|Birth: ||Dec. 12, 1922|
|Death: ||Mar. 21, 2004|
Lieutenant (jg) Arthur Ray Hawkins:
Navy Ace with 14 Aerial Victories to his credit.
Born in Zavalla, Texas on December 12, 1922
Attended Lon Morris College in Jacksonville Texas but decided to join the Navy at the age of 19 on April 29,1942 after the death of his older brother, an Army Air Force fighter pilot, who was shot down in the South Pacific.
He took his flight training at NAS Corpus Christi Texas and NAS Opa Locka Florida. After graduation on January 1, 1943 he received his commission as an Ensign.
On May 1, 1943 Ens. Hawkins was attached to the newly formed Fighter Squadron 31 (VF-31) under the command of Lt. Cmd. Robert Winston at NAS Atlantic City New Jersey. He served with VF-31 on board the USS Cabot from January 1944 through October 1944. During his tour of duty aboard USS Cabot he became a Naval Ace downing 14 enemy aircraft. Lt Hawkins was one of the 10 original pilots from VF-31 to signup for a second tour of duty aboard the USS Belleau Wood from June 1945 through October 1945 when VF-31 was dissolved.
BLUE ANGEL #1: USN F9F-6 Cougar Panther:Runaway trim failure. Flying from N.Y. factory Bethpage to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas as part of Blue Angels formation. Horizontal stabiliser actuator failure led to uncontrollable supersonic dive. Ray became the first USN pilot to eject through the canopy. He ejected at 40,000ft in supersonic dive due to loss of control. Pulled away from his manual seat at 29,000ft.
He is the recipient of 3 Navy Crosses as well as 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses. He was also a Navy Ace. He retired as a Captain in 1973.
Created by: PAPAWRAITH
Record added: Jan 02, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 82871726