Lt. William Hall was awarded the Medal Of Honor, the highest military honor, for his actions during the Battle of The Coral Sea in May of 1942. On the first day of battle, he is credited with dropping a bomb on the IJN Carrier Shōhō, contributing to it's total destruction. The very next day, in an SBD-3 of Scouting 2, Hall and his gunner, Seaman First Class John Moore flew "cover" for the U.S. fleet with the Dauntless' twin forward-firing .50 cal. machine guns and Moore's flexible rear .30 cal. gun. When the Japanese attacked, U.S. planes mixed it up with the incoming planes, Hall credited with three and Moore one.
They didn’t get away unscathed as they fought with the attackers: 20mm fire exploded Hall’s instrument panel and one round passed through ankle, nearly severing his foot. Hall kept fighting until he ran out of ammunition. Somehow, after all this, Hall made a safe landing back on Lexington.
-From an original painting by Robert Coker. / Copyright CokerAirArt.com 2022.
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