POW*MIA REMEMBER ME - USN CAPT HARLEY H HALL MY ADOPTED POW*MIA Through Operation Just Cause

CAPTIAN HARLEY HUBERT HALL POW PARADED IN HANOI STREET BY THE NORTH VIETNAMESE - LABELED "THE BIG BLUE ANGEL." 

 

                  

                                    

                   

 

               

                                                                   NEW PHOTO 5/1/02

 CLICK HERE to see a photo of Capt. Hall when he was a Lieutenant Commander and the Boss of the Blue Angels. This photo

was taken by and is from the collection of Ron Rentfrow, who was one of the team photographers at that time.

 

                             

                                                                                 

            

                                                                              

 

NEW PHOTO 5/1/02 CLICK HERE to see a photo of Capt. Hall when he was a Lieutenant Commander and the

Boss of the Blue Angels. This photo was taken by and is from the collection of Ron Rentfrow, who was one of the

 team photographers at that time. Serving with the Blue Angels is "heady" stuff..... There are honors and

 accolades for all the hard work that goes into putting the airshow together. But, the public should never forget

 that these are regular Navy and Marine personnel. They came from other regular Navy and Marine Squadrons,

 and they will return to others, serving their country well wherever they serve. Serving his country well, and

 being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for her was the life Harley Hall was led to when he became the last

 casualty of the Vietnam War -- and his fate is still not yet known. It has been a source of great frustration for

 friends, family, and for all of us concerned with the loss of Americans not yet accounted for by our Government

and the government of Vietnam. Here, briefly is his story: CMDR. Harley Hubert Hall was the commanding officer

 of Fighter Squadron 143 onboard the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Enterprise. On January 27, 1973, he and his RIO,

 LCDR. Philip A. Kientzler launched their F-4J Phantom on an attack mission against North Vietnamese supplies

 and logistic vehicles 15 miles northwest of Quang Tri, South Vietnam. CMDR. Hall's aircraft came under intense

 anti-aircraft fire while attacking several trucks and was hit. He made an attempt to fly back to the safety of the

 sea, but minutes later the aircraft caught fire on the port wing and fuselage. Both CMDR. Hall and LCDR.

 Kientzler ejected at 4,000 feet and were seen to land 100 feet apart near a village on an island in the Dam Cho

 Chua and Cua Viet Rivers. CMDR. Hall was seen moving about on the ground, discarding his chute. No voice

 contact was made with the men, and the probability of immediate capture was considered very high. Numerous

 aircraft made several passes over the area for the next several hours and were unsuccessful in observing either

 of the downed crewmen. Several emergency beepers were heard intermittently the remainder of the afternoon

 and throughout the night; however, no voice contact was established. Active organized search and rescue

 efforts were subsequently terminated. Only LCDR. Kientzler was released at "Operation Homecoming" in 1973.

 He reported that during parachute descent, they received heavy groundfire, at which time he was hit in the leg.

 He last saw CMDR. Hall as they touched the ground. When he asked his guards about his pilot, he was told that

 he was killed by another. No other returned POW reported having knowledge of Harley Hall, yet the Pentagon

 maintained him in POW status for over 6 years, and documents were obtained that indicated he was indeed

 capture. In fact, there were reports of the Viet Cong bragging about parading a "Big Blue Angel" through the

 streets of Hanoi. The Hanoi government, however, claims to have no knowledge of CMDR. Harley Hall. Harley Hal

l was shot down on the last day of the war and was the last Navy casualty of the Vietnam War. He was the last

 American to be classified Prisoner of War in the Vietnam War. FROM A REPORT OF THE DEFENSE INTELLGENCE

 AGENCY WASHINGTON, D.C. 20340 On 13 July 1988, during a remains repatriation ceremony in Hanoi,

 representatives of the Vietnamese Office For Seeking Missing Persons furnished Joint Casualty Resolution

 Center officials with six written investigative reports. In the case of CMDR. Harley Hall, USN, the report claims

 that a "team" as well as two "VNOSMP" specialists visited the location where the Navy officer was lost,

 researched historical documents in the villages, and talked to "individuals directly related to this incident."

