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Thread: Air Corporal D W HAWKINS (P/5053) South African Air Force MiA 2 April 1944

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    Default Air Corporal D W HAWKINS (P/5053) South African Air Force MiA 2 April 1944

    Hello All

    Air Corporal D W HAWKINS (P/5053) of the South African Air Force is listed in the excellent data base on casualties as being part of the 454 Squadron crew lost on 2 April 1944 in Baltimore FW404. I am somewhat dubious about this, as he is not mentioned in the casualty reports on the loss, shown in the links to the Nat Archives Australia web site. He is not in the crew as listed in the Squadron ORB. He is not mentioned in the excellent squadron history Alamein to the Alps by Mark Lax. He was missing on this date and is listed on the Alamein memorial. There appears to be no other losses involving SAAF aircraft on this date. Can any one help clarify this mystery?

    Regards

    Russell

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    You are right, seems to be a typo linking him to that aircraft . the linked NAA document lists RAAF crew. will correct it!

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    Hi Guys,

    I can see where the confusion has occurred the RAAF had a 454 Sqn operating in North Africa at that time.

    Regards,

    John.

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    According to a Tree on FamilySearch he is

    Denville Wrenmore Hawkins
    1917 2 April 1944

    Note says

    Birth
    1917
    Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa
    Last Changed: January 4, 2018 by

    Death
    2 April 1944
    Grosvenor Point Beach, Pondoland (Transkei), South Africa
    Last Changed: June 2, 2019 by
    Burial
    2 April 1944
    At Sea
    Reason This Information Is Correct:
    Lost at sea. Not buried on land.
    Last Changed: June 2, 2019 by

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    https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hawkins-4862


    Biography
    He was an Air Corporal in the South African Air Force during the second world war. According to his death notice, he is presumed to have drowned in the sea at Grosvenor Point Beach on the Pondoland coast in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It is probable that he was stationed at the Lusikisiki airport, which is situated about 20 kilometres from the coast, at the time of his death. He was 26 years and seven months old at the time of his death.

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    Any idea on an aircraft ?

    Note from his nephew on FamilySearch

    "Hi Paul, as I have it he was aboard an aircraft patrolling the coast looking for enemy craft, especially U-boats. Contact was lost with the aircraft and it is presumed that the aircraft crashed int the sea, leaving no survivors. To my knowledge no wreckage nor bodies were found."

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    I think everything points to it being a drowning and not aircraft related. The death off a beach or pier information seem to be very specific.

    There are no other SAAF casualties on that date, or the day before or after. No SAAF crew.

    Did the SAAF have a minimum rank for aircrew, like the RAF and others?

    if I get a chance later I'll look for the Air Minsitry Casualty lists to see is he listed DOAS or KOAS or which.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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