Hall family offers rare 1944 flight chart for display

An aeronautical chart of Maryland from 1944 is displayed at a recent presentation by John Hall, left, and Calvin Peacock.

When John Hall’s father returned home from service as a pilot in World War II, he never talked about what transpired while overseas.

“He wasn’t mad about it,” recalled Hall, “he just didn’t talk about it.”

The senior Hall, however, kept a footlocker filled with memorabilia, and the container’s contents — including a leather bomber’s jacket — gave a hint that the father had done important work in Europe and across the Atlantic.

After Philip Graham Hall died, his family found even more items related to his service as a U.S. Army-Air Corps flier. One of those findings had a deep connection to the Salisbury of the World War II era.

The item was a large aeronautical chart of Maryland from 1944, complete with hand-drawn grids that could be used for pilots operating over Delmarva.

The chart has since been framed at a museum quality and is now on loan for viewing in the passengers business lounge at Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport.

“Finding charts that are 76 years old, today, is very rare,” said Calvin Peacock, who chairs the Wicomico County Airport Commission.

John Hall, a former Wicomico County Council member and longtime Salisbury businessman, is also a member of the Airport Commission and has spent decades working on behalf of the airport.

In fact, the airport lounge where his father’s chart now hangs, was named in John Hall’s honor in 2018.

The year of the charter — 1944 — was also a significant year in the county airport’s history. Back then the airport was jointly controlled by the city of Salisbury and the county. Because of its strategic location, the city and county leased the airport to the U.S. Navy in 1944 to help with the war effort.

Philip Graham Hall grew up in Baltimore and attended the University of Maryland at College Park. He enlisted as a Private in the U.S. Army on Dec. 8, 1941, the very day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and departed the College Park campus in his sophomore year.

Ultimately, he would serve in the 82nd Squadron/12th Bomb Group/8th Air Force, flying 50 missions over North Africa, Sicily and Italy.

He was awarded the Air Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters and a Purple Heart.

“We never called him a hero,” recalled John Hall. “We just called him a veteran because he was doing a job he was asked to do — and he was good at it.”

The chart can be viewed whenever the airport terminal is open. The lounge is located in the arrivals portion of the terminal.

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