 According to the report, LCDR. Phillip Kientzler was captured. The other commander was found dead and buried

 in a trench. The investigative team claims to have visited the gravesite and observed that it had been exhumed

 and the remains taken. The local populace allegedly told the team that "from about 1981-1982 up until the

 present time, many people from different areas came to rob the grave, a total of as many as eight occasions,

 the most recent being February 1988. Because of this, nothing is left in the gravesite to be recovered. The local

 authorities carried out an investigation concerning the grave robbery but without results." The report concludes

 with the comment that the investigative team is not able to recover the remains of this pilot. While we have no

 information which would indicate that CMDR. Hall survived to become a captive of the Vietnamese, the claims

 made by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) authorities regarding this incident stretch credulity and totally

 contradict their known policies and practices in handling remains of Americans based upon all-source intelligence

 collection efforts over a period spanning more than two decades. We can state with certainty that there is a

 centrally administered program, which outlines strict procedures for handling the remains of Americans.

 Throughout the war, the Communist forces enforced a policy to find and bury Americans killed in action, and

 captured enemy documents continually stressed that this effort was important to the "political struggle." The

 procedures required that a full written report on the incident be prepared, to include a sketch of the burial

 

location. When possible, photos of the Americans were to be forwarded with the written report up the chain of

 command to Hanoi. Americans were buried in marked graves in well defined (if primitive by U.S. standards)

 cemeteries. Buried with them would be a paper, which included the American's name, date, place and cause of

 death. This procedure was also followed in burying Vietnamese soldiers killed in battle. Vietnamese public health

 laws require that remains be buried for at least three years before they are exhumed (a common Vietnamese

 practice) and reinterred in a final location. In the case of many Americans, after being buried for three years or

 more, remains were properly prepared and stored in a warehouse type situation. In the specific instance of

 CMDR. Hall, if indeed he died at the time of his loss incident, one must presume that the outlined procedures

 were followed and he was not simply buried in a convenient nearby trench. Further, the area where he was lost

 was under the control of combat troops at the time, which calls into question the Vietnamese claim that it was

 necessary to review village historical documents (which probably do not exist) and talk to villagers allegedly

 involved in the incident. Further, had villagers been interviewed and local documents researched, the VNOSMP

 representatives would have certainly discovered information on the two Americans who were lost in this same

 area only minutes after Commander Hall's aircraft was downed. In summary, the report furnished by the SRV is

 implausible and in direct conflict with their known policies and procedures. Based on the circumstances of CMDR.

 Hall's loss, we believe the communist government of Vietnam has information and for reasons known only to

 them has decided to concoct this story instead. Capt. Harley Hall Declared Dead In accordance with federal law,

 Capt. Harley Hall (a promotion given during his POW/MIA status) was declared deceased on February 28, 1980.

 In 1995, 22 years after the "shootdown," Hanoi returned "partial remains" tentatively identified as Capt. Harley

 Hall, USN. Mary Lou Hall, lacking confidence in the government's handling of her husband's case, had

 independent forensic experts examine the "remains" -- which were only a few tiny bone fragments and three

 teeth. The report was stunning: "There is no natural phenomenon that tooth No. 5 (and possibly the others)

 could have been naturally exfoliated with one exception -- CAPT. Hall lived far beyond the incident, thereby

 allowing severe peridontitis to occur and the bone resorption to become so severe that exfoliation could very

 easily have occurred." Dr. F.N. Powers added that Hall's 1972 dental X-rays showed no periodontal disease.

 Based on forensic benchmarks, it was estimated that Hall's teeth showed between two and three years of

 periodontal evidence! Additionally, during a one time special arrangement by the Defense Intelligence Agency,

 Mrs. Hall and other Vietnam widows gained access to their husband's declassified files. Mary Lou Hall discovered

 that her husband's file was nearly a foot thick!!! It contained copies of intercepted Vietnamese radio messages

 which tracked Hall from battalion to battalion after his shootdown, and there was mention of "a big Blue Angel"

 being paraded in Hanoi. "Harley was well known because he'd led the Navy's flight demonstration team on an

 Asian tour in 1970 or 1971," Mrs. Hall explains. BUT, beyond this data, one document shocked Mrs. Hall even

 more: A report that her husband had been interrogated by SOVIET OFFICIALS, presumably in Hanoi. Thus,

 evidence definitely exists pointing to the fact that CAPT. Harley Hall definitely was not dead within hours of his

 shootdown, as the North Vietnamese government would have us believe. AND, teeth which could have been

 extracted from a "living" Harley Hall hardly constitutes evidence of death. Despite all this, Capt. Harley Hall is

 now listed as killed in action and "remains returned." LINK TO Mrs. Mary Lou Hall's Memo to the Department of

 Defense LINK TO Photos of the Dedication of the Harley H. Hall Building in Vancouver, Washington - July 14, 2000

 BACK TO HISTORY CONTENTS PAGE

             

          

        

                          

                                                           

                                                            

                                                  

                 

                                  

          

                               

                                                                      

                 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                        

            

                     

                                                   

                                  

                         '