IAGenWeb.org Iowa in the Great War


James Norman Hall


Soldier- Fighter Pilot Ace - Author


       James Norman Hall was born 22 April 1887, Colfax, Jasper co., Iowa, the second of the five children born to Arthur Wright Hall and Ella Annette (Young) Hall.  He was educated in the common schools of Colfax after which he attended Grinnell College where he graduated in 1910 and became a social worker in Boston, Massachusetts while trying to establish himself as a writer and studying for a Master's degree from Harvard University.

      There seems to be numerous versions of how James Norman Hall became a soldier in the British Army.

      Hall was on vacation in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1914, when World War I began. Posing as a Canadian, he enlisted in the British Army, serving in the Royal Fusiliers as a machine gunner during the Battle of Loos.  He was discharged after his true nationality was discovered, and he returned to the United States and wrote his first book, Kitchener's Mob (1916), recounting his wartime experiences.













 James Norman Hall

     But regardless of how Hall became a soldier for Britain, at the out break of World War I, he joined the British Army. He served in the 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, taking part in the Battle of Loos.  His war memoirs Hall published in 1916 under the title *Kitchener's Mob: Adventures of an American in the British Army in 1915*  and *High Adventure*. Hall re-enlisted in 1916 as a member of the Lafayette Escadrille Flying Corps (American Volunteer Pilots in WWI), which was later incorporated into the United States Air Service. During these years he met Charles Nordhoff, a pilot serving in the same corps. In 1918 Hall was shot down behind the German lines and he

spent the last six months of the war in a prison camp.

      He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre with five palms and twice awarded the Medaille Militaire.

Distinguished Service Cross Croix de Guerre with five palms (1 palme d'argent equals = 5 palmes de bronze Medaille Militaire


For more on James Norman Hall visit the links below.

Off-site links

* on-line full text transcripts