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T/SGT  Richard D. HAWKINS

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: TOG/NG

 T/Sgt. Richard D. Hawkins, KIA 28 July 44. Richard was attached to the flight crew of 2nd Lt. Wesley G. Stansbury as a replacement for Lt. John Goethel, BOM. On a mission to Merseburg, his ship was struck while returning to base by the aircraft of Lt. A.S. Spear and both ships were lost over the north Atlantic. There was only one survivor. Stansbury crew information. Photo courtesy of Bob Wilson 

Richard Hawkins (4th from right)at ceremony to receive Soldiers Medal from Col Curtis LeMay. Photo courtesy of Donald "Duck" Bradley/Laurence Bradley.

SERIAL #: 12040698 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 08173 CR: 08173

Comments1: 28 JUL 44 MERSEBURG (received soldiers medal)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt Wesley G.Stansbury       P    KIA   28/7/44 MERSEBURG, OIL REFINERY
2nd Lt John E.Baxter               CP  KIA    28/7/44 " " " "
2nd Lt William M.Fischer          NAV KIA    28/7/44 " " " "                                              A/C#42-97621
2nd Lt John D.Goethel           BOM                                                                 MACR #8173,.Microfiche #3002
 S/Sgt Wesson A.Stetson       ROG  KIA    28/7/44 " " " "
 S/ggt G.W.Moxley                 TTE  KIA    28/7/44 " " " "
 S/Sgt Henry W.Inskeep         BTG  KIA    28/7/44 " " " "
  Sgt Melvin M.Rogoff               WG KIA   28/7/44 " " " "
  Sgt John A.Myers                  TG  KIA    28/7/44 " " " "
  Sgt Victor J.Vallerga              WG NOC  LWA 5/11/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN, MY (S.T.)
 
350th Sqdn.  Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 17/7,~44.

This crew and that of A.S.Spear were involved in a mid air collision over 
the North sea on returning from the mission   Lt John Goethel was flying with 
the crew of J.E.David on 3/9/44 when that ship crashed into the sea . He was replaced on this mission
by T/Sgt Richard D. Hawkins who was KIA.  (Goethel and two other crewmen were saved from the
David collision - the members of his old crew were not so fortunate.

 EYEWITNESS: At 1231 hours near 5238N and 1057E while the formation was flying just above undercast at 9000 feet. A/C #009 was flying #7 in the low squadron. It pulled up climbing and struck A/C #621 with it's vertical stablizer. A/C #009 broke in half at the waist and fell through the undercast. Two bodies were seen to come from #009 but no open chutes were seen. A/C #621 had it's left aileron torn off and the aircraft went into a steep dive, disappearing into the undercast with pieces of wreckage falling off.  No churtes were seen to come from this A/C. Aircraft #903 was sent back to patrol the area and assist Air-Sea Rescue. However, observers on that aircraft failed to find any trace of the crew members."

The dead of Stansbury's crew are all commemorated on the Wall Of The Missing at Cambridge.


I've just spent several hours surfing your web site looking for information regarding my Uncle T/SGT Richard D. Hawkins, 12-040-698, KIA July 16, 1944 flying a mission as a gunner with the W. G Stansbury crew, aircraft # 42-97621, target Merseburg.  
 
My mother, Richard's sister, has always wondered about her brother's last days.  All she ever received was the standard MIA notification letter, followed up by the KIA letter and Purple Heart Medal.  Searching your web site I've been able to find a picture of Richard and information on the July 16, 1944 mission of the W. G Stansbury crew.  However, that's all I can find.  
 
I believe that my Uncle Richard was part of a "gunner pool" and that's how he got assigned to the W. G Stansbury crew on July 16, 1944.  Is there any possibility of providing me any more information such as how many missions he flew prior to his death?  Also, if it's possible I would also would like to know if my Uncle Richard flew enough missions to be awarded the Air Medal.  I know that he was awarded the Soldier's Medal for Heroism for helping in the rescue of a crew in a burning aircraft on July 16, 1943. 
I need to know more about the July 16, 1943 rescue of a Crew from a burning A/C, where, when?  Also do you know when he came to the 100th Bomb Group.  Was he sent over as a spare gunner/Toggoler or was he assigned to another job and then became a gunner while oversease.  
 
