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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project


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Frances H. Hall of Zebulon, North Carolina, served in communications in the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) from 1942 to 1954, and then had a long career as a law librarian, including service as the North Carolina Supreme Court Librarian from 1967 to 1979.


Frances Hunt Hall was born in Panama City, Panama, but was raised in Zebulon, North Carolina. She graduated from Wakelon High School in 1936 and then studied history at Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, UNCG), earning her degree in 1940. She then taught history in Albemarle and Penderlea, North Carolina, until joining the WAVES in October 1942.

Hall went to basic training at Smith College and was commissioned in January 1943. Her first assignment was in communications at the Naval District Headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina. In May 1945, she was transferred to the radio station of the 14th Naval District Headquarters in Hawaii. Her duty in both locations was coding and decoding messages.

After World War II, Hall went to the tape relay station at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. In July 1946, she was sent to the Naval Aviation Supply Depot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was in charge of the communications office. In June 1947, she was transferred to Washington, D.C., before being assigned to the 5th Naval District Communications Headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, a few months later. In January 1951, Hall moved to the Naval Ordnance Lab at White Oak, Maryland, and then to Long Beach, California, in July 1951, as assistant communications officer. Her last assignment was at the Naval Station in San Diego, California, where she was communications officer and acting executive officer. She was stationed there from the spring of 1953 until she left the navy as a lieutenant commander in January 1954.

Hall immediately entered graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and received first a master’s degree in history, then a master’s degree in library science, and finally a law degree. For four years she was the assistant librarian at the UNC Law Library, and then she worked at the University of Chicago Law Library for three years. She worked in a number of other libraries over the years, including Jackson Library at UNCG, the University of Virginia Law Library, the University of Illinois, and Southern Methodist University. Hall also taught at the UNC library school. Her last position was as the North Carolina Supreme Court Librarian, from which she retired after twelve years in August 1979. After retirement, she lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, until moving to Southern Pines, North Carolina, in 1997.

Frances H. Hall, circa 1945
Item # WV0071.6.001
From the Frances Hunt Hall Papers
Oral history interview with Frances Hunt Hall, 1999
Item # WV0071.5.001
From the Frances Hunt Hall Papers