From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Roy Hale, Jr. '38

Date of birth: May 10, 1916

Date of death: May 8, 1942

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


Roy was on May 8, 1942, during the Battle of the Coral Sea, when his SBD-3 Dauntless dive bomber was accidentally shot down by friendly fire as he attempted to land just minutes after a Japanese attack. He was flying with Scouting Squadron (VS) 2 from USS Lexington (CV 2).

His parents were listed as next of kin.

From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

Hale was apparently killed by friendly fire as he attempted a landing on Lexington just minutes after the Japanese had completed their attack.

  • NAS Pensacola attached for HTA flight training, 7/15/1940
  • NAS Pensacola designated NA # 7086, 1/30/1941
  • Date of rank LTJG from 1 Jul 1941 USN Register, 6/2/1941
  • VS-2 USS Lexington (CV-2) DFC BNR, 5/7/1942

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Roy Orestus Hale, Jr (NSN: 0-81325), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight in the Coral Sea, 7 to 8 May 1942. As Pilot of a Scouting Plane during the Battle of the Coral Sea, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Hale boldly engaged attacking Japanese aircraft in spite of fierce fighter opposition.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 317 (August 1943)
Action Date: May 7 - 8, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Company: Scouting Squadron


USS Roy O. Hale (DE 336) was named for Roy; the ship was sponsored by his mother.

Class of 1938

Roy is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.