Hawkins Field is a former World War II airfield on Betio Island, Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands of the Central Pacific. On Jan. 21, 1944, Johnson was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when the B-24J bomber he was co-piloting crashed into Tarawa lagoon shortly after takeoff. Staff Sgt. 1. Today Betio Island is the most populous island in Kiribati with the port, shipyard and main power station and is one of the most densely populated areas in the Pacific. Pennsylvania native Howard T Lurcott, 26, was lost on January 21, 1944 when the B-24J bomber he was piloting crashed into Tarawa lagoon shortly after takeoff. Shaffer was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when the B … en:Hawkins Field on en:June 3, en:2007 during NCAA tournament regionals. https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/89796/Location-Hawkins-Field.htm The defense battalion set up guns and searchlights to protect the airstrip on Betio repaired and named Hawkins Field after First Lieutenant William D. Hawkins, one of the 2d Marine Division's heroes killed in the battle and another airfield built by Seabees at adjacent Bonkiri. Betio Post Office opened on 5 April 1957 and closed in 1964. According to the Dex Greer account, the first plane to land hit a shellhole. Above and below, two more Hellcats land on Hawkins Field amid the wreckage of the previous owners. The airfield was named in honor of USMC 1st Lt. William Dean Hawkins who was killed in the battle to recapture Tarawa, and earned the Medal of Honor. Ensign Kelly surrounded by grimy and tired but happy Marines. In 1967, the Marine Training Centre was created by Hamburg Süd. On Jan. 21, 1944, Van Vleet was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio … The war relics on Betio are a reminder of the thousands of American and Japanese soldiers that died on this small island. Two slightly different views of Kelly's plane landing on Betio. May 21, 2016 - Vanderbilt Commodores during the game between the Auburn Tigers and the Vanderbilt Commodores at Hawkins Field in Nashville, TN Photo by Thomas McEwen/Cal Sport Media. Johnson and the nine other servicemen aboard the aircraft were killed. Notes. Bailey's remains were recovered from Betio Island and identified in May. John Hilary Smith, governor of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands created the Betio Town Council in 1972. 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