Capt. Fletcher Hale was born in Laconia, N.H. on May 5, 1915. He attended Western High School in Washington, D.C. while his father was a member of Congress from the state of New Hampshire. In June, 1933, he entered the Naval Academy and was commissioned an ensign on June 3, 1937.
His first tour of duty following graduation was on USS Oklahoma (BB-37) in which he served until January, 1939 as a junior officer uder instruction in engineering, gunnery and communications. In February, 1939, he reported to USS Reid (DD-369) for engineering and communications duties and remained on board that destroyer from the outbreak of World War II until July, 1943. During this time he served as torpedo officer, anti-submarine warfare officer and finally executive officer.
In August, 1943, he reported to USS Halligan (DD-584) and was on board for its commissioning and during operations in the Atlantic and Pacific, including the Marshall Islands (occupation of Kwajalein, Majuro and Eniwetok atolls).
In June, 1944, he assumed command of USS Sigouney (DD-643) and remained in command throughout the latter period of hostilities to April, 1946. Under his command, Sigourney participated in the capture and occupation of Saipan, Tinian and the Southern Palau Islands; the Leyte landings; Lingayen Gulf landings; and Mindanao landings. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" and a gold star in lieu of the second Bronze Star Medal, also with Combat "V" for his actions on Sigourney.
He returned to the Naval Academy in May, 1946 for a tour of duty in the executive department, and while there, he made two midshipmen's cruises. The next year he spent at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. as an exchange officer from the Naval Academy, assigned to the tactical department.
In July, 1950, he assumed command of USS Arnold J. Isbell (DD-869), a unit of the Pacific Fleet which was deployed in the Far East for eight months. He was awarded a gold star in lieu of the third Bronze Star Medal for duties on Arnold J. Isbell. The citation states in part that on June 14, 1951, his ship went to the rescue of USS Thompson, which was under heavy fire from enemy shore batteries and had been his several times, and with 56 rounds, silenced the enemy batteries and prevented Thompson from suffering further damage.
In November, 1951, he reported as group operations officer for the Fleet Training Gruop, San Diego. He remained there until June, 1953, and during the year to follow, he was a student at the Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
From July, 1954 to March, 1955, he was attached to the office of Chief of Naval Operations, assigned as assistant director, Intelligence Production, under the deputy director for security. He then served four years on the staff (Strategic Navy Plans) of the commander-in-chief, Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.
In October, 1958, he assumed command of USS Renville (APA-227).
His next tour of duty was commanding officer of Fleet Operational Training Unit, Pacific at Coronado, Calif. In November, 1960, he became commander, Amphibious Squadron Three and in February, 1962, he reported as chief of staff and aide to the commander, Naval Base, Los Angeles.
He assumed command of NTC in September, 1964 and retired on July 1, 1967.
In addition to the Silver Star Medal and Bronze Star Medal with two Gold Stars, Capt. Hale was awarded the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with eight operation stars; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the Navy Occupational Service Medal, Asia Clasp; the National Defense Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars.
Capt. Hale resides in La Mesa, Calif.
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