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Frank B Hawkins, B-25 Pilot, 310th Bomb Group MTO WWII
feb.1943 | North Africa/Italy
Lt. Frank B Hawkins was born May 16th, 1918 in Ohio, died October 9th, 1991. He is buried in military cemetery at Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. There is also a marker in Altus, Oklahoma.
Frank was in the 12th Air Force, 57th Bomb Wing, 310th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Squadron His Favorite B-25C was named "Green Eyes" - Tail Number 41-13102. His SHIP, the B-25 GREEN EYES has his Nick-Name painted on the Co-Pilot side "Pancho" This story starts in Maine and ends in North Africa.
The first entry in this daily diary is October 9, 1942 and ends when he was shot down in a B-25 on February 23, 1943. After being shot down he was captured, made a POW, and subsequently escaped. (From Frank's proud son Jim Hawkins)
(HISTORY Research; The Chieti POW Camp was near the Italian Boot and run by the Italians. The Italian Army did walk off the walls of the Camp but not before the Germans took it over. Chieti PG 21 was an old convent then made into an Officers Camp, then a POW Camp. After the Armistice, anybody wishing to leave the camp was forcibly prevented from doing so under the orders of the senior British officer who was following to the letter the orders of Allied HQ to remain in the camp and await the arrival of Allied forces. Consequently the Germans were able to capture them all. They were subsequently transferred to PG78 just outside Sulmona and thence to camps in Germany where they remained until the end of the war.)
Frank B., an ex-prisoner of war, passed away Oct. 9, 1991 after a short illness. Born May 16, 1918 in Alliance, OH but spent the majority of his adult life in Oklahoma after returning from WW II as a decorated Army Air Corp Pilot. As an officer he escaped from Axis Prison Camp. He was captured after his B25 had been shot down over the Mediterrean Sea. The Purple Heart is among the medals conferred upon him by the Army Air Corps. After the war his professional career included providing engineering expertise while employed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Duty stations include Tinker AFB, Altus AFB and Ft. Sill. After his retirement, Mr. Hawkins actively pursued helping the nation recognize ex-prisoners of war. He contributed at the national, state and local levels. He established an Oklahoma Chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, lobbied for and obtained special Oklahoma POW ar tags, and actively participated in the planning and funding of the War Memorial near the Oklahoma State Capitol. He was commander of Central Oklahoma Chapter Ex-POWs, Past State Commander Ex-POW's, National Director at Large, and State Commander Emeritus Ex-POWs. He is survived by 2 sons, John Hawkins of Okc and James Hawkins who resides in Annandale, VA as well as several grandchildren. Mr. Hawkins was a member of the following organizations, American Ex-POWs, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Retired Officers Association, National Sojourners Inc., Oklahoma County Chapter of the Scottish Rite Society, Air Force Escape and Evasion Society, Scottish Rite of Free Masons-32nd Degree, Oklahoma Historical Society, American Legion Post No. 73, Veterans of Foreign Wars-Post 1857, American Red Cross, and American Association of Retired Persons. He was also a registered lobbyist with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. Funeral arrangements were made with Bill Merritt Funeral Home of Okc. Services will be 9:30 A.M. Tuesday at the Bill Merritt South Chapel. A military burial will be conducted at Ft. Gibson on Oct. 15, 1991 at 2:30 P.M. (OBITUARY)
Lt Frank Hawkins /POW Camp, CC 21 Chieti, Italy 42-14
23 Feb.1943 | Italy
Lt Frank Hawkins nickname is "PANCHO", his B-25 named the GREEN EYES, had his Nick-Name painted on the Co-Pilot side of the ship, "PANCHO"..... Frank and his Crew were shot down in the B-25 GREEN EYES #41-13102
WAR-Diary; 13 Oct 42:
381stBS: War Diary of: Hawkins, Frank B., 2Lt, pilot
“The saw mill at Lake Hamilton was wonderful - from the logs in the water to the mill, and, then; right to the buildings here that they are building with the lumber. They really work hard down at that mill (Pay $300.) a month). Lt. Katzenbach bought a "husky dog” today. Cost him $35.00 but the men would rather have had two quarts of whiskey (worth $20.00 a bottle up here). I wrote a few letters today. Tomorrow we are hoping to get off to BW-1. Some of the boys made the trip today. Dog's name is ‘Spot of Scotch.’”
Katzenbach, Nicholas D. "Katz", 2Lt, navigator
POW; 23 Feb.1943; CC 21 Chieti Italy 42-14 (Last date of Report 5 April,1946)
Introduction: (Names in the link below)
This list of Allied prisoners who were held in Camp 59 during World War II is certainly incomplete. Included here are the names of all the men I know to have been held at the camp. I trust that the list will continue to grow over time.
Concerning the nationalities of prisoners of Camp 59, Giuseppe Millozzi, in his splendid study of Allied Prisoners of War in the Region of the Marche and Prison Camp at Servigliano, writes:
“According to the Italian military authority, in March 1943 Servigliano’s camp held: 1,445 British; 464 Americans; 4 French
“For a total of 1913 POWs, it should be noting that with ‘British’ Italian Authorities included other nationalities—Irish, Canadians, Cypriots, New Zealanders, Australians, Poles, South Africans, Palestinians (2), Maltese (2), Rhodesians (1) and Norwegians (6). Figures of other nationalities of the above POWs are in the Swiss Red Cross report that covers the same period. In the latter the total figure of POWs is 1902 and the slight difference of 11 POWs between the two totals is not of significance.
“During 1943 many English POWs were transferred to Sforzacosta’s prison camp (CPG 53) and also to various working camps in North Italy in order to make space for American POWs. In fact the number of the latter increased from 445 in March ’43 to 913 two months later, that is in June when the Red Cross delegates inspected the camp for the last time. The number of English POWs in the same span of time decreased from 1,337 to 313.
“All the POWs present in the camp escaped en masse the evening of 14 September 1943; exactly six days after the Armistice had been announced.”
The following list includes the 253 Americans identified in the U.S. National Archives database of WW II POWs as “returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated from CC 59 Ascoli Picenzo Italy 43-13,” (or who died while prisoners).
Many American servicemen who were recaptured after the September breakout are recorded in the database as repatriated from German-controlled stalags. In the National Archives, the camp listed for each prisoner was the last camp they were interned in; some were held in a number of camps.
My sources for information about British and other non-American Allied prisoners have been less official. I am pleased to have been contacted by many in the UK whose fathers, grandfathers, and uncles were interned in the camp. I am grateful for the wealth of information they have sent me to share on this site.
I have recorded below names, military ranks and units, and notes concerning capture, internment, escape, and repatriation. The Survivors of Camp 59 site as a whole contains much more information—interviews, photos, and newspaper stories—on many of these fellows in individual posts. Use the site’s search feature to hunt for more information on any individual POW.