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Boyd V. Hall
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Revenge Raid Proves Real Pleasure for Flier

A NINTH AIR FORCE BOMBER BASE, Eng.

A "revenge mission" against Ijmuiden, Holland, brought personal satisfaction to S/Sgt. Boyd V. Hall, as hundreds of B-26 Marauders swooped across the Channel to settle an old score.

Ijmuiden was the scene of a low-level Marauder attack several months previously in which several of Sgt. Hall's buddies were lost by flak and fighters.  The retaliatory attack underscored the growing might of the Marauders and their success at medium-altitude bombing, now climaxed in aerial support of allied invasion troops.

Sgt. Hall, who recently won the Distinguished Flying Cross for outstanding achievement as an engineer-gunner on thirty-seven Marauder missions, is a member of "Nye's Annihilators," pioneer 9th air force Marauder group in this theatre of operations led by Col. Glenn C. Nye.  Sgt. Hall is a crew member of Col. Nye's Marauder "Ginger 2nd."

"The Marauder is a great bomber and can take plenty of punishment", avers Sgt. Hall.  He pointed out that on the "revenge mission" the Marauder in which he was flying brought its crew back to safety although flak had knocked out one engine, damaged the other so badly that it trailed smoke all the way back, and shot away part of the hydraulic systems.  "My pilot, Lt. Col. Gove C. Cello, did a swell job of crash-landing the plane, " declared Sgt. Hall.

The Marauder gunner has participated in the furious offensive of the Marauders against enemy airdromes, shipyards, power plants, marshalling yards, and other military objectives in western Europe.  On many of these attacks intense flak and persistent fighter opposition were encountered but the Marauders took the obstacles in stride to bomb their targets with pin-point precision.

Sgt. Hall attended High School and was employed as a machinist for the railroad prior to induction into the army Dec. 10, 1941.  He received engineering and gunnery training at Kessler Field, Miss., and the Glen L. Martin Co., Baltimore before coming overseas late 1942.

Sgt. Hall is a son of W. Wayne Hall and is one of three brothers in the service, T/Sgt. Norman N. Hall serving in the armored division and Pfc. David L. Hall is field artillery.   He has been stationed in England since November, 1943 and earlier won the Air Medal and Oak Leaf Clusters for his service.


Sgt. Hall still vividly recalls bombing missions

Tech Sgt. Boyd V. Hall still recalls most of his bombing missions into the heart of Western Europe from July 1943 until Feb. 2, 1945, as a top turret engineer gunner aboard his twin-engine B-26 Marauder.

He muses there never was a return ticket guarantee on all 65 of his missions.  One of the flights across the North Sea he dubbed as a revenge raid.  Swarms of Marauders stormed across the sea to Ijmuiden, Holland, to knock out naval installations from which fast E-boats had harassed the allied shipping.

This was the scene of a low level attack on May 17, 1943, in which several of Hall's buddies were lost to heavy flak and fighters.  Among his campaign ribbons was the Air Offensive of Europe Normandy Invasion, Battle of Northern France and Rhineland.  His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 2 silver and one bronze oak-left clusters, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal and Presidential Unit Citation.

He briefly recalls the June 6, 1944, D-Day.  Allied forces were alerted at mid-night to wear steels helmet and carry side arms.

Bombers hit the coastal guns in the Caen areas and came back in the afternoon and took out a highway bridge in the Caen area.  The more furious offensives were air fields, ship yards, gunnery plants, rail yards, bridges and V-1 rocket launching sites.

On all these, there was persistent fighter opposition.  As Hall continued, a tear formed in his eye as his recalled how easy it was to develop a personal affection for the craft that brought him through all these raids.  "Like a guardian angle with wings," he quipped.  As I shook his hand, it struck me why this generation came to be known "as the greatest generation ever."

I was safely at home as a young teenager building models of planes he and thousands flew and dreaming of being a war hero pilot.  How quickly I came to learn it wasn't all that simple.

Photo: Tech. Sgt. Hall is shown between his two .50-caliber guns in March, 1944.
He later was wounded by enemy flak in the same turret.


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