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)