The following February 25, 1943, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Millard "Sparky" Hall wrote his parents that he is in New York.
This January 13, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, columns 2-3:
The Halls' other son, Pvt. Millard, writes that he is preparing to go overseas but the destination is as yet unknown.
The following article was found in the February 4, 1943, Lowell Tribune on page 2, column 2:
A farwell party was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sayers in honor of the three Shelby boys, Millard "Sparky" Hall, Floyd Hammersley, and George Stowell, who are leaving for the service today (Thursday). The evening was spent playing cards and games. Those present were Wayne Misner, Betty Clemens, Clifford Marsh, Christine Stinnett, Ruth Stinnett, Forrest Butler, Barbara Clemens, Charalette Clemens, Clyde Iliff, Leslie Latta, Willie Carlson, Robert Estil, Maxine Cox. Laura Ann Smith, Vernie Hammersley, Leathe Hammersley, Lewis Stowell, Janie Rose, Lois Mingear, Johnny Estil, Edith Mingear, Jim Corten, Dolores Cross, Darline Cox, Leona Ellis, Lois Studer, Fred Stowell, Lou Eva Warner. Refreshments were served by Flick Sayers and his sister, Lou Eva Warner.
A February 18, 1943, Lowell Tribune article (page 1, column 3) listed Millard F. Hall of Shelby among the 55 south Lake County men reporting to Fort Benjamin Harrison after passing an army examination and spending a week's leave at home.
A March 4, 1943, Lowell Tribune article (page 2, column 2) said that M.F. Hall had been transferred from Fort Benjamin Harrison to Ft. Hamilton, N.Y., for basic training.
This March 25, 1943, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 3:
Pvt. Millard "Sparky" Hall would like to hear from his friends. He has been transferred and is now stationed at Fort Hamilton, N.Y. His address can be obtained at this office.
The following April 8, 1943, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, column 1:
Hall Bros. Home Over Week-End
Because of the illness of their grandfather, Wm. Threadgull, of Shelby, Pfc. Claude Hill, stationed at a camp in Louisiana., and Pvt. Millard Hall, Ft. Hamilton, N.Y., spent the week-end in Shelby on a short furlough.
This February 3, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 2:
Mr. and Mrs. Millard Hall received word that their son, Pvt. Millard Hall had reached his destination "somewhere in England." He said he was getting along fine except for a slight cold. He also said, "We get plenty of good eats and have good quarters. The weather is damp and foggy. The only thing I don't like is getting up at six o'clock, which is just midnight back there." He sent greetings to all his friends and wishes to hear from them all.
The following article was found in the May 18, 1944, Lowell Tribune on page 3, column 1:
Robert Surprise, S 2/c, sound man aboard a destroyer escort vessel, writes his parents, the Kenneth Surprises, Lake Dalecarlia, that he has been in port overseas (Ireland) for several weeks. Among names registered at a nearby USO center which he recently visited were Millard Hall of Shelby, and Archie Buckley of Lowell, both of whom are no doubt stationed somewhere in this vicinity.
Millard "Sparky" Hall, stationed in England, wrote his parents the following letter, which appeared in the July 6, 1944, Lowell Tribune on page 2, column 2:
Dearest Mom and All:
Hope this finds you all well. I am just fine and have been very busy. It's pretty nice out today except for a little breeze that is quite chilly. It is now 11:30 a.m. and we go to chow in 15 minutes. I slept through breakfast, so I'm plenty hungry.
I believe I told you I am now a typist. I still weigh in the neighborhood of 185 pounds.
The little poem Maxine sent me sort of brought tears to my eyes and a big lump came to my throat. I miss all of you, but I keep busy enough not to let it bother me too much. Just have to look on the brighter side of things. I sure miss Gabby a lot -- it has been over a year since I last saw him. When I get sort of down in the dumps, I just say to myself that everything will soon be straightened out and then how happy everyone will be. Did I tell you I got a real short haircut and shaved off my mustache (?).
It is now 10 p.m. here and it is still light enough to play ball. It is 3 p.m. at home and 11 p.m. where Gabby is.
I am fine and safe, so don't worry about me. Keep well, Mom, and I'll be seeing you sometime.
The following August 24, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, column 1:
Pvt. Millard Hall Writes
The following letter was received this week from Pvt. Millard (Sparky) Hall, who is stationed somewhere in the European area:
Have a slight change in address and I wish to inform you of it for the purpose of sending my paper. My APO is now 206 instead 552.
I enjoy the paper very much, and look for it in every mail call. It has been arriving regularly.
I'm in the best of health and just waiting for the day when we can all go home and to my estimation, that day isn't very far away.
