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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Memorial for World War II vet in the works

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The proposed layout of the Charles B. Hall Memorial project to be placed on the north lawn of Brazil City Hall.
Local Clay County residents can help create a memorial to a famous World War II hero from Brazil.

The Charles B. Hall Memorial Foundation is collecting approximately $15,000 to place the memorial in front of Brazil City Hall, near the McNutt Fountain, facing United States 40.

"We already have approval to construct the monument and we have the fund set up through Wabash Valley Foundation, now we just need to collect the money to cover the costs," Foundation Co-chair Ted Paris said.

"Now we're just waiting for adequate funding to proceed."

The foundation has plans to erect a monument approximately the same size as the McNutt Fountain with a model of Hall's P-40 Warhawk "The Maxine" -- named after his wife -- on top.

Although there are pledges and collections of a little more than $2,000, Paris said the foundation hopes to collect enough funds to use marble for the monument.

A plaque listing the Tuskegee Airman's military accomplishments during World War II will also appear on the monument.

On July 2, 1943, Hall's squadron was providing cover for a formation of B-25 "Mitchell" bombers when more than 20 German fighter planes attacked over Castelvetrano Field, Sicily. Hall, 22, was the first African-American pilot to shoot down a German Focke-Wulf FW190. It was his eighth mission and also the unit's first aerial victory against the Luftwaffe.

Hall was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valor.

After the war, Hall continued to work at Tinker Air Force Base before going on to work with the Federal Aviation Administration. Upon retiring, Hall became a popular, successful insurance agent in Oklahoma City, until his death in 1971.

"Hall is a unique American hero," Paris said. "He was the first person to do something outstanding, and he was from Brazil."

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