down: January 5, 1981
Launched: July 24, 1981
Commissioned: June 26, 1982
Decommissioned: March 9, 2012
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.
Italy (June 22, 2010) - The commanding officer of the frigate USS John L. Hall
was fired Tuesday, two months after the frigate collided with a pier during a
visit to Georgia, a Navy official said.
Vice Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Navy 6th fleet, relieved Cmdr.
Herman O. Pfaeffle due to a “loss of confidence in Pfaeffle’s ability to
command,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces
Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa.
Harris’ decision came at the end of a Navy investigation by Naval Forces
Europe staff into the April 16 crash into the pier as the John L. Hall was
pulling into Batumi, Georgia. The ship was on a scheduled deployment to the
Black Sea to work and train with a partner navy, Walton said.
The impact caused roughly $160,000 in damages to the ship, while there was no
reported damage to the pier, Walton said. No sailors were injured in the
The John L. Hall’s executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Michael J. Brand, will assume
command until a replacement for can be named, Walton said.
Pfaeffle took command of the John L. Hall, homeported in Mayport, Fla., in
March. He enlisted in the Navy in 1983, and received his commission a decade
later after earning a degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue
University, according to the ship’s official website.
Pfaeffle’s dismissal was effective Tuesday, even though officials had yet to
decide where he will be reassigned for administrative duties.