Meda Royce Hall, 90, of Brunswick, GA passed away peacefully Wednesday, the 18th of June 2014 at the Southeast Georgia Health System with family members by his side. A memorial service with military honors will be held 11: 30 AM with family receiving friends from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, Monday, the 23rd of June 2014 at Pine Ridge Baptist Church with Rev. Michael Gibbs officiating the service. Reception immediately following ceremony in the church social hall.
Mr. Hall was born in Emanuel County, Georgia on November 29th, 1923 to the late Ulysses Rathford and Mary Almeda Youngblood Hall. He graduated from high school, June 16, 1940 in Yemassee, SC, and then worked and boarded away from home until his 17th birthday.
Mr. Hall enlisted in the United States Navy in November, 1940 and attended Recruit Training and Aviation Ordnance School in Norfolk, VA from January to June, 1941. He served as a Ground School Gunnery Instructor at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL from June, 1941 until April, 1942. He then began flying as a Norden Bomb Sight Instructor until May, 1943. At that time Mr. Hall became a Leading Aircrewman and Torpedo Plane Turret Gunner in the First Composite Squadron VC-68 until November 29, 1944. He advanced to Aviation Chief Ordnanceman on his 21st birthday, November 29, 1944.
Mr. Hall served in numerous significant battles including: WWII, Mariannas Campaign, Philippine Invasion and the Battle for Leyte Gulf. His last duty station was the Naval Air Station in Oceana, VA in 1946, CASU 25 (Fleet Service Squadron 5). Mr. Hall separated from Naval Service on January 21, 1947 and subsequently enlisted in the US Naval Reserve from July 20. 1950 until July 20, 1954. He was not called to Active Duty during that time.
Royce received numerous military and war related awards including: three Distinguished Flying Crosses, thirteen Air Medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon with one Bronze Star, Navy Good Conduct Medal with one Bronze Star, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars, the WWII Victory Medal, the CV-10, National Museum for Carrier Aviation, Charleston, SC, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, the Combat Aircrewmen's Wings with three Bronze Stars, and an Honorable Service Lapel Button. In 1998, Mr. Hall was inducted to the Enlisted Combat Aircrewmen's Roll of Honor, on board the USS Yorktown and then in 2006 he was inducted to the Aviation Ordnancemen's Hall of Fame in Reno, NV. He was a Life Member of VFW Post #4092, St. Simons Island, GA, a Member of the Navy League of US, Golden Isles Council, and Associate Member of the Military Officers Association of America, Brunswick, GA. He served on the Board of Governors of the Escort Carrier & Airmen's Association from 2001-2006. This association was founded in 1991 to perpetuate the role of Escort Carriers during WWII. On Memorial Day, 2005, he was awarded the American Patriot Award. He collaborated with James D. Hornfischer, author of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Soldiers", a book published in 2004 about the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which was fought on October 25, 1944. He was cited by the author as a Torpedo Plane Gunner in that historic battle. In addition Mr. Hall was a Life Member of the following organizations: Distinguished Flying Cross Society, Escort Carrier Sailors and Airmen Association, VC 68 Squadron Association, USS Fanshaw Bay Association, VC 10 Squadron Association and the USS Gambier Bay Association.
Following his military career in 1947, Mr. Hall became an Apprentice Carpenter, then Foreman, Superintendent, and finally Construction Estimator. He was the President of the Carpenters' Union in 1950. In October 1954, he founded and was CEO of Royce Hall Construction Inc. in Napa Valley, CA. He remained in this position until 1994. He held other prestigious positions in the community including: Founder and President Emeritus, Solano/Napa Counties Builders Exchange, 1960's, Chairman of Napa County Contractors Appeals Board, 1960's, Member of Associated General Contractors of America, Member of the Chamber of Commerce, Napa , CA, Chairman of the Mediation Board Napa/Solano Counties, CA, Citizen of the Year Award, Napa County, 1962. He was the Past President of Brunswick Kiwanis Club and received the Hixon Award, as well as many citations for Service to the Youth of Glynn County. In 2004 he was awarded the Emory Dawson Humanitarian Award. Mr. Hall was a Life Member of the Elk's Lodge, Scout Master and Scout Councilman, Napa, CA, served on the Board of Directors' for the Boys and Girls Club of Brunswick, GA, was Chairman of the Church Board of Trustees, Napa, CA, School Board Member, Napa, CA and USGA Member, Plank Holder, Silverado Country Club, Napa, CA.
As a second career, Mr. Hall taught and trained Volunteers on the required skills needed to build religious and other Youth Community Projects in CA, including: Three Field Little League Baseball Complex which, was named for him (The Royce Hall Complex at Garfield Park) in Napa CA, Model Railroad Building, Catholic High School Football Stadium and Accessory Buildings, Kiwanis Club Soft Ball Field and Stadium, Three Boy's and Girl's Scout Buildings, two Church Fellowship Halls, Kitchen, Trailer Park, 24 Cabins for Church Group, Reconstruction of WWII AVR for Sea Scout group, Alteration and Renovation of Boy's and Girl's Club of Brunswick, GA and Construction of Portable Office and 20 Tree racks for Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot in Brunswick, GA
Mr. Hall is survived by his wife of 20 years, Faye Box Hall, his daughter, Bonnie Royce Hall, step-daughters, Rita Thompson and Joy Williams, step-son, Van Box, 13 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Phyllis Marie Thomas and his son, Royce Ladd Hall.
Mr. Hall was an avid golfer. He played up until the age of 89. He had a local group of golf buddies who were a very important part of his life. Mr. Hall known by his Georgia family as 'Pops' had a kind and generous spirit. He was loved by all who knew him. Pops left a legacy of how to live each day to the fullest and how important it was to love each other forever. God truly welcomed home one of his saints.
Family request memorial contributions to be made to the Ferst Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Georgia, Terrill Thomas Unit, 3836 Johnston Street, Brunswick, GA 31520 912 265-1455.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home and Oglethorpe Crematorium. www.edomillerandsons.com