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First Name: Jack

Last Name: Hawkins

Birthplace: Roxton, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Roxton, TX

Date of Birth: 25 October 1916

Date of Death: 17 May 2013

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Jack Hawkins

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1939

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Jack Hawkins

Colonel, U. S. Marine Corps

Navy Cross

Jack Hawkins, 96, of Spotsylvania passed away Friday, May 17, 2013 at Carriage Hill nursing home.

Jack was born in the small town of Roxton, Texas, in 1916. His family moved later to Fort Worth, where he graduated from high school in 1933. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy at the age of 18 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps upon graduation in 1939. He attended the Marine Corps Basic School for officers and was then ordered to China, where he served with the Fourth Marines in Shanghai. The regiment moved to the Philippines shortly before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Then a First Lieutenant, Colonel Hawkins fought in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor until his capture by the Japanese Army in May 1942.

After eleven months in enemy hands, he escaped with a group of companions from a prisoner-of-war camp in Mindanao and joined Philippine guerrilla forces. He served as a guerrilla leader for the next seven months before leaving Mindanao on board the submarine U.S.S. Narwhal, which took him to Australia.

The escape group brought the first news to the world of the barbarous atrocities committed by Japanese forces against American and Filipino prisoners-of-war, which caused great suffering and tens of thousands of deaths. Colonel Hawkins wrote a book about the escape entitled "Never Say Die", published in 1961.

Later in World War II, then a Lieutenant Colonel, he served as Assistance G-3 and Acting G-3 of the First Marine Division in the Okinawa Campaign.

In the post-war period, he was on duty for three years in Venezuela as Advisor to the Venezuelan Marine Corps. He then returned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he commanded the First Battalion, Second Marines, Second Marine Division.

In the Korean War, Colonel Hawkins was Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, at the Inchon Landing, capture of Seoul, and operations in North Korea.

Promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1955, he served two years as G-3, Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, and then for two years with Commander Amphibious Force, Atlantic, at Little Creek, Virginia.

After graduating from the Naval War College in 1960, he was assigned for three years to the staff of the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia. This duty was followed by a tour of duty with the Joint Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Washington. He retired from active duty in 1965. Colonel Hawkins' personal combat decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V.

Colonel Hawkins was a sports lover and enjoyed playing tennis and golf, but also loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing.

He is survived by his son, John Hawkins and his wife, Delia of Utah; his stepson, Bruce Heflin, II and his wife, Sue of North Carolina; his stepdaughter, Susan Clark of Virginia; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews and a host of other family and friends.

Colonel Hawkins was preceded in death by wives, Rhea Ritter Hawkins and Phyllis Livingstone Hawkins; his daughter, Deborah Hawkins and a grandchild, Joseph Gardner Hawkins.

Inurnment will be held at 10am Friday, May 24, 2013 in Quantico National Cemetery.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major Jack Hawkins (MCSN: 0-5931), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy while serving with the Philippine Guerilla Forces in the Philippine Islands during the period 15 January 1943 to 13 November 1943.
Although physically weakened by eleven months detention in a Japanese camp for American prisoners-of-war, Major Hawkins outwitted the Japanese guards on 4 April 1943, made his escape, eluded pursuing patrols and made his way from Davao to northern Mindanao. Hearing of an American force still operating against the enemy, he continued on foot and by launch to its headquarters, with information of great military value on the defense of Corregidor and the treatment of our prisoners-of-war in Japanese hands. He volunteered his services to the commander of this force and served for nearly six months in responsible staff duties. During this period, Major Hawkins, by his able and courageous direction of intelligence work, not only aided in successful operations but also gathered and supplied General Headquarters in Australia valuable information of the enemy situation throughout the Philippine Islands. His outstanding heroism and skill reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, General Orders No. 78 (December 6,1943)
Action Date: April 4 - November 15, 1943

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hawkins (MCSN: 0-5931), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with the First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in Korea, during the period 16 to 29 September 1950.
Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins, serving as Battalion Commander, fearlessly and courageously exposed himself to intense enemy fire while personally directing the offensive operations of his unit. He repeatedly occupied observation posts that were exposed to enemy small arms and machine gun fire without regard for his own personal safety and maintained the tactical control of his unit in the assault. His courageous conduct in steadfastly facing enemy fire was an inspiration to all members of his unit and materially aided in the successful completion of the assigned missions. Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins' display of initiative and heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

World War II Prisoners of the Japanese Data Files, created, 4/2005 - 10/2007, documenting the period ca. 1941 - ca. 1945
Major Jack Hawkins (MCSN: 0-5931), United States Marine Corps, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until he successfully escaped from captivity on 4 April 1943.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:

Texas WWII Exceptional Gallantry

Honoree ID: 315758   Created by: drjones46




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