Best regards to everyone,
The following letter was printed in the Sept. 7, 1944 Lowell Tribune on page 2, columns 2-3:
Pvt. Millard Hall writes from England:
Dearest Mom and Dad:
Was glad to receive a letter from you today and the second box of stationery. Thanks a million. Please buy the best fountain pen you can and send it to me as I sure need one.
Suppose Chub is in Texas by now -- this traveling around is good experience for him. I just wish all of us were traveling in the States and not overseas.
The news is sure good lately, and it shouldn't be too long now before the war is over. Won't there be a lot of happy people then?
Say, Max said something in her last letter about a watermelon. What is that? Something to eat? Ha!
I am enclosing a small set of ribbons I have now. The red and white one is for the good conduct medal and the other one is for the European theater of operations. I'm sending one to Max and one to Myrtle. They are to wear in your lapel. I have a set of big ones for my uniform but I never wear them only when I have my picture taken. I have also earned a gold stripe for being overseas six months. It is worn on the left sleeve on top of the wrist.
See in the paper where they want to give every boy a year of military training when they become 18, after the war. I think it would be a good idea. Just let me out though! I've had enough training -- and it did me a lot of good, too.
We had a couple of days here about 80 degrees, but it is cool and rainy most of the time. I asked a fellow the other day when they had their summer and he said that summer was just a few days ago and that it was now autumn. Some country.
I have a bunch of coins and souvenirs, but I'm just going to wait and bring them home with me when I come.
Still haven't seen any of the boys I know from home. I did meet a kid from Horace Mann school in Gary that I played ball with.
Hope you are all well. Keep cheerful and don't worry about me as I am feeling fine. I work plenty and am getting fatter every day. Weigh 180 pounds now.
Keep writing me often as mail means a lot. I'll write again soon.
Lots of love,
The following December 28, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2 columns 1-2:
Writes from Belgium
"Somewhere in Belgium"
The Millard Halls of Shelby received the following letter from their son, Pvt. Millard Hall, Jr., who has been stationed in Belgium the past several weeks:
Dear Mom and Dad:
I have a little time to write and I know you are anxious to hear form me. I am O.K. Just take care of yourselves and keep up your spirits and I'm sure things will turn out fine. This war can't last very much longer and when it is all over we can live again like we used to. No worries or sorrow -- and we can all be together.
We have a very nice home here -- just like a dormitory in college. It's warm, clean and very comfortable. The chow isn't too good right now, but when we get settled we will get good eats again.
I would write air mail letters, but they told us that air mail from here went the same as regular mail, so there is no use wasting stamps. I am still with all my buddies and we are just one big family. We have been together two years now and are just like brothers. This country sure surprised me -- it reminds me of the states in lots of ways. People are very clean and dress as well as Americans. I was sure glad to get out of England. I get a big kick out of the farmers and their wooden shoes. On the way here we gave them some rations and they gave us apples and cider in exchange, Think we are the first Yanks in this part of Belgium because they ask us if we are Americans. Most of the people speak a little English so we can at least talk a little with them. They have ice cream, American movies and music. I really like this place and hope I never see England again as long as I am in the army. You can tell Fred Minninger that I am in Belgium and also give The Tribune my new APO number.
I know you worry about me and like to hear from me, but this is really war and we must sacrifice many things. Every bit of work counts now as we are really playing for keeps. We are determined to make this end soon. I'd like to write every day but it is impossible. I am so tired after work I sleep like a baby.
I met a very nice Belgian girl who invited me to her home for supper. Her folks are also nice. Their son goes to the army tomorrow and he told me I would have to take his place in the family while I am here. They are the most friendly people I have ever met. They do my washing and laundry and sewing. There is no soap in Belgium, so if you can, please send me some.
We have a nice mess setup now. We eat off plates now instead of our mess kits, and we live in a 7-story building, ten men to a room. The only things we lack are heat and hot water. We now use Belgian money. One franc is equivalent to 2¼ cents in our money. I will send you some as soon as possible.
P.S. We are still eating canned food and does it ever get tiresome and unappetizing. I am taking a Belgian girl to the movies this afternoon. Maybe I should bring a little Dutch girl home with me. Ha! Ha!
A May 24, 1945, Lowell Tribune article on page 2, column 1, mentions how Millard "Sparkey" Hall accidently met Seth McLellan in Paris.
This May 31, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, columns 1-3:
The Millard Halls of Shelby recently received letters from their sons Staff Sgt. Claude, Pfc. Millard and A.S. James W.
Pfc. Millard F. Hall writes from Antwerp, Belgium:
I have been getting your letters very regularly but have been working such long hours and traveling around so much I haven't been able to answer any letters for some time. I am ashamed of myself, but you know how it is when you're in the army. I have made a couple of trips through southern Belgium and expect to make one into Germany in a few days.
Our company had a big party last night and we certainly had a real time. First party we've had since we left the States.