Did not fly enough missions to be awarded the Air Medal. You needed to complete or qualify for having flown 5 combat missions to be awarded the Air Medal.  Looks like he was shot down on his 3rd operational mission.  First one, they flew as spare plane, did not complete the mission, second mission is a recall, no credit for the mission, Flew Berlin, Flew Tours, Shot down over Merseburg.  

HISTORY OF T/SGT R.D. HAWKINS

Oct 27th 1942 S/Sgt Richard D. Hawkins serial number 12040698 transferred from 43rd Bomb Squadron, 29th Bomb Group to 350th BS, 100th Bomb Group at Walla Walla Washington. He is an armorer. 

Nov 27th 1942 Walla Walla Washington to Wendover Field, Utah. Traveling in
Train #2. Now T/Sgt Richard D. Hawkins

Jan 1st 1943 wendover to Sioux City Iowa, 

Jan 21stn 1943 top brass does not think the 100th is ready to go overseas and moves the ground and HQ echelon from Sioux City to Kearney Neb. To train combat crew. This would last for 3 months. 

May 1, 1943 ground personnel trnsferred from kearney to camp williams in Wisc. For one week of Army infantry training.

May 9th, 1943. Camp Williams to Camp Kilmer NJ for two weeks. 

May 26, 1943 T/Sgt Hawkins boards the Queen Elizabeth for an 8 day journey through U-Boat infested Atlantic.

July 16, 1943 B-17 42-30305 Flak Shack piloted by Lieutenant Woodrow Barnhill took of and entered a right bank and lost altitide about 30 seconds and crashed near Dickleburgh Rectory. Only 3 men survived the crash." Quick action on the part of Dick Hawkins, an armorer, resulted in the saving of one of the men from the flames, for which Dick was Awarded the Soldiers Medal."……from the book "they never had it so good" by Jack Sheridan pages 66-67.

Ops Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target 
5/7/1944   11 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT TOG 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/10/1944 11 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT TOG 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/24/1944 11  HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT TOG 32009 BERLIN 
6/8/1944   49 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT LWG 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
7/28/1944 30 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT TOG 97021 MERSEBURG 

 
Ops Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target 
5/7/1944 11 TYRRELL E.J. S/SGT LWG 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 WISE L.A. S/SGT RWG 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 STRAUSBAUGH D.E. S/SGT BTG 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 WRIGHT G.W. T/SGT TTE 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 EMRICH J.V. T/SGT ROG 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT TOG 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 KAUFMAN E.J. LT NAV 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 GUTEKUNST C.J. LT CP 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 WEGRZYNEK R.A. LT P 32009 BERLIN (SPARE) 
5/7/1944 11 BUSSINO R.J. S/SGT TG 32009 BERLIN (SPARE)
 
5/10/1944 11 GUTEKUNST C.J. LT CP 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 BUSSINO R.J. S/SGT TG 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 WEGRZYNEK R.A. LT P 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 TYRRELL E.J. S/SGT LWG 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 KAUFMAN E.J. LT NAV 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT TOG 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 EMRICH J.V. T/SGT ROG 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 WRIGHT G.W. T/SGT TTE 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 STRAUSBAUGH D.E. S/SGT BTG 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 
5/10/1944 11 WISE L.A. S/SGT RWG 31256 FALLERSLEBEN (RECALL) 

 Ops Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target 
5/24/1944 11 121 EPPENDORF J.L. LT NAV 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT TOG 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 EMRICH J.V. T/SGT ROG 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 WRIGHT G.W. T/SGT TTE 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 STRAUSBAUGH D.E. S/SGT BTG 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 KELLER G.A. T/SGT RWG 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 TYRRELL E.J. S/SGT LWG 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 BUSSINO R.J. S/SGT TG 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 WEGRAYNEEK R.A. LT P 32009 BERLIN 
5/24/1944 11 121 GUTEKUNST C.J. LT CP 32009 BERLIN 

 Ops Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target 
6/8/1944 49 -136 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT LWG 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 WHITTAN A.F. SGT BTG 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 WALTON D.E. SGT TG 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 TRUSCOTT F.J. SGT ROG 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 KAUFFMAN R.E. PFC RWG 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 GLADDEN J.M. LT NAV 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 GEHRMAN E.T. CPL TTE 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 FISHER R.D. LT BOM 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 ELBEL A.D. F/O P 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 
6/8/1944 49 -136 TAYLOR T.D. F/O CP 32009 TOURS (BRIDGES) 

