Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-PH-4
Location: LH-PH-4

(Description ID: 594976)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Mervin Hall, Sr.


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

The collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center by Mervin Hall, Jr., in 2003.

Biographical Sketch
Mervin Hall, Sr., was born in Clyde, Ohio, in 1920 and graduated from York High School in 1938. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps, trained at Scott Air Field, and graduated from the Radio Mechanics Technical School in June 1942. As part of the 49th Fighter Squadron, Hall was assigned to the 14th Fighter Group.

The 49th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) was organized November 20, 1940, and activated on January 15, 1941, at Hamilton Field, California. It was assigned to the 14th Pursuit Group, later, designated as the 14th Fighter Group, flying P-40's, P-43's, and P-66's in 1941 and P-38's throughout World War II. The 49th was re-designated as the 49th Fighter Squadron on May 15, 1942. Hall served as a radio operator, clerk, and mechanic in Tunisia; Anzio; the Italian campaigns of Arno, Foggia, and the Po Valley; Normandy, Northern and Southern France, Northern Appenines, and the Rhineland. He was one of the first Ohioans to serve in all theaters of operation during World War II.

Hall had attained the rank of sergeant before his discharge. At the war’s end, he returned to Sandusky County, Ohio, where he married Theola Cole (Sandusky, Ohio) in August 1945. She was a veteran of the U.S. Navy (Waves). They were the parents of two children, Mervin, Jr., and Thomas. Hall was employed as a clerk typist by the Penn Central Railroad. The family lived in Gibsonburg, Ohio, where Hall pursued his interests in ceramics, weaving, and orchids. Mervin Hall, Sr., died October 22, 1974, and is buried in Gibsonburg’s West Union Cemetery.

Scope and Content
The collection includes a forty-one-page photograph album compiled by Sergeant Hall. The album contains black and white prints and post card images, dating from 1942 to 1945. While not all of the pictures are identified, there are more than two dozen identified images of Hall’s comrades, views of Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio; Kessler Field, Biloxi, Mississippi; Scott Field, Belleville, Illinois; Fort Dix, Trenton, New Jersey; the train station, flight line, and camp area at Foggia; Roman antiquities; and Casablanca, French Morocco. The post cards include views of Naples, Florence, the Sahara Desert, and Tunisia, Algeria, and Shrewsbury, England. Also included is a 1943 British edition issue of "Yank," a pictorial about Scott Field’s facilities and activities during World War II, Hall’s diploma from Scott Field’s School for Radio Operators, printed material distributed to servicemen being shipped overseas, and other wartime memorabilia belonging to Sergeant Hall.

Ac. 5610
13 items

1. Photograph album, 41 pages

2. Pictorial and Historical Review of Scott Field, Scott Field, Illinois, 1942 (Hall’s photograph appears with 
    other servicemen who graduated from Scott Field’s School for Radio Operators.)

3. "North Africa," informational pamphlet for U.S. Expeditionary Forces entering North Africa.

4. Travel information issued to servicemen of the South Atlantic Division, n.d.

5. "Special Orders Number 115," dtd. 28 July 1944, issued at Naples. (Corporal Hall’s name appears as part of 
    the 49th Fighter Squadron.)

6. Diploma issued by the Army Air Forces Technical School to Private Mervin Hall upon the successful completion 
    of Radio Mechanics School, dtd., 29 June 1942.

7. Air travel clearance certificate issued to Mervin Hall, dtd., 14 June 1945

8. V mail Christmas greetings from Corporal Mervin Hall to the Ginnever family, Clyde, Ohio, dtd., 8 November 1943

9. Italian lira (2)

10. Programs, V E Day, Thanksgiving Service, dtd., 8 May 1945

11. Issue of "Yank," (British edition), dtd., 7 February 1943

12. Certificate for U.S. Air Forces Rest Camp at Rome, addressed to Sgt. Mervin Hall, dtd., 1 January 1944.

13. Serviceman’s meal ticket, stamped 21 June 1945