Air Force Capt. Ryan P. Hall, '04, killed while on deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom
Updated: 9:37 a.m., 5 March 2012
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, March 12, in Colorado Springs, Colo., home of Capt. Ryan Preston Hall, a 2004 Citadel graduate, who was among four Air Force officers killed Feb. 18 while in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Hall, 30, will be laid to rest at the U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetary following the funeral services in the academy's Protestant Chapel. Due to the current “force protection conditions,” visitors to the Air Force Academy must enter through the North Gate, which can be accessed from Exit 156B on Interstate 25, which is 14 miles north of downtown Colorado Springs. Visitors will need a photo ID. Use of handheld cell phones while driving on the base is prohibited and all vehicles will be searched at the gate before entry.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Hall's memory to Lutheran World Relief. Online donations and checks mailed in should be marked with Hall’s name in the subject or memo line. Memorials may also be made to USO Families of the Fallen, 116 Purple Heart Dr., Dover Air Force Base, Del., 19902, via check only. Hall's name should be written on the memo line.
Hall was a U-28A utility pilot on his seventh deployment overseas when the aircraft crashed near Camp Lemonnier in the East African nation of Djibouti. According to media reports and information from the Department of Defense and the U.S. Africa Command, the aircraft went down during a routine intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission for the war in Afghanistan at about 8 p.m. Saturday, local time.
Camp Lemonnier is the only U.S. military base in Africa. The base is home to the U.S. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, which has played a role in counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations.
Hall and the other three men killed were all U.S. Air Force personnel from the Hulburt Field military base in Florida. Hall had been assigned to the 319th SOS at Hurlburt Field since 2007 and had more than 1,300 combat flight hours.
Hall entered the Air Force in 2004 after receiving his commission and a history degree from The Citadel. As a cadet he was a squad leader and platoon sergeant and active with the Lutheran Campus Ministry. During his senior year, he was the Delta Company executive officer, the number two ranking cadet in the company. Hall also was a member of the 2004 Summerall Guards, but was most active in the Air Force ROTC unit, said his friend and Citadel roommate, David Barrett, Delta Company commander in 2004.
Barrett and Hall both contracted with the Air Force while at The Citadel. They were roommates all four years. Barrett said Hall received his pilot slot his junior year, but it was his training assignment with the MC-130 aircraft that got him really interested in special operations.
The MC-130 aircraft are operated by the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. The MC-130 plane was first used during the Vietnam Conflict to carry U.S. soldiers on secret missions behind enemy lines. Since then the aircraft have flown missions and conducted operations around the world, notably in the 1991 Gulf War and during a civil war in Sierra Leon, according to the web site about.com.
Barrett said Hall had been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan before his latest assignment in Africa.
“He was incrediblly outgoing, fun, sarcastic, liked to hang out, did not matter who with or where,” Barrett said. “He’s my best friend – there’s not one thing I will remember that I can narrow down to. I will remember a lot.”
A memorial service was held Fb. 28 in Florida at Hurlburt Field's Freedom Hangar.
Hall is the 16th alumnus of The Citadel and third member of the Class of 2004 to die in action associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. See Deployed Alumni.