Army Sergeant First Class Berla A. Hawkins U.S.A. Retired, 84, of Parkersburg, W.Va., died June 21, 2013, at his residence.
He was born Nov. 20, 1928, in Pennsboro, W.Va., a son of the late Berla L. and Irma E. Henthorn Hawkins.
Mr. Hawkins was a career soldier, having 23 years in the U.S. Army before retiring in 1970. His first enlistment was in the U.S. Navy in 1945, where he served in the South Pacific with the Third Fleet in World War II. After completion of that tour, he traveled to Korea where he served as a military policeman with the 8th Army at the Koje-Do, which was a prisoner of war camp. After returning from Korea, he ventured to Germany as a tractor-trailer driver with the famous Red Ball Express. After returning stateside, he traveled to Alaska with the Yukon Command at Fort Wainwright, as a military policeman for three years. Next, he traveled to Germany, again, as an infantryman with the 24th Infantry Division at Augsburg, Germany. While there, he served with the augmentation battalion in Berlin, both East and West. He ended his military career with a trip to Vietnam when the war broke out and he was called to duty in 1967-1968.
He earned the following badges, medals and awards in honor of his military service: The C.I.B. (Combat Infantryman Badge), The Bronze Star Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal accompanied by three knots, Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal with Japan, German and Berlin Devices, China Service Medal, The American Defense Service Medal (2nd award), The Korean Service Medal (with four bronze stars), The Army Expeditionary Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, The United Nations Service Medal and The Vietnam Occupation Medal with 68 Device.
He read and studied the Bible on a regular basis, and was also a member of V.F.W. Post 8127 of Vienna, W.Va., and The Vietnam Veterans Association.
Mr. Hawkins was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Lea Davis Hawkins; and two sons, David L. and Roger L. Hawkins.
Funeral services will be noon Thursday at Vaughan Funeral Home, 1010 Murdoch Ave., Parkersburg, with Pastor Don Yeager officiating. Interment will follow at Miller Memorial Gardens, Miller, Ohio, with full military graveside rites. Friends may call one hour prior to services on Thursday at the funeral home.
Please visit www.vaughanfh.com to share online condolences on behalf of Mr. Hawkins.