Captain John T. Hale, Jr. son of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Hale, Sr. of Rockdale, was killed Nov. 29, in a jet plane crash in French Morocco, his parents were notified Monday.
Details on the crash have never been released, except that Captain Hale, who was a senior pilot assigned to the 91st Fighter Bomber Squadron, crashed two miles east of the village of Titmellil. He was on temporary duty in Morocco from his station in England.
Captain Hale's wife and two children were in England with him, Mrs. Hale told Mr. and Mrs. Hale in Rockdale in a telephone conversation Tuesday morning that she was awaiting the body which was being flown from Morocco. Accompanied by his wife and children and an Air Force escort, the body will be flown to the United States. Funeral arrangements are pending.
John T. Hale, Jr., was 31 years old, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Hale, Sr., of Rockdale and graduate from Rockdale High School in 1941. "Johnny" Hale was one of the most popular students in the Rockdale school. A perfectionist, he succeed well at anything he did, and was valedictorian of his graduating class.
Although he was not a large lad, he was vitally interested in athletics and was an outstanding quarterback on the football eleven at RHS. He lettered in football, track, and tennis. He was also an Eagle Scout.
After graduating from high school Johnny entered the University of Texas where he studied for two and one-half years before going into the Air Force in 1942. He received his wings and commission in the Air Force in 1944.
After receiving his wings, Hale served as an instructor at Eagle Pass for some time and then was sent to the Pacific where he was awaiting combat duty when the war ended. Following that, he served three years in Japan on occupation duty with the Air Force.
Upon returning to the States, Captain Hale taught students to fly, as an instructor, prior to going to Europe in April of this year as a et fighter pilot with the 91st Fighter Bomber Squadron.
Captain Hale loved to fly, and particularly loved to fly jets, his friends recall. He had flown jets, propeller driven fighter planes, bombers and transport ships during his Air Force career. He also had been assigned to photo reconnaissance, maintenance, supply and operations, but flying fighter planes was his big love. At Bryan, Air Force Base where he was stationed prior to going to Europe, he said he got his opportunity to fly fighters after the war. Otherwise, I'd have left the Air Force," he said.
Because he loved flying the Rockdale Pilot had established records for more hours in the air than any other pilot at bases where he was located. Members of his family do not have records on the number of hours flying time he has to his credit, but the total, when officially announced will be astounding. At Bryan Air Force Base, out of several hundred pilots, Captain Hale was the leading jet pilot. After he had been there only a short time, he was only 60 hours behind the base Commander in flying time. At that time he had 1446 hours flying time in jet aircraft, and an additional 3474 hours in propeller driven aircraft for a total of 4920 hours in the air. Before he left BAFB for Europe, he had far surpassed the Colonel's time, and since that time in April this year, he had logged many, many more hours of flying time.
At Bryan, Captain Hale was one of six flight commanders having over-all charge of teaching aviation cadets how to fly jets. When he received his orders to go to Europe last April he was elated, for he had always wanted an assignment in the European theater. He left in April. His wife and children followed him in June.
News of his death reached Rockdale from Air Force officials in Washington about 3 p.m. Monday by wire. His parents talked with his wife by telephone from her residence in Ipswich, England, Tuesday morning but no details on the crash were available.
Surviving are the widow, Mrs. Constance S. Hale, formerly of Phoenix, Airz. and two children, Glenn Wayne and Patti; the parents, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Hale, Sr., of Rockdale, two sisters, Miss Jo Ann Hale of Rockdale and Mrs. Ray Garrett and children, Susan, Nancy, Ann and Richard Hale. Mr. and Mrs Garrett and family have been living in Evanston, Ill. and are now moving to Washington, D.C. and while Mr. Garrett has been making arrangements for their move, Mrs. Garrett and children have been visiting here with her parents.
Funeral services for Captain John T. Hale, Jr., 31, killed in a jet crash in French Morocco Nov. 29, will be held in Rockdale at 10:30 Friday.
Stores to Close by proclamation of W. P. Hogan, Mayor of Rockdale on order of the city council, stores in Rockdale will be closed for the funeral hours starting at 10:30 a.m. Friday, in tribute to the memory of Captain John T. Hale, Jr.
The funeral will be held at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, with the Rev. E. H. Campbell officiating. Full military honors will be given in graveside rites at the I.O.O.F. cemetery by Airmen from the Bryan Air Force Base, where Captain Hale was stationed prior to going to England.
The body of Captain Hale will arrive in Rockdale tonight by train at 1:45 a.m. The body was flown, under Air Force escort, direct to the United States from the crash site in French Morocco, and is proceeding to Rockdale by train.
Captain Hale's wife and two small children arrived in Rockdale Monday from their home in Ipswich, England, where they had been with Captain Hale. They were accompanied here by Lt. Glyn Grey, Air Force escort, on their trip by commercial air lines from England. Lt. Grey, whose home is in Mobile, Alabama, was a close friend of Captain Hale who was his Flight Commander.
Mrs. Hale and children are staying in the home of Captain Hale's parents, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Hale, Sr. and family. Lt. Grey has been staying in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Lanning.
No details on the crash in which Captain Hale was killed have been released by the Air Force, except that he died in the crash of his jet fighter two miles east of the village of Titmelli in French Morocco where he was on temporary duty from his station in England.
Surviving are his wife and two children, Glenn Wayne and Patti; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Hale, Sr. of Rockdale; and two sisters, Miss Jo Ann Hale, of Rockdale and Mrs. Ray Garrett of Washington, D.C.
 Name not found in: In Memory - Lest we Forget
 No Individual Deceased Personnel 293 File, U.S. Army Total Personnel Command Center, Alexandria, VA
 Birth Certificate No. 667159, Milam Co., TX
 Death Certificate, None found in Milam Co., TX
 Holder, p. 171.
 Rockdale Reporter, 2 Dec 1954, p. 1 & 3.
 Rockdale Reporter, 9 Dec 1954, p. 1 & 3.
Created 26 Dec 2004 and last revised on _______ 2004