 Ops Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target 
7/28/1944 30 168 HAWKINS R.D. T/SGT TOG 97021 MERSEBURG 
7/28/1944 30 168 STANSBURY W.G. LT P 97021 MERSEBURG 
7/28/1944 30 168 BAXTER J.E. LT CP 97021 MERSEBURG 
7/28/1944 30 168 MYERS J.A. S/SGT TG 97021 MERSEBURG 
7/28/1944 30 168 FISCHER W.M. LT NAV 97021 MERSEBURG 
7/28/1944 30 168 MEXLEY G.E. S/SGT TTE 97021 MERSEBURG 
7/28/1944 30 168 ROGOFF M.M. S/SGT RWG 97021 MERSEBURG 
7/28/1944 30 168 INSKEEP H.W. S/SGT BTG 97021 MERSEBURG 
7/28/1944 30 168 STETSON W.A. S/SGT ROG 97021 MERSEBURG 


***************************************************************************************************************

Mike,
I want to thank for all the "leg work" that you've done researching the WWII record of my Uncle Richard.  My mother will be very happy with your findings.  I'm going to put it all together, arrange it and make an album in Richard's memory.  My son John will deliver it to my mother when he visits her this coming September.  Several of Richard's cousins are still living in the area and they will be very happy to see it as well. 
 
My mother recently lost her other brother John who was with "Bull" Halsey before, during and after Pearl Harbor serving on the heavy cruiser the USS Minneapolis as a CPO.  John, a 30 year Navy man retired as a full Commander.  In addition to fighting in the Pacific all the way to Tokyo Bay, John also fought in Korea.  As I said he passed away early this year, so you can see how much this will mean to my Mom.  Once I put the album together, I believe my mother will be able to draw a bit of closure on Richard's war years and his untimely death.  That will be very important to her.  You have filled a big void in her life.  Richard's name sakes are many.
 
- Stephen Richard Crine, my mother's 2nd son (my 1st brother)
- Richard Hawkins Crine, my mother's 3rd son (my 2nd brother)
- Richard Hawkins, my mother's brother John's oldest son
- Leslie Richard Crine, my oldest son
 
Again Mike thanks for all your help. I couldn't have done it without you.  If there is any organization that I can make a donation to such as a memorial to the "Bloody One Hundredth" or a museum, please let me know. I would consider it an honor to help out.
 
Regards
Les Crine
SMSgt, USAF, 1960-1984, Retired 
Northstar621@AOL.COM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Northstar621@aol.com
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 22:57:11 EDT
To: 
Subject: Re: Mighty 8th-100th-350th (T/Sgt Richard D. Hawkins)


Michael,
I think he volunteered while assigned at another base in the UK and did the gunnery routine while in the UK.  I base this on part of a letter he wrote to my mother dated 18 May 1944 while my father who was a PO1C Yeoman at a sub/torpedo base in Rhode Island.  In that letter he says:

"Well. I did get on flying status and have flown over there.  As you can imagine it is different than what I was doing, but now I feel as if I am contributing a little more towards the war effort.  To put it mildly it's a bit rough."
 
I also found out he put on T/Sgt stripes in November 1942.  I don't know if this helps.
 
Regards
Les Crine
 
In a message dated 8/4/2008 6:20:22 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, MPFaley writes:
Ok this really helps.  Now the paper saying he was assigned overseas in Early 1943 has me thinking a bit,  I have to really do some needle in the haystack type of research.  The 100th BG Ground Echelon did not go overseas until May 1943.  SO, one of two things happened. The paper is wrong and he did this event at Thorpe Abbotts which will be easy to figure out OR he did this at another base and Group and then was assigned to the spare gunners pool after receiving gunnery training.  You see serving on an air crew was volunteer basis only.  Dick would have had to have requested combat duty, gone up to the Walsh in Scotland where they did gunnery training and then sent to a combat replacement facility in Stone, England or Bovingdon UK. Or back to his own base to enter the Spare gunners pool.  I am hoping he was with the original 100th BG echelon.  Will check it tonight, have the list of original squadron people going over.  If not, then I have to look at every BG unit history to see if I can find a reference to a crash at a base on July 16th, 1943.  Either way, all good clues to help.   
 
