|Birth name Eric Gordon Hall|
Name Eric Hall
Unit No. 6 Squadron
Years of service 1947–1977
Nickname(s) The heavy hitter
|Buried at Maryland, United States|
Rank Air Vice Marshal (Major-General)
Died June 17, 1998, Maryland, United States
Battles and wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Yom Kippur War
Similar People Wladyslaw Turowicz, Xu Shiyou, Huang Baitao, Arjan Singh, Noor Inayat Khan
Place of burial Maryland, United States
Service/branch Pakistan Air Force
Air Vice-Marshal Eric Gordan Hall (Urdu: ايريک گورڈن حال; 12 October 1922 – 17 June 1998), was a Pakistan Air Force bomber and fighter pilot, and former director general of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). A two-star general in the Pakistan Air Force, Hall had served as Vice Chief of Air Staff and was one of the distinguished Christian pilots who participated in the Indo-Pakistan wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971. He is also notable as the Director-General of the Pakistan Air Force's Air Force Science Research Laboratories (AFSRL) when he headed the atomic weapon's research as part of Pakistan's nuclear technology project.
Through his vision, dedication and hard work, he rose to the rank of Air Vice Marshal and Deputy Chief of Air Staff. During his service, Hall commanded a number of PAF Bases and also served as the Commandant of the PAF Staff College. In 1960 and the early 1970s, Hall served as a Defence and Air Attache in the Pakistan Embassy, United States.
Indo-Pakistan war of 1965
He commanded the air transport Base at Chaklala as a Group Captain (Colonel) in 1965. With war being imminent, he was conscious of the PAF’s lack of specialist aircraft. Hall hit upon the idea of converting C-130 Hercules into heavy bombers. With some modifications, the transport aircraft were made capable of carrying up to 20,000 lbs of bombs.
Having conducted trials to prove their efficacy, the Group Captain volunteered to lead the first bombing mission over the Kathua bridge on 11 September 1965. The mission was fraught with danger as the totally unarmed C-130 was highly vulnerable to enemy action. The success of this mission prompted the high command to authorize thirteen more bombing missions with C-130s, including the precision bombing of Indian heavy guns at Atari on the banks of the BRB Canal. The success of these missions proved that the now Air Vice Marshal had hit the bull’s eye with his innovative idea. For his valour and vision Hall was awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat in 1965.
AVM Eric Hall retired from the Air Force in 1978 immediately after the successful U 235 project. He was given an honorable discharge from the Air Force and made Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the Government of Pakistan.
Hall migrated to Maryland, in the United States, where in August 1982 with his wife Marjorie, he founded and served as corporate president of Hall Enterprises, Inc. The company engaged in the business of importing and exporting Pakistani furniture, giftware and military spare parts. Hall died in the United States in 1998.