Andy William Hankins
Andy William Hankins was born the first day of fall in 1915. He was the son of James Hankins (buried in Howard/Washington Cemetery near Delaware Bend, Cooke Co., Texas) and Mattie Lelar Heard. At the age of 4-1/2 Andy, his older brother Ralph and older sister Clessie are living in Precinct 7 of Grayson Co. in the household of his maternal grandparents, Joe C. & Rebecca Heard as well as their 26-year-old uncle. In 1930 the family had moved to Precinct 6 of Grayson Co. By 1940 Andy, along with his older brother Ralph and his older sister Clessie, are living in Whitesboro, Grayson Co., Texas with his mother and stepfather, Joseph B. Spencer.
In 1940 Julia Lee Pilcher, daughter of General Robertson “Bud” Pilcher and Jessie Dee Brown, was living with her older sister & family in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas. It is safe to suggest that Julia Lee and Andy met in Gainesville and were married about a year later.
The Spectacle was a steel hulled Admiral class mine sweeper built for the U.S. Navy during World War II; these ships usually cleared the area of any naval mines before the rest of the fleet arrives, thus clearing the way for the larger vessels. The Spectacle was commissioned on Friday, the 11th of August 1944. The Muster Roll for the Spectacle (AM-305), stamped August 23, 1944, shows that Andy enlisted at Gainesville, Cooke Co., Texas on Friday, April 23rd, 1943. A trained crew was on board and practiced with the mine sweeping gear at Seattle, Washington. At the end of September 1944, the ship then sailed for the West Coast Sonar School at San Pedro, California where they were trained in antisubmarine warfare. The crew and ship proceeded to Hawaii on Friday, October 11, 1944 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on November 5, The following week the Spectacle sailed in a convoy, arriving in San Diego on November 20 and leaving again for Hawaiian waters one week later on November 27th. Family stories from our mother were that Aunt Judy visited Andy while he was in California so it is safe to assume it was during his training in September 1944 or his short visit to San Diego in November 1944.They engaged in training activities in Hawaiian waters from December 7, 1944 through 21 January 1945.
The Spectacle and crew sailed for Iwo Jima in January 1945
as part of the Allied assault force, in the Pacific in order to
The World War II Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard
Causalities reports lists :
My mother, the younger sister to Julia Lee Pilcher Hankins
said that when the news arrived of Andy’s death, the whole family gathered in
the home of sister Lignum Pilcher Tinsley.
When Aunt Judy walked in, she was so excited ‘cause she thought that
Andy was there but instead was told of his death. My aunt never recovered from the loss of her
Elaine Nall Bay