Michael Faley

 
In a message dated 8/4/2008 5:40:15 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Northstar621 writes:
ring my phone call to my Mother, she told me that Richard was first assigned to a aircraft maintenance shop and that he was later assigned to a crew as a gunner, but she didn't know when.  Regarding Richard's Soldier's Medal for Heroism for helping in the rescue of a crew in a burning aircraft on July 16, 1943.  My mother has forwarded me a copy of the local newspaper with the announcement of the award.  The paper, the Port Jervis Union Gazette, dated Saturday, September 11, 1943 carried the story on page 1.  Since this was printed during the war, the airfield location was not given, only saying that the accident happened "at a base of the Army Air Corps somewhere in England."  The article also said the Richard was assigned to England in early 1943.  Unfortunately my Mother either never received the citation that accompanies the medal or has lost it over all these years.  She does have the original Soldier's Medal for Heroism and the original Purple Heart.  I wish I could be of more assistance, but the information is just not available.  I've attached a copy of the original newspaper story about Richard's Soldier's Medal.

Mike, 
You'll never know how much you've helped and how much it means to my Mom.  I've told her everything today and all the help you've been.  She's very excited about the album and all the new information about Dick.  
 
There may be other letters but they are not with my Mom.  All she has is two, one to my Dad and one to her, plus the MIA and KIA notification letters.  The ones she has are nothing more than letters that any normal GI would write to the folks back home during times of war or conflict.  I have both of them with me right now.  Hell, they read like letters I wrote home while I was stationed overseas.  
 
Sorry to say but there was nothing mentioned about the Berlin mission he was on.  Today when I talked to my Mom and told her that he flew one mission to Berlin and he flew as a TOG, she said; "Oh good,  I'm glad, Dick wanted that so much.  At least he got his licks in before he died."  Mom said he always felt that he was not doing enough, especially after seeing so many B-17s not make it back or those that did where pretty well beat up.   As far as Dick Hawkins was concerned, "flying was what it was all about."

 
If anything turns up that may be of interest, I'll be sure to pass it along.
 
Again thanks for all your help.  The donation check will be in the mail "on the morrow."
 
Best Regards and "check-six"
Les


***********************************************************************************************************

Attached is a photo of my cousin, T/Sgt Richard  D. Hawkins, probably taken after training before being sent over seas. He was attached to the flight crew of 2nd Lt. Wesley G. Stansbury as a replacement for Lt. John Goethel, Bom,  on this flight over Merseburg. His ship was struck while returning to base by the aircraft of Lt. A.S. Spear and both ships were lost over the north Atlantic. There was but one survivor and eyewitness from the Spear plane, Robbie Gill. This accident occurred on 28 July, 1944.
 
Bob Wilson   rcw12@verizon.net

MEMO 2:

Originally part of the Ground Eschelon who volunteered for Gunnery Training and was in the 350th BS spare gunners pool.  He flew with the Crews of Lt ROBERT A. WEGRZYNEK, Lt Elbel and Was KIA while flying as TOG/NG with Lt Stansbury.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Merseburg DATE: 1944-07-28  
AIRCRAFT: (42-97621) CAUSE: Collided with 42-32009  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: Wall/Misng CEMETERY: Cambridge Military Cemetery  

PHOTOS:

Richard D. Hawkins 350th BOM New York KIA 28 Jul 44 Merseburg Wesley G. Stansbury Crew

Richard "Dick" Hawkins. (100th Photo Archives) 

 T/Sgt. Richard D. Hawkins, KIA 28 July 44. Photo courtesy of Donald "Duck" Bradley/Laurence Bradley.

Richard Hawkins 350th Armourer was awarded Soldiers Medal and then completed Gunnery & Tog Training.  Was placed in Spare Gunners pool and was KIA on a mission with 2nd Lt Wesley G.Stansbury flying as a TOG/NG. Photo courtesy of Donald "Duck" Bradley/Laurence Bradley. 

Hello,

Thank you for your wonderful site.  I appreciate the photographs of my second cousin, Richard D. Hawkins.  I found the attached letter written by my grandmother, Vera Hawkins, to my aunt, Emogene "Suzy" Hawkins Sweeney, in an old bureau in a basement.  As all the mentioned people have passed away, I thought it would not be inappropriate to share this letter, especially because it reflects the contemporaneous feelings of a people engaged in a very difficult war, one that touched everybody.

Thank you for your efforts to capture this very human history.

Very truly yours,

Jeffrey Alan Hawkins

Back Row (L-R): Maurice Anderson, Lucien Neveu, Charles Thompson. Front Row (L-R): Ralph Graham, Dick Hawkins (photo courtesy of the Kerin family).

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 2240