I suppose the people at home went slightly crazy with the good news. It seems just like any other news to us. All the good news came almost at once. First they kill Mussolini, then the Germans surrender unconditionally in Italy, Berlin fell, the Russians and Americans link up, Hitler dies, and now the Germans in the north have surrendered. I think it will all be over in another week. Wonder what we'll do then--stay here, go home, or go to the Pacific. I'd rather stay here than go to the Pacific.
I have been awarded a battle star and the Meritorious plaque, but they can keep all the medals and decorations--just give me the good old U.S.A. Bet old Gabby is happy that the war is finished in Italy.
Will write more when I have more time.
This July 26, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Writing the Tribune, Millard "Sparky" Hall, son of the Millard Halls, Shelby, who is stationed with U.S. forces in Belgium, says:
Thought I'd write a few lines to let all my friends know I haven't forgotton them. At the present moment I am in the large port of Antwerp, sweating out a boat ride. Do not know which way we will set sail, but I sure would like to get home for even a few days before going to the Pacific. It has been two years since I saw all my friends and the old home town. I imagine things have changed considerably back there.
Our outfit has been awarded the Meritorious Service Plaque for out part in the invasion of Normandy.
After two years I finally met someone I knew. On VE day I took a load of cargo to Paris and stayed five days. There is a big Red Cross club in Paris called Rainbow Corner where thousands of G.I's pass every day, so I thought I'd hang around and see if I could spot anyone I knew. I hadn't been there more than five minutes until I saw Seth McLellan. Both of us were so surprised we didn't even speak for a minute or so. Certainly is wonderful to meet someone you know. We enjoyed talking over old times but Seth had to catch a train in an hour--and that hour was the most interesting one of my army life so far.
Our company has a pretty good baseball team and so far we have won 15 and lost one. We were beaten 4-3 last Sunday by the 48th general hospital from Paris in ten innings. Tomorrow we go to Germany to play at Munchen-Gladbach. Really enjoy traveling around the country. I've been in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Germany so far, and now I'm trying to get a furlough to go to Italy to see my brother. I also intend to visit Switzerland, Austria, and Albania with a couple of my buddies who have relatives in those countries.
Of all the countries I've been in, none of them can ever compare to the good old U.S.A.
It is quite warm here--nice swim-
[NOTE -- The article was broken off at this point and unfinished in the newspaper.]
This September 20, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, columns 3-4:
Mrs. Maxine Boteler received the following letter from her brother, Pfc. Millard Hall, who is stationed in Antwerp, Belgium:
Well, I just got back from my little trip and what a trip it was! I took a truck load of cargo to Austria. Altogether, I was in eight countries: Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. I really saw lots of beautiful country but I believe the most scenic was Austria.
It looks like I won't have to go to the Pacific now. I am sitting by the radio now waiting for the Japs to accept the surrender terms. Won't it be wonderful to know that the world is at peace again and no more boys will be dying or be blown to pieces? Hope it is over before Chub gets into it and Gabby, too, if he's going over there. If it's over within the next day or so, I think all of us will be home in a year.
I was glad to hear you received the big box. I sent another one after that. You see, I keep saving all the things I can get hold of until I have enough for a box full, then I send it. I have two revolvers but can't send them through the mail, so I'll have to carry them home when I come. One is a Russian 32 and the other a French Colt 38. I carry them with me when I go out with the truck. The last trip I took I used two trucks to make the trip. Broke a drive shaft in the mountains in Austria and the Ordnance department was too busy to fix it, so they gave me a new truck.
Of course the people here wear those wooden shoes, but only to work in. Some people, though, are so poor they can't buy real shoes, they must wear them. It was really pitiful last winter when it was so cold and snowy, seeing them wear wooden shoes. One of the fellows that works for my section made and designed those shoes I sent to Mom. I'm having him make you a pair also.
I have been in the town in Austria where Hitler was born--it is just across the river from Simbach, Germany, and what a beautiful spot it is. I took a few pictures on my trip, but because it rained most of the time I didn't take as many as I wanted to.
This letter is for my dear Mom too. She looks so nice in that picture with Chub and Dad. Whenever I look at the picture I can just imagine how wonderful it is going to be to walk into the house and hug her to death.
This Lowell Tribune article was found in the January 3, 1946, issue (page 2, column2):
Just a short note to let you know I'm coming home soon. It's really tough sweating out these last days knowing that you are soon to see the "Promised Land."
I met one of my old high school buddies here a few days ago. It happened to be Warren Metz. He and I have lived in the same building for over a month and just met at dinner the other day. We had plenty to talk about and still have not covered everything.
I have been transferred to the 51st Port and expect to set sail around the 20th of Dec. That will put me right in the middle of the Atlantic for Xmas, but that won't be as bad as spending it in an air-raid shelter like I did last year. I should be home near New Years Day, so until then I send my heartiest greetings for the holidays to all my friends.
