Ralph Hall, oldest member of U.S. House, WWII Navy pilot dies at 95

Kaylah Jackson
March 07, 2019 - 3:18 pm
Texas Rep. Ralph Hall

(Photos courtesy of U.S. Navy and U.S. Congress)

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The last WWII veteran to serve in Congress, Rep. Ralph Moody Hall (R-TX) has died at the age of 95.

Ed Valentine, Hall's strategist, announced he died Thursday morning in his home. While Hall officially became the oldest member of the U.S. House in 2012, his public service began many years prior in the U.S military.

Hall joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and during his service flew the F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair aircraft.

In 2003, Hall conducted an interview with the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project and discussed his experience as a pilot during WWII.

"I always wanted to stay until I got to be a commander," said Hall in the interview " I wanted to fly big engines because I wanted to have something to do when the war was over, fly private airlines. I asked for big engines, they gave me fighters. All the guys that asked for fighters got big engineers."

Hall didn't end up at an airline but in school. He later he attended Southern Methodist University, was admitted to the Texas bar and maintained a private law practice in Rockwall, Texas. Hall was elected to Congress in 1980 as a Democrat and later switched to the Republican party in 2004 and received support from former President George W. Bush.

Hall was one of the last two WWII veterans to serve in Congress. Democratic Rep. John Dingell Jr., finished his term along with Hall when the 113th Congress adjourned. Dingell Jr. served in the U.S. Army during World War II and went on to sit in the House for 59 years. He died in February of this year at age 92.

Related: Army veteran and former Rep. Dingell, US's longest-serving lawmaker dies

The 114th Congress marks the first time since 1944 without any WWII-era veterans representing either the House or Senate.

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