THE AMAZING HYMAN VET-THOMAS HALL SM2

I received the letter below from Hyman Vet, Thomas Hall today. This WWII vet is “amazing.” (My word, not his.) When you read his letter, you will learn that he was the youngest petty officer in the Navy at the time (only 16 years old, he posed as his older brother). He graduated from Syracuse University at the age of 57, and left high school after the 9th grade. Additionally, he has made over 2,000 skydives during his 86 years. Read and enjoy. Junior
Thomas Hall SM 2/c commented on HOME

September 11th, quite a day. World Trade Center knocked down. My birthday. We received Jap surrender of Ponape in 1945. Lucky the war was over and no worry about the Japs on the island waiting for repatriation to Japan. We were stuck in that torrid zone from first week in September until Xmas day. Hot, hot, hot. No air conditioning in those days, Those sleeping compartments were steam baths.

Remember Xmas eve. The offices including Captain Foley were over on the beach at a small officer club they had constructed. Back on the ship some enterprising soul broke into the decodding room and we appropriated many jugs of Southern Comfort. In the meantime we broke out some Very pistols and shells and lit up the sky while sounding the ships whistle. The Officer of the Deck, a lowly Ensign was frantic. Johnny Tapp SM 1/c and I still had two jugs of the booze when we arrived in Yokosuka, Japan in early January 1946. We sold them to some guys on the tender to which we were moored and had a good time in Tokyo enjoying the wars spoils. Ah! Those were the days. I enlisted sin 1942 and served until 1946 in the Mediterranen participating in the invasion of Sicily, three N Atlantic convoy patrols (horrible) and then invasions at Iwo Jima and Okinawa aboard the Hyman DD 732 . It was seventy years ago when on September 10th I was sworn in and started boot camp at Newport, R.I. I remember Company 533 at Coddington Point, Newport. I was in boot camp twenty days and then spent 16 weeks at Butler U., Indianapolis at the USNTS (signals). I graduated sixth in a graduating class of 194 and was promoted to SM 3/c. I was the youngest petty officer in the U.S.Navy at 16. I had enlisted posing as an older brother. I served three years in the U S Army after leaving the navy and was stationed in Austria for two years. Great duty. Now 86 and veteran of almost two thousand skydives I am ready to take it easy. Oh, by the way I entered Syracuse University at 54 yrs of age and graduated at 57, quite an accomplishment seeing as I didn’t go to high school after the 9th grade.

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About JUNIOR

I am a 77 year old retired Northrop-Grumman Corp. Facilities Engineer. I worked at Northrop's Pico Rivera and Palmdale facilities for a total of 13 years, and retired 1n 1995. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over 54 fantastic years, and we have 3 excellent children (all boys) 7 wonderful grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. My hobbies are playing the piano (actually, more like learning HOW to play the piano) and restoring a 1937 Plymouth, although sadly, I have made very little progress on it in recent years. I drove road race go-karts until the age of 71. I never grew up, I just got old.
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