Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
  • Location of Service: European Theater
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant

View full service history

"No doubt you will be surprised to receive a letter from me and I hardly know where to start…" (Letter from Homer Hall to 1st Sgt. E Van Enywk, 4/22/1945)

A member of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, Staff Sergeant Homer Hall parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day, missing his drop zone by several miles. After nearly a week spent dodging Germans, he was captured on June 13th. Interned in Stalag Luft IV, he cobbled together a diary from cigarette labels, and bound it together with a strip of tin from a container of cheese that was sent to the camp by the Red Cross. In this diary, he recorded the names of his fellow prisoners, small vignettes about his buddies, poems, and vocabulary lessons in Spanish—all of which hint at the boredom of life in a POW camp, and the bonds between fellow internees. After nearly eleven months of captivity, and almost two months of forced marching through the countryside, he and two other prisoners successfully escaped from German control in late April 1945.

[ Photo Album ]

More Resources

[ Letter from the Selective Service Board [8/13/1942] ]
[ Letter from Lt. F. E. Pabian [7/1/1942] ]
[ Postcard from the Selective Service Administration [5/13/1941] ]
[ Postcard from the Selective Service Administration [5/20/1941] ]
[ Postcard from the Selective Service Administration [1/27/1942] ]
[ Postcard from the Selective Service Administration [9/17/1942] ]

Show more resources (66)

[ List of members of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Platoon of the 508th Parachute Infantry regiment ]
[ "Christmas Greetings", map of the "Trois Points" and Wallone region of Belgium [12/24/1944] ]
[ List of names and addresses for men and their next of kin; Company A 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment ]
[ Prisoner of War Claim form [1/16/1950] ]
[ Typed copy of Homer Hall's responses to a POW claim form ]
[ Troop assignment card ]
[ 2 blank meal tickets ]
[ Pamphlett warning soldiers about venereal disease ]
[ War Department memo Re: "Publicity in connection with …POWs" ]
[ Typewritten account of Homer Hall's capture in Normandy and liberation from POW camp ]
[ United States Army Meal Ticket ]
[ Letter from the United States Department of Labor, Charles Corsaut, Manager, Employment Service ]
[ Honorable Discharge ]
[ Separation Qualification Record ]
[ Letter concerning veteran's qualification for the Combat Infantry Badge ]
[ Letter from Adjutant General [10/25/1945] ]
[ Memo, "Homeward Bound" ]
[ Memo from the Parachute School Headquarters, Fort Benning, GA [8/4/1945] ]
[ Letter of appreciation from Major General Edward F. Witsell [n.d.] ]
[ Letter from Clarence A. Clawson, Assistant Adjutant, to Enlisted Reservists [11/12/1948] ]
[ Letter from Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt [11/1976] ]
[ Letter from Frank W. Barton, Director, the War Claims Commission [2/13/1951] ]
[ Letter from War Claims Commission [7/10/1953] ]
[ Letter from Otto M. Michael, Acting Chief, Administrative Division, Veteran's Administration ]
[ Letter from G. W. Groves, Service Officer, VFW, to the Veteran's Administration on behalf of Homer Hall [8/26/1949] ]
[ Prisoner of War Claim [1/16/1950] ]
[ Prisoner of War claim, possibly by someone other than Homer Hall ]
[ Former P.O.W. Medical History [redacted] ]
[ Untitled memoir, "A grand day for an Airborne invasion" ]
[ Miscellaneous stories about Homer Hall's captivity, as told by his wife Aileen Hall ]
[ V-Mail to Mrs. Aileen Haines from Homer Hall [n.d.] ]
[ Letter from Homer Hall to a friend, James [1/25/1978] ]
[ Portion of letter to unknown recipient [n.d.] ]
[ Letter to "Zig" [n.d.] ]
[ Letter to Jim Blue [8/22/1996] ]
[ Letter to Opal [6/10/1994] ]
[ Letter to Mr. Jacque Adnet thanking him for the translation of an article from French to English [2/12/1985] ]
[ Letter written on POW Air Mail stationary, from Mrs. Rosa Hall to Homer Hall [10/15/1944] ]
[ Letter on American Red Cross stationary from Homer Hall to 1st Sgt. E. Van Enywk [4/22/1945] ]
[ A note to Homer Hall's friend, Herk [n.d.] ]
[ Letter from G. W. Groves, Service Officer for the Wichita, Kansas chapter of the VFW [5/3/1949] ]
[ Letter from Michael Vanuga to Homer Hall [1/28/1993] ]
[ Letter from Earl Gibson to Jim Blue [1/15/1979] ]
[ Letter from Max Cleland "to our nation's veterans" [n.d.] ]
[ Letter from D. Zane Schlemmer to Jim Blue [11/13/1977] ]
[ Letter from Jan Bos to Jim Blue [4/24/1983] ]
[ Memoir: "The 3rd Platoon" ]
[ Letter from James M. Gavin to M/Sgt. James R. Blue [3/12/1963] ]
[ Letter from "John" to James "Jim" Blue [1/31/1963] ]
[ Letter from Dr. John Brickley to Sgt. James Blue [12/6/1962] ]
[ Diary pages from veteran's time in a POW camp ]
[ Original handwritten pages from the diary of Homer Hall ]
[ Transcription of Homer Hall's journal detailing the escape of himself and his companions from a German POW forced march [4/8/1945 - 5/14/1945] ]
[ Map of Germany depicting locations of POW camps in 1945 ]
[ Biographical information for Homer E. Hall ]
[ Handwritten translation [by Jacques Adnet] of an article by Albert Pipet, from French to English, "Parachutes Over St.-Mere-Eglise" ]
[ Three pages from a notebook, with men's names and serial numbers ]
[ Newsclippings about Home Hall's capture and detention by the Germans ]
[ Visitors guide to Brussels, Belgium, including information on places to stay and "do's and don'ts" ]
[ Copy of Public Law 94-433, increasing the rates of disability compensation for disabled veterans ]
[ Handwritten notes on Kansas State Firemen's Association letterhead [n.d.] ]
[ Pamphlett advertising a Memorial Eucharist for Homer Hall [3/13/2003] ]
[ Certificate in honor of the passing of Homer Hall, from President George W. Bush ]
[ Certificate in memory of Homer Hall from his comrades in A Co. of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment ]
[ 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association Songbook ]
[ 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment 50th Anniversary Speech by Hank LeFebvre [10/24/1992]] ]

About this Item

Title

  • Homer Eslie Hall Collection

Names

  • Hall, Homer Eslie
  • Kinion, Fern

State of Birth

  • KS

Headings

  • -  Hall, Homer Eslie
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.
  • -  Prisoner of War -- United States

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Unit of Service: 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
    • Location of Service: European Theater
    • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
    • Dates of Service: 1942-1945
    • Prisoner of War: Yes
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Mixed (Multiple types of manuscripts) [ item] -- Typewritten document (collected 1941 - [1946])
  • Manuscript: Diaries and journals [2 items] -- Handwritten document (collected [1944 - 1945])

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/74621

Cite as

  • Homer Eslie Hall Collection (AFC/2001/001/74621), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Hall, Homer Eslie, and Fern Kinion. Homer Eslie Hall Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.74621/.

APA citation style:

Hall, H. E. & Kinion, F. (1942) Homer Eslie Hall Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.74621/.

MLA citation style:

Hall, Homer Eslie, and Fern Kinion. Homer Eslie Hall Collection. 1942. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.74621/>.