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Al K. Hall, Jr. Collection

Identifier: H045-82

Scope and Content

This collection contains documents, photographs, scrapbooks, artifacts, and memorabilia from Al Hall, Jr.’s career as both a vaudeville star and a cargo/transport pilot from American Airlines. The Al K. Hall, Jr. Collection is housed in fifteen boxes of varying sizes totaling 9.5 linear ft.

The collection arrived in good condition and was arranged by the processing archivist with respect to the materials original order. The archivist identified six series within the collection.

The first series is the American Airlines Series, which consists of documents, correspondence, and other material generated by Al K. Hall, Jr. during his career with American Airlines. It includes orders, check reports, flight information, invitations to events, service awards, and some personal information about his life.

The second series is the Air Transport Command and Foreign Travel Series, which contains those documents related to Al Hall, Jr.’s service with the Air Transport Command in World War II. It houses operational documents, flight plans, information on foreign airfields, foreign currency, and items from specific locations visited by Al K. Hall, Jr. such as Guatemala and Alaska.

The third series is the Events and Organizations Series, which holds information about various organizations Al K. Hall, Jr. was a member of such as the Air Line Pilots Association, The Quiet Birdmen, and the OX-5 Club of America. There are also programs from a number of events attended by Al K. Hall, Jr. like the Powder Puff Derby, Reno Air Races, and the 1967 Indianapolis 500.

The fourth series is the Magazine and Newspaper Articles Series, which house magazines and articles about aviation, vaudeville, Broadway, Hollywood, auto racing, and other subjects of interest to Al Hall, Jr.

The fifth series is the Photographs, Object, Memorabilia Series, which includes photographs, scrapbooks, and other items related to Al K. Hall, Jr.’s life. Photographs feature his work with American Airlines, life on the vaudeville stage, his collection of classic sports cars, his friends, family, and acquaintances. Also present in the collection is a scrapbook from the party held upon his retirement from American Airlines in 1976 and a wedding scrapbook from his marriage to Arlene Hurlan in 1945.

The sixth series is the Oversize Material Series, which is composed of objects and memorabilia collected by Al K. Hall, Jr. including a large scrapbook covering his vaudeville/entertainment career, a clarinet, a pair of tap shoes, several canes used for comedy routines, a custom pool cue and a custom golf putter.


  • Creation: 1935 - 1981
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1945 - 1976


Language of Materials

Collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Biographical Sketch

Al K. Hall, Jr. was born on June 24, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York. His father was a vaudeville entertainer and from a young age, Hall joined him in his act. Hall also possessed an early interest in flying, and in 1933 set the altitude record for Junior Flyers, at the age of seventeen, flying a plane to an altitude of 16,800 feet. He split his time between flying and vaudeville, working in his father's act as well as playing a part in the chorus of Broadway Melody of 1938. He also worked in Hollywood with a role in an early cliffhanger film titled Tailspin Tommy, and being hired to drop roses onto the grave of Rudolph Valentino at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Stepping away from a vaudeville/Hollywood career, Hall joined the Contract Cargo Division of American Airlines as a pilot. When World War II broke out, Hall was assigned to the North Atlantic Division of the Air Transport Command. He flew cargo and support missions all over the world including to destinations in Alaska, Guatemala, England, and France. While employed with American Airlines, he met a young stewardess named Arleen Herlan, and the two were married in 1945.

After the war, Hall continued to fly for American Airlines, eventually becoming a training pilot, and retiring in 1976 as the manager of the American Airlines Training Center located at its Dallas/Fort Worth base. In his free time, Hall continued being involved in performing and entertaining, as well as collecting British sports cars (especially Jaguars, Triumphs, and MGs), as well as driving them on the armature road rally circuit. Al Hall Jr., passed away in 1980.


"Al K. Hall, Jr. Collection," Al Hall's Vaudeville Scrapbook, Folder 1, Box 11, Series VI, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
"Al K. Hall, Jr. Collection," Offical Government Correspondence and Documents, Folder 1, Box 1, Series I, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.


9.5 Linear Feet (Eight manuscript boxes, one record center box, one non-standard box (20x14x2), and five objects)


Al K. Hall, Jr. was a vaudeville entertainer, pilot for the Air Transport Command during World War II, and a long time pilot and instructor with American Airlines. This collection contains artifacts, pictures, documents, and scrapbooks chronicling his many varied careers.

Series Description

The Al K. Hall, Jr. Collection is arranged into six series:

Series I. American Airlines 0.5 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1944-1981.

Arranged topically.

Series II. Air Transport Command and Foreign Travel 0.25 linear ft. (half a manuscript box), 1946-1962.

Arranged topically.

Series III. Events and Organizations 0.25 linear ft. (half a manuscript box), 1952-1976.

Arranged topically.

Series IV. Magazine and Newspaper Articles 0.5 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1942-1976.

Arranged topically.

Series V. Photographs, Objects, Memorabilia 3.5 linear ft. (seven manuscript boxes), 1933-1980.

Arranged topically.

Series VI. Oversize Material 4.0 linear ft. (six non-standard boxes), 1929-1980.

Arranged topically.

Provenance Statement

The Al Hall, Jr. Collection was donated to the History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by Arleen Hall on 1982-10-18.

Additional Sources

The History of Aviation Collection has a number of collections of material that connect to the Al Hall, Jr. Collection. More information about Hollywood, movies, and aviation can be found in the Ormer Leslie Locklear Collection. Additional material and images from American Airlines Pilots can be found in the M. M. Kay and Raymond Willard Hayes Collections. Lastly, The History of Aviation Collections monographs and serials contain a number of books and articles about American Airlines and the Air Transport Command.

Books and Magazines

A number of books and magazines related to aviation were removed from the collection and placed in the History of Aviation Collection's stacks. Additional books related to auto racing, the Jaguar motor company, and automobiles were de-accessioned as they were deemed outside the scope of the History of Aviation's collecting policies.

Image ID

It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection are identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, series, box, folder, and image numbers. Please use this number when ordering reproductions of images from this collection.

Record Group Code

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

2 = Doolittle Archives

3 = Lighter than Air Archives

4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library

5 = History of Aviation Archives

6 = University Archives

7 = HAC Stacks

8 = WPRL Stacks

9 = Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Collection

10 = Belsterling Collection

11 = Closed Stacks

12 = Unidentified

13 = Chance Vought Archives

14 = Twirly Birds Archives

Image Format Code

P = Photograph/Postcard

S = Slide

N = Negative

T = Positive Transparency

B = Black and White

C = Color

Example: 5AKH-8-2-PB1

5 = History of Aviation Archives (HAC)

AKH = Al K. Hall, Jr. Collection

= Series Number

8 = Box Number

2 = Folder Number

P = Photograph/Postcard

B = Black and White

1 = Image Number

Images archived in plastic image holders may also have a location code in the format: 1/TL. In this example, the number is the sheet number and the letters indicate the top left position on the sheet. Position indicators are T = top, L = left, R = right, M = middle, and B = bottom. Position indicators may be combined to describe the position on the sheet, as shown in this example.

Note to the Researcher

The collection is in good condition and presents no problems to the researcher.

Guide to the Al Hall, Jr. Collection, 1916-1980
Thomas Allen, PhD
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2020-10-09.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-10-09: 1st revision was an update of the EAD location and other style elements of the finding aid by Patrizia Nava, CA.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository

3020 Waterview Pkwy
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US