The crew were members of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. The war relics on Betio are a reminder of the thousands of American and Japanese soldiers that died on this small island. Hawkins Field is a former World War II airfield on Betio Island, Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands of the Central Pacific. John Hilary Smith, governor of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands created the Betio Town Council in 1972. Two slightly different views of Kelly's plane landing on Betio. 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. 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 … According to the Dex Greer account, the first plane to land hit a shellhole. 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. Staff Sgt. Above and below, two more Hellcats land on Hawkins Field amid the wreckage of the previous owners. en:Hawkins Field on en:June 3, en:2007 during NCAA tournament regionals. In 1967, the Marine Training Centre was created by Hamburg Süd. 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. Ensign Kelly surrounded by grimy and tired but happy Marines. Notes. On Jan. 21, 1944, Van Vleet was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy), 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio … 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. Bailey's remains were recovered from Betio Island and identified in May. 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. Long range aircraft at Hawkins Field on Betio (Tarawa Atoll), March 1944. Johnson and the nine other servicemen aboard the aircraft were killed. 1. 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