New England Air Museum
Azel S. Hall, Jr.

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Azel Hall - 1943

Recent Address:

33 School St., Randolph, VT 05060

Email:

 

Family Information:

Wife: Myrtle; Children: Sharon, Kim, Kevin

Hometown:

Randolph, VT

Date Entered Service:

December 29, 1942

Service Number:

31253067

Bomb Group:

444th

Squadron:

677th

Location of Unit:

Great Bend, KS - October 1943

Missions Flown:

 

Hump Missions Flown:

25 round trips recorded

Targets:

Bangkok, Singapore (3), Palembang, Yawata, Mukden, Tokyo

Awards/Decorations:

Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Service Schools Attended:

Gunnery School and Central Fire Control Mar 1943

Military Specialty(ies):

Top Gunner and CFC Specialist, Engineer C-109

Rank Upon Discharge:

Staff Sergeant

Crew Type:

Flight crew

Airplane Serial No.& Name:

42-65273 Big! Ain't It, 44-70002 Sky Chief

Were you a POW?

No

Were you interned?

No

Date Transferred from the 58th:

 

Date Discharged from the 58th:

June 1945

Post-WWII Military Service:

 

Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):

New England Telephone & Telegraph Co. , 1941-1949. Self-employed Auto Mechanic, Apr 1949-1986

Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:

I was very proud to be a small part. I was part of some combat missions, then because of difficulty in having necessary gasoline available, our crew was on detached service for 4 months ferrying gas to China over the Hump in C-109s, converted B-24s. Then we returned to Dudkundi and soon transferred to Tinian Island for combat missions again.

Comments:

My flying in combat stopped in May 1945. On a mission over Tokyo our crew was not scheduled to fly but I had to fly as a substitute top gunner on another crew. The pilot, Lt. Mather, was on his first trip as 1st Pilot. Thirty minutes after takeoff in a brand new plane we lost an engine. We returned to base on Tinian, dropped the bomb load in the ocean and attempted to land at 11:30 p.m. He undershot the runway and ended up in the coral rocks at the entrance to the runway. Six men died in the front (massive fire). Five of us jumped 20 feet to the ground from the top escape hatch in the rear of the plane. That plane (002) had a short tour of duty -- about two hours total.

 

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Crew #14 - Great Bend, KS

 

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Azel Hall - 2000

 


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