Admiral John Lesslie Hall Jr. USN

Rear Admiral John L. Hall Jr.
Commander Task Force 124, the Omaha Beach Assault Force.


Left to right; Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, Rear Admiral John L. Hall, Jr.,
Major General Leonard T. Gerow and Major General Clarence L. Huebner.


Rear Admiral John L. Hall Jr. (center) with General Sir Bernard Law Montgomery (left)
on board the USS Ancon ACG-4.


Rear Admiral John L. Hall Jr. (far left) and King George VI of England on board the USS Ancon ACG-4.


John Lesslie Hall, Jr., was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, on 11 April 1891. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1909, excelled in athletics, and graduated in June 1913. As a junior officer he served in several ships, among them the battleships North Dakota and Utah . During World War I Lieutenant Hall trained engineering personnel on the old battleship Illinois and was an engineer officer on the new destroyer Philip . During the years immediately following World War I, he had sea duty, mainly in destroyers, and served ashore as a Naval Academy instructor.

From the mid-1920s until 1934, Lieutenant Commander Hall was an Aide to the Naval District commandant at Charleston, South Carolina, was Executive Officer of the submarine tender Camden , commanded the destroyer Childs, spent three years with the Naval Academy's physical training and athletics programs, and was Navigator of the training ship Wyoming . Promoted to Commander in 1934, he went to the Far East to serve in the heavy cruiser Augusta and, while with the Asiatic Fleet, commanded the gunboat Asheville and a destroyer division. During the later 1930s Commander Hall was at the Naval War College, initially as a student, then as a member of that institution's staff. In July 1940 he achieved the rank of Captain and was given command of the old battleship Arkansas . This was followed by staff duty with elements of the Atlantic Fleet.

In mid-1942 John L. Hall was given a temporary appointment as Rear Admiral and during the invasion of Morocco that fall was Chief of Staff to the operation's Naval commander. This was followed by command of the Naval forces and facilities in that region. Holding amphibious force commands from February 1943 onwards, Rear Admiral Hall was in charge of important components of the invasions of Sicily in July of that year and of the Italian mainland in September. He was sent to England in November to participate in preparations for the invasion of France and, in the June 1944 Normandy landings, commanded the amphibious assault on Omaha Beach. Transferred to the Pacific Fleet's Amphibious Forces in October, Hall participated in the invasion of Okinawa in the spring of 1945.

In October 1945 he became Commander Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet, receiving the rank of Vice Admiral a few months later. Following service as Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, and Commander Hawaiian Sea Frontier, in 1948 he became Commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College. Vice Admiral Hall's final assignment was as Commander Western Sea Frontier and Commander Pacific Reserve Fleet from August 1951 until his retirement at the beginning of May 1953. Upon leaving active duty, he was advanced to the rank of Admiral on the basis of a combat award. John L. Hall, Jr., died at Scottsdale, Arizona, on 6 March 1978.

(Courtesy of the Naval Historical Center)


Page revised Feb. 2, 2007