James Hall was born on November 26, 1942, in Trout Run, Pennsylvania. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1961, and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force on June 9, 1965. Lt Hall next attended Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Laughlin AFB, Texas, in September 1966, followed by Systems Operator Radar Training, Rear Seat Pilot Operational Training, and F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training between October 1966 and March 1967. His first assignment was as an F-4 Pilot Systems Operator with the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida, from March to July 1967, and then as an F-4 Pilot Systems Operator with the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from July 1967 to June 1968. Capt Hall's final assignment was as an F-4 pilot with the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, from July 1968 until he left active duty on September 12, 1970. After leaving the Air Force, James worked as a high school math teacher at Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, New Jersey, until his retirement in 1997. James Hall died on June 3, 2011, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
First Lieutenant James H. Hall distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an F-4D Pilot in Southeast Asia on 8 February 1968. On that date, Lieutenant Hall led two aircraft against one of the largest, most important, and most heavily defended airfields in North Vietnam. Despite inclement weather, Lieutenant Hall descended to extremely low altitude for a visual high-speed run across the airfield. Although faced with a barrage of withering antiaircraft artillery fire, Lieutenant Hall resolutely and skillfully pressed his attack against the target, damaging and destroying several aircraft on the ground. When the lead crew was finally forced to eject over hostile territory, Lieutenant Hall remained as top cover and directed the rescue effort, which expeditiously recovered the two downed airmen. As a result of his actions, Lieutenant Hall was successful in neutralizing a threat to Free World forces in Southeast Asia. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness, Lieutenant Hall reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.