This article was from The Lowell Tribune, Feb. 7, 1946, page 2, column 1:
Millard (Sparky) Hall is home, discharged after spending 25 months in England and Belgium.
These September 5, 1946, Lowell Tribune articles were found on page 7, column 5. Note that the bride's maiden name in other articles was spelled as "Ruark.":
RUACK - HALL NUPTIALS
On Saturday, August 31st, Doris Ruack, of Momence, Ill., and Millard F. Hall, Jr., of Shelby were united in marriage by Rev. E.L. Worley at the Shelby Church of Christ. The bride wore an aqua street length dress and had army russet accessories. Dick Barton served as best man and his wife, Loretta, was bridesmaid.
Millard, known as "Sparky" was graduated from Lowell high school in 1942. He served 3 years in the U.S. Army and saw action in Belgium. The bride is a graduate of Momence high school in the class of 1946.
The young couple are at home to their friends now at their cottage at Ahlgrim Park, after a short honeymoon.
* * * * *
A wedding party was given in honor of "Sparky" and Doris Hall at Dick and Loretta Barton's Saturday night, Aug. 31st. All of Sparky's young friends in Shelby brought the couple a beautiful wine colored platform rocker and presented it to them with 27 one dollar bills pinned on it. A grand time was had by all.
They departed at a late hour wishing "Sparky" and Doris lots of happiness in the future.
This article was from The Lowell Tribune, Sept. 21, 1950, page 3, column 2:
Another of the boys from the Shelby community who will leave for service in the armed forces is Sparky Hall. Sparky, a member of the army reserves, will leave on September 28.
from The Lowell Tribune, Sept. 28, 1950, page 10, column 4:
A party was held Saturday night at the pavillion in Ahlgrim's Park, honoring several of the local boys who are leaving for service with the armed forces. The guests were Sparky Hall, Dick Uhter, Ben Clemens, and Jim Guettner. Approximately 100 guests were present to bid the boys good bye, and following the dancing enjoyed by everyone, refreshments were served. Each of the honored guests received a parting gift.
from The Lowell Tribune, Oct. 12, 1950, page 9, column 1:
Sparky Hall, who re-entered the service last month, is now stationed at Fort Wood, Texas. He will undergo a three weeks training period there, after which time he will be subject to overseas duty.
from The Lowell Tribune, Dec. 7, 1950, page 4, column 2:
Guests Sunday in the home of Mrs. Sparky Hall and son were Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Bisping and family. . . .
Word has been received that Sparky Hall has been stationed for duty in Yokahama, Japan.
from The Lowell Tribune, Dec. 28, 1950. page 11, column 2:
. . . "Sparky" Hall of Shelby spent Christmas in Korea. . . .
The following May 24, 1951, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, column 2:
The daughter born Monday to Cpl. and Mrs. M.F. Hall has been named Beck Jo. "Sparky," as the father is known to his many friends, has been serving with the armed forces in Korea since November.
A correction on page 3, column 3, of the June 7, 1951, Lowell Tribune:
Due to an error, it was stated in a recent Shelby column that the baby girl born to Mr. and Mrs. Millard (Sparky) Hall had been named "Beck Jo." The infant has been named "Becky Jo."
from The Lowell Tribune, July 5, 1951, page 2, column 2:
Cpl. "Sparky" Hall and Pvt. Don Ekern of Shelby, spent a day together in Pusan, Korea, recently. The boys enjoyed talking over all the good times spent together when they were home and especially when they were both playing ball together. Cpl. Hall expects to be home sometime in August.
This July 26, 1951, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, column 2:
Word has been received by Mrs. Millard Hall, Jr., that her husband, who is known to his many friends as "Sparky," is enroute home from active duty in Korea. Having left Korea on July 19, Sparky expects to be home in Shelby, sometime near August 15. After serving in World War II, he was called, as an active reserve, last September, and was sent to Korea shortly after that.
This August 9, 1951, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, columns 1-2:
Friends will be glad to learn that Millard Hall, Jr., known to his many friends in this area as "Sparkey," arrived in Seattle Tuesday of this week, following many months of active duty in Korea. He expects to be home in Shelby soon.
This August 16, 1951, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 1, column 2:
Prayers of the Millard Halls, who reside in Shelby, were fulfilled last night (Wednesday) by the return home of their son, Millard (Sparky), who having served with the army transportation corps in the Korean battle area since leaving the states last Thanksgiving, was replaced with a fresh recruit. Baseball fans of the community will welcome Sparky's resumption of his position as pitcher with the Shelby ball team.
The following was fouind on page 4, column 1 in the same edition of the paper:
Word has been received that Millard (Sparky) Hall, Jr., is expected home this week, thus completing the trip he began when he left Korea on July 19. Sparky has been on active duty since last September when he left the states.