Charles Myron Hall, known as Charlie Hall to friends and family, spend the later part of his childhood in Trumbull, up the road from the Guion household. He was closest in age to Dick (Richard Peabody Guion) and I believe they were good friends, getting into mischief as only teenaged boys can. I went to Martha’s Vineyard, (Edgartown, MA) for a Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration for the Life of Charles Myron Hall, last weekend. I knew Charlie as the father of a very dear friend, who I’ve kept in touch with over the years. I had no idea he played such an amazing role in our country’s history. His daughter shared this story with me. “He could sit in an hour-long meeting, not saying a word, just listening. At the end, he would sum up all that had been said in one simple sentence.
Here are a few pictures of Charlie and his obituary. Please read the story of another member of “The Greatest Generation”.
(Charlie – front row, right)
Charles Myron Hall Obituary
Charles Myron Hall, age 94, passed away on October 11 at his home in Edgartown, MA. He was born in Burlington, Iowa on June 12, 1921, the son of Mary Eliza Booth of Stratford, CT and Charles Myron Hall of Burlington, IA. He spent his first seven years in Casper, WY. After the death of his father in 1928, Charlie and his mother returned to her hometown in CT. His mother married Burr Beach of Trumbull, CT in the early 1930’s. Charlie grew up in Trumbull and graduated from Bassick High School in Bridgeport, Class of 1939. In 1943 he graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, then attended Officer Training School at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He married Jane Claud-Mantle of Trumbull, at Annapolis in 1943.
Charlie served on the Fleet Oiler USS Cache as part of the Third Naval Fleet when it was caught in Typhoon Cobra in December, 1944, in what would become known as “Halsey’s Typhoon”. He witnessed the loss of several ships and their crews and would recount years later the awe of watching a battleship rolling to over 50° of tilt like it was a toy. He was at Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands where the fleet went to recover after the storm where he witnessed the attack on the USS Mississinewa. He helped rescue members of its crew as it burned and sank. Charlie was in Tokyo Harbor at the time of the signing of the peace treaty and would serve a total of 3 ½ years on active duty before serving in the Naval Reserves.
After the war he went to work as an engineer for General Electric in Bridgeport, CT before starting with defense contractor Perkin-Elmer. While at Perkin-Elmer he worked for years on a highly classified program developing the optics for the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes. As part of this program he had the unique experience of making several trips to Groom Lake, NV, the Air Force’s remote, classified base, now commonly referred to as Area 51. The existence of the aircraft, the base and the capabilities of the optics would remain classified for years, some until quite recently. At the time of his retirement Charlie was working as a Contract Manager for the KH-9 Hexagon satellite program, another highly-classified project. He retired from Perkin-Elmer Corporation in 1983.
Charlie was a tinkerer and an exceptionally handy man. He built his first house. He restored several antique cars, notably a 1913 Model T and a 1929 Model A, both of which participated in numerous Edgartown parades. He also restored a 1755 Saltbox house in Stepney, CT, the Thomas Hawley House, which is featured on the Wikipedia page for Saltbox houses. While his son Bill was in high school they restored a Model A Sedan together. In 1980, Charlie married Joyce Arnold Ell of Trumbull, and they built a home in Edgartown in 1982. He loved to clam and walk the island. After moving to Edgartown full-time in 1995 he walked every paved road and most of the beaches on the island. He skied until he was in his late 80’s and played golf into his early 90’s. He also enjoyed a good game of pool, playing cards with family, Chilmark Chocolates and exploring the Vineyard waters in his 1963 Thompson. He could fix almost anything, but especially enjoyed working on old clocks. Over the years he built everything from small pieces of furniture to complete houses, and was always ready to lend a hand with whatever project a friend had in mind. One of the projects he most enjoyed was volunteering on the construction of the new Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. Together Charlie and Joyce traveled much of the world, Charlie often resisting the effort but always saying “I’m really glad I went” on their return.
Charlie was a wise, loving and proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather to all.
This is a Slide Show put together by his daughter of Charlie’s life. You’ll see pictures of the Island and New Year’s Eve at the Guion House.