Hawkins started his career flying Hurricanes with 245 Squadron. In October 1941 he crash landed on the Cherbourg Peninsular. He was eventually captured and interned for a year before escaping in a relatively well known escape with Sqn Ldr Higginson.

From December 1942 he was assigned to 56 Squadron, flying Hawker Typhoons. He was the assigned to No 5 Public Relations Service, missing the initial invasion, and was with them until February 1945.

He was then back to 56 Squadron and made his first flight in a Hawker Tempest on February 7th 1945 on a refresher course at 56OTU Milfield. With 56 Squadron he went to Volkel, The Rheine, Fassberg, Copenhagen.







Hawkins in a 56 Squadron Typhoon.


Hawkins 4th from left, hands in pockets.


Hawkins, 2nd from left, with friends.


Hawkins 6th from left, hands behind his back.


Hawkins in Copenhagen. Text on photo says:

"56 Squadron, flying Tempests, arrives in Copenhagen at the end of World War II. June 1945."



Flight Lieutenant BLG Hawkins' log book entries for his Tempest flying

  • Feb 7th -10 refresher course Milfield, local flying, formation, air to ground, aerobatics etc, flying no’s 353, 759, 752, 999, 867.
  • Feb 22nd 56 Sq flying B armed recce Brenen Hanover, 1 Loco damaged.
  • Feb 24th  flying D armed recce Hamm, 2 locos damaged & 2 rolling stock.
  • Feb 25th ‘B’ flying recce Rheine and Northeim, mixed with FW190,s, no joy.
  • Feb 27th ‘?’ Dunsfold to Volkel, 1 loco and 2 trucks damaged.
  • March 24th ‘C’ patrol Emmerich –Wesel, cover for Rhine crossing.
  • March 26th ‘C’ armed recce Osnabruck area, 2 locos and 2 met damaged, strafing Hun troops 50 yard in front of our troops.
  • March 28th ‘H’ Munster area 3 met and railway trucks damaged.
  • March 30th ‘C’ Dummer area, 1 loco and I met flamer.
  • April 2nd to 19th much the same patrols and armed recce and damaged inflicted.
  • May- June much the same, June 10th took part in a wing formation over Shaef HQ Frankfurt in honour of Marshal Zhukov, 1500 aircraft taking part.
  • Last flight in a Tempest Sept 25 1945, demonstration bombing for army.


Photos and text:

Mark Hawkins