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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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27th September 1943 613 Squadron Mustang I AP254 Fl/Lt. Hawkins DFC

Operation: Jim Crow

Date: 27th September 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 613 Squadron (motto: Semper parati - 'Always ready') 12 Group

Type: Mustang I

Serial: AP254

Code: SY-L

Base: RAF Snailwell, Cambridgeshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Fl/Lt. William Tinsley Hawkins DFC. NZ/41986 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 06:20 hrs with one other Son a shipping reconnaissance off the Dutch coast.

The two Mustangs attacked 5 E-boats off the island of Terschelling.

During the return trip they were attacked by two enemy fighters. AP254 was seen to be shot down into the sea some 40 miles west of Den Helder.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. William Tinsley Hawkins DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197.Born on the 19th August 1918 at Wellington. Worked as a cabinet maker for Scoullar and Company of Wellington prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 09th February 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 01st September 1941. Awarded his pilots badge on the 26th May 1941 and at the same time his commission. Trained on the Lysander and Tomarhawk with 41 Operational Training Unit. Joined 613 squadron on the 21st December 1941 where he completed 25 operational sorties. Then attached to 268 squadron flying the Mustang completing a further 35 operational sorties. Attached to Belgian 350 squadron on the 25th August 1943 for a couple of days flying Spitfires. Then after a brief spell with FLS rejoined 613 Squadron on the 18th September 1943. Son of James Mitchell Hawkins and of Ewa Adele Hawkins (nee Jackson), of Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand. Total of 814 flying hours logged. On his 60th operational sortie. Credited with 1 enemy aircraft destroyed.

Citation Distinguished Flying Cross (28 Sep 1943): 613 Sqn RAF. 'During many sorties over enemy occupied territory, this officer has destroyed an enemy aircraft and much vital war material. As a flight commander, Flight Lieutenant Hawkins has always displayed great enthusiasm for operational flying. In Aug 1942 Fl/Lt. Hawkins, whilst serving with 613 Sqn, was attached to 268 Sqn RAF (Mustang) flying 35 sorties, these included sweeps over Germany and shipping reconnaissance off the Dutch coast, close escort for bombers, convoy patrols and defensive patrols. He returned to 613 Sqn in Dec 1942 and flew a further 21 sorties. On one he destroyed an Me 109'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 17-04-2021

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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