Tom Hall was born in 1941 in Richmond, Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on September 28, 1963, and entered the Navy school of pre-flight on January 2, 1964. Hall was commissioned an Ensign on May 8, 1964, and was designated a Naval Aviator at Kingsville, Texas, in August 1965. After completing F-8 Crusader Replacement Air Group training with VF-124 at NAS Miramar, California, he was assigned to VF-211 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hancock (CVA-19) in March 1966. LTJG Hall flew in combat in Southeast Asia from April to July 1966 during his first cruise, and then again from February to June 1967 while flying off the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). It was during this cruise that he was shot down twice, the first time on June 6, 1967, where he was rescued, and then second time on June 10, 1967, where he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War. After spending 2,095 days in captivity, LCDR Hall was released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, and then served as a flight instructor with VT-4 at Forest Sherman Field at NAS Pensacola, Florida, from August 1973 to April 1975. His final assignment was with VF-101 at NAS Oceana, Virginia, from April 1975 until he was medically retired from the Navy on May 3, 1976.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. On 16 June 1967, his captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.