FFG 32 John L. Hall
The USS JOHN L. HALL is the twenty-sixth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of Guided Missile Frigates and is home ported in Pascagoula Mississippi. The USS JOHN L. HALL was built by Bath Iron Works, Bath Maine and was commissioned on 26 June 1982 by Admiral Hall's niece, Doctor Susan Hall Godson. The JOHN L. HALL quickly developed a reputation as a ship that was "Always Victorious". Her mission is to provide in-depth protection for military and merchant shipping, amphibious task forces, and underway replenishment groups. The ship is capable of Air Warfare, Surface Warfare, and Undersea Warfare.
Assigned to Western Hemisphere Group (WESTHEMGRU), JOHN L. HALL concentrates operations in the Caribbean Sea and near South America, conducting counter-drug operations and bi-lateral/multi-lateral training exercises with South America navies. WESTHEMGRU ships may be called upon on short notice to surge and replace other battle group units for short periods of time in other areas.
On Aug 16, 1990 the USS John L. Hall executed the first maritime intercept by a US warship in the Persian Gulf in support of UN Resolutions against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait.
FFG-32 took part in UNITAS 96, a series of combined tactical at-sea operations, amphibious operations and in-port exercises with participating South American naval forces.
The colors of the chevron in the center of the lower portion of the shield are blue and gold. The 3 blue chevrons symbolize the three assault landing invasions in which Admiral Hall's outstanding leadership abilities contributed toward a successful conclusion. The top blue chevron is pointing in the direction of the embattled area which is red. This represents the penetration of fortified land areas from the sea. The stars denote the Admiral's rank. The colors blue and gold are traditional to the U.S. Navy and further allude to two awards of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to admiral Hall; red and white refer to two awards of the Legion of Merit.
The rampart heraldic goat refers to the Naval Academy where Admiral Hall's career began. The Naval cannon, along with a lightning bolt symbolizing electronic communications, allude to Admiral Hall's concept of cross-training Navy gunners and Army artilleryman so that his ship call-fire missions could be conducted in direct support of troop advance on the land. The heraldic mount in base represents the land areas upon which Admiral Hall's assault landing concepts proved so successful in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Pacific battle areas.
John L. Hall
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. He was one of the toughest and best athletes of the U.S. Naval Academy.
These descriptions of Admiral John L. Hall, Jr., for whom the ship is named, were befitting of his huge frame, his daring military exploits and his prowess as an athlete.
However, to Dr. Susan Hall Godson, his niece and biographer, he was a "gentle giant," with more than a fair share of humility.
Admiral Hall was a brilliant attack force commander of World War II and former Commander Amphibious Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He 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 artilleryman and Navy gunners so that his ship call-fire missions could be conducted in direct support of troop advance 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 ELEVENTH Amphibious Force in England, 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 invasion throughout 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.
Admiral 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 for 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 passed away in 1978 at the age of 87.
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