The son of Frank H. Hale of Fayetteville, New York, Lucien Frank Hale dropped out of Fayetteville High School following a disciplinary problem with one of his teachers. He joined the New York National Guard in 1914 and served with the Fourth Ambulance Company of Syracuse on the Mexican border in 1916. In June 1917 he joined the Royal Flying Corps at Toronto after he was rejected by the United States Signal Corps. As a cadet he was chosen to perform stunts before the Duke of Devonshire, King Edward VII's brother. In 1918, flying an S.E.5a, he scored all of his victories against the Fokker D.VII. An eighth victory is mentioned in his Distinguished Flying Cross citation (below) but there is no other documentation to support this claim. Post-war Hale became general manager of the Curtiss Flying Service and was chosen to accompany Charles Lindbergh on a transcontinental flight across the United States. In 1940 he opened a new car dealership, the Hale Pontiac Company, at 524 East Genesee Street in Syracuse, New York.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. Frank Lucien Hale. (FRANCE)
A brilliant and very gallant officer who never hesitates to attack the enemy however superior in numbers. On 27th September, Lieut. Hale, single-handed, attacked a formation of ten Fokker biplanes who were manoeuvring to attack one of our bombing formations; engaging one of the Fokkers, he drove it down out of control, and it was seen to break up in the air. By this gallant action the enemy were diverted from their objective. In the combat Lieut. Hale's machine and engine were badly damaged; despite this, he, on his return journey, attacked a solitary Fokker and drove it down out of control. This officer has accounted for eight enemy aircraft.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 8 February 1919 (31170/2040)