BENJAMIN C. HALL, CDR, USN
Birthdate & Date of Loss
|Date of birth:||November 12, 1917|
|Date of death:||November 5, 1944|
From the 1940 Lucky Bag:
BENJAMIN CAMPBELL HALL
Blessed with more than an ample amount of gray matter, Campbell saunters casually along, taking everything in stride. Although a star man, academics constitute a lesser part of his routine and he seldom misses his afternoon in the gym. In the fall he plays Batt football, in the winter, Batt basketball, and in the spring he just plays. Afternoons find him on the tennis court, in the pool, or on his bunk. He designs super-lift planes and actually believes that someday one of his models will fly. Certain that be will make a go of whatever be undertakes, we all wish him the best of everything.
Charlie was lost in an aircraft accident near Lake City, FL on November 4, 1944.
Four classmates, Campbell, Tom Nicholson, Dick Champion, and Cary Hall drove across the country to Bremerton in a 1938 Ford V-8 after graduation leave and reported on board CALIFORNIA. Mick Carney, a truly superb naval officer, was Exec. CALIFORNIA was a great ship, and service in her before the war was pleasant and instructive.
Campbell was assigned to the F Division with the primary job of rangefinder officer and a battle station in Spot 2, atop the mainmast. Coming down from the maintop after the lapanese attack on December 7, Campbell confirmed that there were seven dive bombers in the string that dove on CALIFORNIA because he had emptied his .45 cal pistol, loaded with seven rounds, one round on each plane. Who can say that he didn't shoot down the dive bomber that crashed into CURTIS, on the other side of Ford Island?
After CALIFORNIA was sunk on December 7, Campbell, with the rest of the battleship gunners, worked to install the guns from the sunken ships on the beach and then turn them over to the Coast Artillery. This duty completed, he was ordered to ALABAMA, and on the way he married Rose Willingham in Macon on June 6, 1942. In 1943, Campbell was accepted for flight training and Rose accompanied him to Dallas, Pensacola, Beaufort, and finally Lake City, Florida. During this time, their first child, christened Rosalie, was born in May of 1944. When she was four months old, Rose joined Campbell at Lake City. He was killed one month later, on November 5, 1944 in a training flight. He is buried in his family plot in Macon.
On his death, their daughter's name was changed to Campbell and she is now known as "Cam". She lives in Chesapeake, Virginia, and has two sons, Campbell's grandsons.
Rose married Winburn Stewart in Macon, in 1947, and then, after they were divorced, she married an Episcopal priest from Macon, William Parker Burns, one of Campbell's boyhood friends. Billy was a chaplain in the Air Force during WW II. He retired from the Episcopal diocese of western North Carolina. Billy died in 1985, and Rose now resides in Whiteville, North Carolina. Cary Hall and Tom Nicholson
Charlie is buried in Georgia.
|Class of 1940|
|Benjamin is one of 89 members of the Class of 1940 in Memorial Hall.|
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