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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
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Hall

 

Elijah Hall, born 8 December 1742, in Raynham, Mass., was appointed Lieutenant in the Continental Navy 14 June 1777, to serve in the frigate Ranger under John Paul Jones. Ranger sailed for France 1 November 1777, taking two prizes en route, then put to sea from Brest 10 April 1778, to cruise in the Irish Sea. Hall took part in the capture of several vessels, the landing at St. Mary's Isle 23 April, and the capture of Drake next day. Hall commanded the prize crew which took Drake into Brest. Hall continued to serve as Lieutenant of Ranger until he was captured at Charleston, 'S.C., 12 May 1780. Released after the end of the war, Hall settled in Portsmouth, N.H., in 1818 and held various community positions until his death there 22 June 1830.

 

(DD-583: dp. 2,050; l. 376'6" ; b. 39'8" ; dr. 17'9" ; s. 35 k.; cpl. 273; a. 5 5", 10 40mm., 7 20mm., 10 21" tt, 6 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. Fletcher)

 

Hall was laid down toy Boston Navy Yard 16 April 1942 ; launched 18 July 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth Williams Greenleaf, great-granddaughter of Lt. Elijah Hall; and commissioned 6 July 1943, Comdr. J. F. Delaney in command.

 

Hall departed Boston 11 August 1943, for shakedown training off the East Coast, then reported for duty at Norfolk 28 September. As escort for French transport Richelieu, she sailed for Boston 2 October, returning 3 days later. 'She continued escort duties in the Norfolk and Boston areas until departing 5 November for special duty with Halllgan and Macomb. The three destroyers rendezvoused at sea with battleship Iowa, carrying President Roosevelt and other dignitaries to the historic Teheran Conference. After a safe crossing, the escorts were relieved of their duties near Gibraltar 17 November. They performed escort and antisubmarine search duties off "western Africa until 6 December, then rejoined Iowa for the return voyage of the President and his party.

 

Ordered to the Pacific, Hall departed Charleston 21 December arrived Pearl Harbor 11 January 1944. She cleared Hawaii 22 January with Rear Admiral Turner's Expeditionary Force bound for the capture and occupation of the Marshall Islands, a giant Step across the Pacific toward Japan. Sent with three cruisers and three other destroyers on a special mission to wreck the airfields on Tarao Island during the invasion, Hall joined in the devastating bombardment of that island 30 January. Her gums knocked out a gasoline dump with a tremendous explosion, hit several gun emplacements, and then screened the larger ships during the remainder of the firing. Tarao effectively neutralized, the ships then sailed for Kwajalein and the main assault.

 

Hall carried out varied duties during the month-long invasion of the islands. She supported the landing of troops on Burnet Island 4 February; covered the landings of Engebi Island and supplied gunfire support 18 February ; and furnished starshell illumination for landings 22 to 23 February on Parry Island. After an escort voyage with transports to Pearl Harbor and back between 29 February and 26 March, Hall was assigned patrol and lifeguard duties in the Kwajalein area. While searching for a downed Marine flyer 4 April near Wotje she received two 6-inch shells close aboard from an enemy shore battery. Suffering one sailor killed, she returned the fire, continued her search, and finally rescuing the airman. Hall continued her effective role in the overwhelming amphibious victory until departing Majuro atoll 12 May for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 18 May.

 

Hall next joined the escort for a group of 12 fleet oilers whose job it was to supply vital fuel to units of the 5th Fleet during the Marianas operations. She made two fueling voyages from Majuro to the Marianas, then shifted her base to Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, 26 August to screen refueling and' replacement units during the operations for the capture of the Carolines. Hall continued this duty until 24 November.

 

Getting underway from Manus 29 November, Hall steamed to Humboldt Bay, New Guinea, to join 7th Fleet for the developing invasion of the Philippines. Convoying troop-laden amphibious ships, she arrived Leyte Gulf 7 December 1944, and 4 days later steamed out of San Pedro Bay for Mindoro Island with the Mindoro Attack Group. As the ships passed through Surigao Strait and into the Sulu Sea, they underwent frequent severe air attack, but the escort ships succeeded in downing four aircraft 13 December. Hall and the other escorts supported the landings at Mangarin Bay 15 December; and, as Japanese planes bombed and strafed the first wave of assault troops, Hall patrolled and fired from her station to seaward of the landing craft. The gunfire and covering aircraft splashed 15 dive-bombers during the initial landings.

 

After two escort voyages to Leyte Gulf, Hall joined Admiral Oldendorf's support force for the landings at Lingayen Gulf. Sailing 30 December, she steamed via the Sulu Sea for Luzon. On 3 January 1945, the group encountered desperate, but determined, enemy air strikes, which were repelled by tight air cover and effective gunfire. The Japanese attacks intensified, however; and the ships remained at nearly continuous battle stations for more than 4 days. Brave men in these gallant ships inflicted heavy damage on the attackers. Japanese kamikazes, in turn, fatally hit Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) 4 January, and the burning, abandoned escort carrier was sunk by American torpedoes. The next 2 days brought even heavier Japanese attacks. Despite the withering curtain of fire laid down by Hall and other ships of the group, the suicide raiders crashed more than 16 ships, including California (BB-44) and New Mexico (BB-40). Undaunted, the valiant ships bore the brunt of the kamikazes with resolute courage and determination. In doing so, they repelled the menace of the suicide planes and saved the transport and assault forces from certain destruction.

 

Following the successful amphibious assaults in Lingayen Gulf 9 January, Hall continued to operate in the Gulf where she served as an escort and screen ship. Later in the month she returned to Leyte before departing for Ulithi 29 January. At Ulithi Hall joined in the preparations for the upcoming Iwo Jima operation. On 15 February she joined a fire support unit, which included flag- ship Texas, west of Saipan and set course for Iwo Jima. The force arrived off Iwo the next day; and, after joining in a heavy shore bombardment, Hall covered underwater demolition teams and furnished close fire support for minesweepers until the troops stormed ashore 19 February. After performing additional patrol and close fire support missions during this fiercely fought and stratigically important invasion, Hall returned to Ulithi 12 March to prepare for the invasion of Okinawa, the last step on the long, bloody road to the heart of the Japanese Empire.

 

Hall departed for Okinawa 21 March with Task Force 54. She began patrolling off that fiercely contested island 25 March. Her gunfire drove off two Japanese torpedo boats 30 March, and shot down two aircraft 6 April. Continuing her operations she covered minesweepers with gunfire, screened heavy units of the fleet, and provided close support gunfire until steaming to Leyte 28 May. She soon returned to the scene of the action, arriving back at Okinawa 13 June. Her lookouts observed Twiggs strike a mine off the beach 16 June. Hall immediately came to the rescue, pulling 48 survivors from the water.

 

Detached from duty off Okinawa 23 June, Hall sailed for the United States. She was in overhaul status at San Pedro, Calif., when news of the Japanese surrender came. She reported to San Diego for inactivation, and decommissioned 10 December 1946, and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Long Beach. The destroyer was taken out of reserve 2 December 1959, and, after a training period was loaned to Greece under the Military Assistance Program 9 February 1960, where she now serves as LonoM (D-56).

 

Hall received eight battle stars for World War II service.