With the passing of Gilbert Hall, Mathews has lost one of its great unsung heroes. Gilbert had a rare combination of wisdom, compassion and a welcoming demeanor that earned him widespread respect.
For many years Gilbert was my neighbor. Over early morning cups of tea in his house I extracted from him accounts of his experiences in the Pacific war with Japan. I discovered the extent of his heroism and the compassionate nature of this remarkable man.
FILE PHOTO Malcolm Henderson, left, learns to scull from Gilbert Hall, right, on a sunny day in 1997.
Having helmed menhaden boats on the Bay, he was called to the bridge as the USS destroyer Lawrence C. Taylor approached the Panama Canal and co-helmed her through the locks. From then on he was called to the bridge to help helm in crisis situations. When six of the seven U.S. sub-chasing destroyers sank in a typhoon with a huge loss of life in the shark-infested waters, only the Taylor survived. He descr...
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