Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Gilbert Lee Hawkins Jr  -  www.OurWarHeroes.org

Gilbert Lee Hawkins Jr

Radcliff, Kentucky

May 30, 2001

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
40 Army SFC

3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment’s Tank Driver Simulator facility, within the 1st Armor Training Brigade

Fort Knox, Ky 

 

Sgt. 1st Class (Ret.) Gilbert L. Hawkins Jr. 

HENDERSON -- Sgt. 1st Class (ret.) Gilbert Lee Hawkins Jr., 40, died Wednesday, May 30, 2001, in Radcliff, Ky. He was a Vance County native and the son of Gilbert Lee Hawkins Sr. and Velma Ruth Durham Hawkins. 
He attended Vance Senior High School and served his country in the military for 20 years before retiring on June 1, 2001. His retirement ceremony was held May 14, 2001. 
Sgt. 1st Class Hawkins served with D 1/72 in Korea as a tank gunner and tank commander. He qualified his tank as distinguished during five gunnery densities. In 1982, during Operation FOAL EAGLE, Sgt. Hawkins took command of his platoon, maneuvering and fighting his platoon on the objective (the only platoon to actually reach the objective during Operation FOAL EAGLE.) 
While Sgt. 1st Class Hawkins was assigned to the 67th Armor Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas, he was a tank commander. During his service in the 67th Armored, he participated in six tank gunnery densities, where he earned a superior qualification record for the entire time he was a tank commander with Company B. Sgt. 1st Class Hawkins also led the way for his platoon in many local field training exercises and rotations to the National Training Center. 
He was next assigned as a platoon sergeant with A Troop, 1/12 Cav, over several more senior NCOs. During this tour of duty, SSG Hawkins immediately trained his platoon to be one of the best in the squadron. His platoon qualified as a top platoon in the squadron on Tank Table XII and retained that honored position through the next three squadron gunnery densities. Sgt. 1st Class Hawkins earned many awards for his superior attitude and leadership. 
Sgt. 1st Class Hawkins deployed to Operation Desert Storm as a tank commander with the 1st Calvary Division’s “Black Jack Brigade.” Sgt. 1st Class Hawkins maneuvered his tank over 400 kilometers through heavy combat operations against Iraq’s Republican Guard, including the famous assault up the Wadi Al-Batin. He was accredited with 10 tank kills and several more armored personnel carrier kills. He led his tank to accomplishing its mission with no loss of life or injuries among his crew. 
After his service with the 1st Calvary Division, Sgt. 1st Class Hawkins served as an instructor and supervisor at the 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment’s Tank Driver Simulator facility, within the 1st Armor Training Brigade at Fort Knox, Ky. He mentored and coached armor crewmen trainees just entering the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. 
He received the following awards: Order of St. George, MSM, ARCOM (40LC) and AAM (30LC). 
Surviving are: his mother, Velma R. Hawkins of Henderson; his father, Gilbert Lee Hawkins Sr. of the Greystone community; one sister, Cheryl Hawkins of Henderson; one stepsister, Pantheria “Pam” Hawkins of Henderson; three brothers, Dwayne Hawkins, Charles Hawkins and Brian Hawkins, all of Henderson; and his grandmother, Evelyn Durham of Henderson. 
Services will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Brookston Baptist Church by the Rev. Thomas E. Smith. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with full military rites. 
The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. today at Mary Davis-Royster Funeral Service and other times at the residence of his mother, Velma Ruth Hawkins, 42 N.C. 39 South-Loop Road, Lot No. 21. 
Pallbearers will be the U.S. Army Battalion of Fort Bragg and U.S. Army of Kentucky. 
Arrangements are by Mary Davis-Royster Funeral Service Inc. 

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