Waynesville – After missing in action from the Vietnam War for over half a century, the remains of U.S. Air Force Captain Frederick Mervyn Hall returned home on Oct. 8th to a hero’s welcome. On Oct 10th, Captain Hall was laid to rest at Greenhill Cemetery in his hometown of Waynesville.
Goldsboro native and Command Sergeant Major retired, Roderick White, who is the Director of Service and Family Member Programs for the state represented Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gen. retired Walter Gaskin, USMC, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
White honored the family with a North Carolina Flag flown over the Capital, a letter written by the Governor, and a certificate from Secretary Gaskin.
Captain Hall was received by his family on Oct. 8th at 1:30 p.m. at the Greenville Spartanburg International Airport. United States Air Force representatives from Shaw Air Force Base performed plane side honors as a part of the repatriation process and transfer is conducted. His remains were escorted by local authorities and a military honor motorcade to Waynesville.
A memorial service and internment with full military honors for Captain Hall was held on Oct. 10 at the First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville, and the interment followed immediately after the service.
“Captain Hall made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our service members and veterans, and we remain committed to bringing them home.”
“Bringing Captain Hall home will help his family find some measure of closure” said Lt. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin, USMC, Ret., Secretary, NC DMVA. “While missing for more than five decades, he was never forgotten. Although not here physically, he was never far away from the hearts of his family, community, and our nation. His return helps us continue to have faith and hope for those still missing until all are returned home.”
United States Air Force Captain Hall was a member of the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On April 12, 1969, at the age of 25, he navigated a flight in a mission over South Vietnam. His aircraft crashed into a mountain ridge while flying through cloud cover. He was reported missing in action.
The site was not successfully excavated until Mar. 2021, when recovery teams retrieved human remains, life support equipment, and other material evidence associated with the missing aircraft.
Over 50 years after declared missing, on Mar. 23, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) identified the remains of Captain Hall through laboratory analysis and the totality of the circumstantial evidence