Samuel Hale – Colonel, United States Air Force

 Samuel Hale Sr., 89, a retired Air Force colonel who later worked on national energy and technology matters, died August 5, 2007, of injuries from a fall outside his home in Bethesda, Maryland, where he had lived for more than 50 years.

He was born in Chicago and was a 1939 graduate of University of California at Los Angeles, where he lettered in varsity wrestling and ice hockey. He received an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950 and also graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Early in his military career, he was squadron commander for the 493rd Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force. He flew more than 30 missions and led more than 15. Shot down over Germany, he managed to get back over enemy lines before crashing in Belgium. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters.

In May 1945, he was one of the first U.S. military officers to liberate the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, an experience that stayed with him throughout his life. Family members said when he visited the camp in the early 1990s with them, he cried.

He was sent on an official mission to China in 1948, about 18 months before the Communist takeover there. From 1950 to 1954, Col. Hale was executive assistant to the secretary of the Air Force. He then headed a military advisory group in the Dominican Republic for four years. He held management positions at the Pentagon and at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio before retiring from the military in 1964.

Colonel Hale was manager of business practices for General Electric Co. in Washington from 1964 to 1972 and received a public-service award from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 1968.

He was an administrative assistant to Rep. Walter E. Powell (R-Ohio) from 1972 to 1975, followed by two years as executive assistant to Robert C. Seamans Jr., administrator of the Energy Research and Development Administration. After the agency was folded into Department of Energy, Col. Hale was executive assistant to the assistant secretary for energy technology until 1979. He was program manager of the Office of Technology Assessment until 1982.

Colonel Hale volunteered at Sibley Memorial Hospital for 17 years.

A Mason, he was a member of Temple Noyes Cathedral Lodge #32, Almas Shrine and the Royal Order of Jesters.

He was a golfer and longtime member of Congressional Country Club. A barbecue aficionado, Col. Hale was featured in The Washington Post and the Weber grill magazine for his grilling skills. For years at Christmastime, he smoked chickens for all his neighbors.

He also loved gardening.

Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Jane Bozung Hale of Bethesda; two children, Samuel “Sandy” Hale Jr. of Carmel, Calif., and Kathy Hale Bower of Bethesda; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/11/1917
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/05/2007

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