This collection consists of the following four scrapbooks chronicling the aviation career of Colonel William B. Hawkins, especially his service with the 2nd Air Commandos Group during World War II: one 12 by 15 inch cream colored scrapbook, entitled "China 1942-1944" and "RAF 1949," containing newspaper clippings regarding World War II in China and snapshots from Hawkins' time with the Royal Air Force in 1949; one 10 by 14 inch brown photograph album mostly relating to Hawkins' career during the 1940s including snapshots, newspaper articles, foreign currency, maps and a short snorter; one 12 by 15 inch red photograph album entitled, "2nd Air Commando GP," and "Burma 1944-45 Bill Operations Officer," which contains captioned 3.5. by 4.5 inch black and white prints of the 2nd Air Commando Group; and one 9 by 11 inch photograph album 2nd Air Commando History of Operations, 1945 which consists of a report "Historical Record of 2nd Air Commando Group" and contains snapshots and captioned 3.5. by 4.5 inch black and white prints of the 2nd Air Commando Unit.
Biographical / Historical:
Colonel William B. Hawkins, Jr., (1920 - ) joined the US Army in 1935, at the age of 15. After finishing high school and junior college he went to flying school, and he was commissioned in the US Army Air Corps on December 7, 1941. Hawkins trained at Maybre Field in Florida and was assigned to the China-Burma-India Theater with the 74th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group. Following his tour, Hawkins returned to America and was asked to join the 2nd Air Commandos with a return to the China-Burma-India Theater. After the war, Hawkins attended UCLA and received a BA in psychology. He was then sent to England to serve with the Royal Air Force as an exchange duty. He also had a tour of duty during the Korean War serving in Japan with the 508th Fighter Wing, and went on to tours in France with the 48th Tactical Fighter Command and to Germany, where he was Chief of Safety for the USAF. He was in the United States serving at Norton AFB when the Vietnam War began, and he volunteered for service. Hawkins sent to first to Clark AFB (Philippines), then to Taklee (Thailand) and finally to Tonsan Nuht (Vietnam), where he was again an operations officer and also flew a few bombing missions. After completing two tours of duty in Vietnam, Hawkins retired in 1966; at his retirement he had over 600 hours of flying time, mostly in jets.
Merrill S. Hawkins, Gift, 2006
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