Alvin William Hall, Jr., Navy Commander

Alvin William Hall, Jr.

Alvin William Hall, Jr., passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on the tenth of May, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

He was born in Washington, D.C. on October 3, 1920 to Alvin William Hall and Ruth Benner Hall.

While in high school he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, subsequently attending Bullis Prep School in Silver Spring, Maryland and received a competitive appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1939. He graduated with the accelerated class of ‘43 in June 1942 one year early because of World War II, was commissioned Ensign and assigned to USS Texas (BB-35), participating in convoy duty and the North African Invasion. He then served in the heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA-71) as senior officer of turret 2, which according to Navy Department records “is believed to have been the first ship taken under fire and the first ship to engage the enemy batteries from her station on the right flank of Utah beach at 0537 that morning.” Later, the Quincy participated in the bombardment of Cherbourg, enabling the U.S.

Army to occupy the city. After Normandy, Quincy participated in the Southern France invasion. He later served briefly in USS Helena (CA-75), and after flight training was designated a Naval Aviator in 1947. In 1948, he and Dorothy Moye of Washington, D.C. were married in Dallas, Texas.

In the late 1940s and 1950s, he attended various Naval Photographic and Intelligence Schools, and served in photo squadrons (VP-61 and VC-61) which mapped Western Alaska using B-24s (PB4Y-2). He had duty on the staff of Commander Naval Air Force Pacific, the Bureau of Aeronautics, the staff of Commander-In-Chief Pacific Fleet and an airborne early warning squadron (VW-1), serving in Hawaii and Guam. He finished his Naval career as Executive Officer at the United States Naval Photographic Center in Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

After retiring from the navy as Commander in 1962, he worked for the Dallas Power and Light Company (1962-1965). He then headed a small subsidiary of MGM (1965-1972), before joining the A.J. Carnall Insurance Company in Ridgefield, Connecticut, until his retirement, in 2002.

During their time in Ridgefield, they was very active in the community. He served as President of the Ridgefield Community Center, President of the Ridgefield Library, Commissioner of the Ridgefield Housing Authority, Chairman Board of Deacons of the First Congregational Church and Endowment Trustees of Keeler Tavern Museum.

He was a life member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and the Military Officers Association. He was also a member of the U.S. Navy Cruiser Sailors Association, American Legion and the Rotary Club of Ridgefield.

On March 12, 2014 the State of Texas celebrated the 100th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Texas (BB-35). As one of the few remaining crew members, he received a Citizen of Honor Medal from the mayors of the first two French towns liberated by U.S. troops who went ashore at Utah Beach with the heavy cruiser Quincy providing gunfire support.

His father, Alvin W. Hall, Sr. was Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for thirty years.

Alvin and his sister, Ruth, posed for the photograph on which the 1932 Arbor Day postage stamp was based.

The 1932 Arbor Day postage stamp featuring Alvin, right, and his sister, Ruth, left.

In September 2016, Al and Dottie joined their daughter Allison, in Houston, Texas, where Al spent the final eight months of his life with his family.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, their two children, Alvin MacLauren Hall and Allison Blaylock Teare, five grandchildren and their spouses and six great grandchildren. Among many wonderful traits, he will be remembered for his kindness, dry wit, patience, dependability and devotion to his family.

A memorial service will be held in Houston, Texas at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in the Chapel at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 24, with a reception following. A memorial service in Ridgefield, Connecticut to be announced. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at the convenience of the family.

Donations in his memory may be be made to the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield, the Ridgefield Library, Keeler Tavern Museum or the Ridgefield Community Center.

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