Eric Gordon Hall: ‘The heavy hitter’ of the Pakistan Air Force

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Eric Gordon Hall

Eric Gordon Hall was born in1922 in Rangoon Burma. His family was British-Christian. He received his education from Burma and studied pre-engineering courses from there.

However, as the political situation worsened in the country, the Hall family migrated to British India in 1942 where they settled in Lahore.

He served Pakistan Air Force as a bomber and fighter pilot. His was known as ‘The heavy hitter’.

He enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman and was selected for the officer cadre in December 1943. He was subsequently sent to the Royal Air Force Combat Training School; Hall was then commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force. After the partition and creation of Pakistan, Hall decided to serve in the newly created Pakistan Air Force. He was posted to PAF airbase in Risalpur to help train troops.
However, when the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 broke out, he was called to active duty. He served in No. 6 Squadron, (Globe Trotters), flying Douglas C-47 Sky trains with supplies for the Pakistan Army. After the war, he was sent to the United States where he trained as a bomber pilot.

Due to his commitment to work and his dedication he rose to the rank of Air vice Marshal and Deputy Chief of Air Staff. During his tenure as Air vice Marshal, he was the commander of a number of PAF bases. Hall also served as the Commandant of PAF Staff College. He was finally elevated to the rank of Chief of Staff of PAF.

Eric G Hall also served as a Defense and Air Attaché in the Pakistan Embassy, United States. Hall had the habit of taking initiative and suggested many modifications and improvements to aircrafts. He was promoted to Air Commodore (Brigadier-General) in 1967, commanding the Faisal AFB in Karachi. During the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971, Hall was heavily involved in the preparations of aerial operations against India. He trained the country’s air force pilots who went on to participate in the conflict.

Post war, Hall began the confidential programs of the Air Force, and was instrumental in setting up the Uranium facility Chaklala Air Force Centrifuge Laboratories (CAFL). Hall personally supervised the construction of the facility and helped to install the Uranium enrichment pilot plant at the base. He was made the first director-general of the laboratories as well as the officer in charge of security for the scientists. Hall was also in-charge of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission’s Directorate of Industrial Liaison (DIL).

Immediately after the successful completion of this project, Hall took retirement and in 1978 the Pakistan Air Force gave him an honorable discharge and made him the Director General of Civil Aviation Authority. The success of these missions proved that the now Air Vice Marshal had hit the bull’s eye with his innovative ideas. For his valor and vision Hall was awarded the Sitara e Jurat in 1965.

Finally Hall migrated to Maryland United States in 1982 and founded Hall Enterprises. The company engaged in the business of importing and exporting Pakistani furniture, giftware and military spare parts. After a long heroic life he breathed his last breath on June 17, 1998 in Maryland USA.