Captain Fredrick M. Hall, a distinguished Air Force navigator, has tragically passed away in Vietnam. Born on June 6th, 1943, Captain Hall dedicated his life to serving his country and will always be remembered for his bravery and selflessness.
Born and raised in Waynesville, North Carolina, Captain Hall received his education at East Waynesville Elementary before graduating from Waynesville Township High School in 1961. Throughout his formative years, he was actively involved in extracurricular activities and dedicated himself to various organizations. As a member of the Boy Scouts, Captain Hall learned important values such as leadership and teamwork, which would shape his future endeavors. Captain Hall's talents extended beyond academics and scouting. He was an exceptional musician, playing the flute and piccolo as first chair for the Waynesville Township High School Marching Band and The Orchestra band and participated in other musical endeavors throughout his life. While also in high school he was active member of the Tally-Ho Club. He went on to further his education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1965 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
As an ardent sports enthusiast, Captain Hall immersed himself in numerous athletic pursuits. He excelled in swimming, golf, basketball, skiing, horseback riding, and tennis. He worked as a lifeguard at the Waynesville swimming pool and served as a Red Cross Swimming Instructor. His commitment to water safety ensured that countless individuals could enjoy safe swimming experiences.
Captain Hall's unwavering dedication extended beyond his school pursuits. He actively participated in the Waynesville Presbyterian Church and took great pride in being an active member of both the choir and youth fellowship.
Captain Hall's military career began when he enlisted in the United States Air Force, being sent to Tucson, Arizona. That is where he met Miss Julia Keith. While in flight school in Tucson, Fred and Julia became husband and wife on December 18, 1968.
Fred was considered the Air Force Navigator where he rode in the seat behind the pilot, Colonel Ernest Desoto in a F-4D phantom jet. They were flying wing to wing on a mission to rescue some other pilots in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam, as part of the 390th Tactical Fighters Squadron when they flew into a cloud bank. Fred’s plane did not emerge.
Years later, a wealthy Australian businessman, whose brother was also listed as a missing in action (MIA) soldier in Vietnam, made it his mission to find as many missing soldiers as he could. The US government had not looked outside the Vietnam area for soldiers resulting in Fred never being located. He located a site in Laos, identified the numbers on the plane and the remains were sent off for DNA testing. It took two months for the results to come in as a match for Captain Fredrick Hall who is now being returned home for burial.
Throughout his service, he displayed exceptional skill and received numerous accolades for his bravery and dedication. Among his many honors are the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one Silver Service Star and four Bronze Service Stars, Air Force Longevity Service Award with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Captain Fredrick M. Hall will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He leaves behind a loving wife, Julia Keith Hall Coffey, and adopted son, Matthew Coffey; brother-in-law, Eric H. Keith (Karen); first cousins, Gail Galloway Morgan (Terry), Harry Galloway (Rita) and Gary Galloway (Charlene); additionally, he is survived by other cousins and extended family in the USA, Ireland and Southern Rhodesia. In this challenging time of sorrow, may his family find solace in the cherished memories they shared of Captain Hall.
Captain Hall is preceded in death by his father, Robert Hannah Hall, a native of Ireland and his mother, Irene Galloway Hall, a native of Haywood County. He is also predeceased by a first cousin, Walter Galloway, Jr. and other extended family in the USA and Ireland.
The body of Captain Fredrick Hall will receive a military escort from Hawaii back to his final resting place at Green Hill Cemetery. He will be buried next to his mother and father.
The funeral service to Honor the Life and Service of Captain Hall will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville. Reverend Holly Davis will officiate. A eulogy will be delivered by Donald Davis.
Following the service there will be a procession from the funeral home to the Green Hill Cemetery, where Captain Hall will be laid to rest with full military honors. The military portion of the funeral will be conducted by a detachment from Shaw Air Force Base.
The procession, from the church to the Green Hill Cemetery, will be led by a bagpiper who will be followed by the horse drawn caisson carrying Captain Fred Hall’s remains. Following the caisson will be a riderless horse with cavalry saddle; boots will be turned backwards in the stirrups, denoting our loss of a fallen warrior and hero.
Captain Hall's contributions to his country and community will never be forgotten. His unwavering dedication to duty and exceptional achievements have left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him. May he rest in eternal peace.
Following the services, a reception will be held afterwards at the Wells Events and Reception Center in Waynesville.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville, 305 N. Main Street, Waynesville, NC, 28786.
Those who are able and would like to honor Captain Fredrick Hall on this day are asked to line up along Main Street as the funeral procession passes in solidarity and respect to our community’s fallen hero.
For those that wish to watch the service via live stream can click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/@firstpresbyterianchurchway9540