Hall PH-2 & PH-3

June 3, 2022

Hall PH-2 & PH-3

Hall PH-2 Flying Boat

Historical Information:

Beginning in 1934, the Coast Guard purchased seven modified PH-1s from the Hall Aluminum Aircraft Corporation of Bristol, Pennsylvania.  This type of amphibian aircraft was originally developed for the Navy as a patrol aircraft.  The upgraded flying boats purchased by the Coast Guard had more powerful engines as well as more specialized equipment and capabilities for search and rescue duties than the earlier Navy models and were therefore given the designation PH-2.  They were long-range aircraft capable of operating up to 1,000 miles from base and taking off and landing in rough seas.  They were also the largest aircraft ever acquired by the Coast Guard to that time.  

Initial acceptance trials took place at Air Station Cape May.  In 1939 the Coast Guard ordered seven more Hall flying boats and these received the designation PH-3.  During World War II these aircraft conducted anti-submarine and search and rescue patrols along the coast and saw considerable action during the German's "Operation Drumbeat" U-boat attacks in the spring and summer of 1942, particularly off the coast of North Carolina.  They were decommissioned in 1944.

As of 28 February 1943, the Hall flying boat fleet was assigned as follows:

Elizabeth City, NC: PH-2 V167; PH-3 V183

Miami, FL: PH-2 V164

Brooklyn, NY: PH-3 V177; PH-3 V174

Biloxi, MI: PH-2 V166; PH-2 V170

San Diego, CA: PH-3 V178

San Francisco, CA: PH-3 V180; PH-3 V181.


Hall PH-1 Flying Boat

Hall PH-2, V164, on ramp at Air Station Cape May, NJ.  "Removing beaching gear, Hall, V-164."; 18 March 1938; no photo number; photographer unknown.

Hall PH-2 Flying Boat

Hall PH-2, V-164, on tarmac at Air Station Brooklyn.  "PH-2 V-164, Floyd Bennet."; Photo No. A11, 7 March 1939; photographer unknown.  Head-on, starboard side view.

Hall PH-2 Flying Boat in flight

Hall PH-2, V164, in flight.  No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Port side, overhead view.

Hall PH-3 Flying Boat

Hall PH-3, on ramp in front of an unidentified air station.  No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.   Head-on view, note beaching gear.

Hall PH-3, V177, take-off run; off Air Station Brooklyn (??).  "PH3, U.S. Coast Guard plane (old) copied from photo by EAE.  This plane, V177, was commissioned in May 1940, decommissioned March 1944."; no photo number/date; photographer unknown.  Starboard-side view.

Hall PH-2

Hall PH-2, offloading a rescued patient in a litter basket.  No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown; [Navy Department photo; Office of Public Relations, Hdq., Fifth Naval District, N.O.B. Norfolk, VA; from Richard Burke collection].  Starboard rear-quarter view.

Hall PH-3

Hall, PH-3, on ramp of unidentified air station.  "Last minute preparations."; no date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Starboard rear-quarter view.

Hall PH-3

Hall, PH-3, in war-time paint scheme, taxiing in water at unknown location.  No caption/date; Photo No. 1580016; photographer unknown.  Port-side profile view.


Arthur Pearcy, U.S. Coast Guard Aircraft Since 1916 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991), pp. 220-224.