles on the front, the bow of the ship, to look out and shoot any mines that appeared. We got through it all right.
JJ: Now you were shot at once? A torpedo, or something?
RH: No, not that I know of. You never know if you were shot at and missed. We always had to change course, periodically, so the time it would take a torpedo to hit.
JJ: Were you in the Battle of the Bulge?
RH: No, I was in Cherbourg during the Battle of the Bulge and they had Germans running around in American uniforms.... We had orders to shoot anybody that approached the ship. Christmas Eve a submarine came off the Jersey Islands and sunk, I think it was the Leopold[ville], an English ship that was transporting American troops from England to France. The ship was torpedoed, well they didn't have very good life preservers in this ship, and my crew helped pick up, I think it was pretty near 500 boys who were killed on Christmas Eve. It was a sad, sad night.
JJ: What was your impression of Europe?
RH: Of course any place during a war wasn't normal at all. I liked Caws, England, that was a great place, and Cherbourg was all...
JJ: What made you enlist? You had a wife and a child at the time.
RH: Two children. Well, it mainly was we were on the Blue Ridge Parkway contracting and of course when the war started, all the work was shut down. I didn't have much else to do. I felt it was silly sitting around. I was down to our regional office in Richmond and we were talking with the regional director, Oliver Taylor, wondering what we should do, and he said, "Would you like to go and join the Navy," and I said, "Sure, that would be a good thing." You know we all got really patriotic at a time like that anyway and wanted to help. So we said, "We'll go down," they had a Naval recruiting station in the same building. And he says I'll take you down there and we can apply. Sure.
JJ: You didn't talk to Grannie about this at all?
RH: No! So anyway I went in his office and he says, "Well, we'll give you a test," an eye test and so on, so I lined up with a bunch of sailor boys and I got to the head of the line and I couldn't read the chart we were supposed to read. I could barely see it, cause I had eye trouble. One went blind in 1937 for about a month. So I couldn't see it without my glasses. So he says, "Well, I'll tell you. You go back home and rest and then you come back on the train, don't drive, and you eat lots of carrot juice, and things will be all right." So I go back and I get in the line and I get up there with all these people around and I still couldn't see it very well and this Lieutenant came in and says, "Oh, he can see all right."
Docked at Searsport ?, J. Quiggley (2nd Mate), Vorhees (2nd Asst.)
Buffalo Tanks loading Nazi prisoners—Marseille 4-4-45 Stevens-Chief Mate on Bridge in Med 3-24-45
Click to return to Home Page