In Memory of
2nd Lieutenant
Harold Bankert
Brookings, South Dakota
Brookings County
December 28, 1916 -May 6, 1943
North Africa, Tank Corps

Fallen Sons Memorial horizontal rule

A 2nd lieutenant, a married man, a soldier killed in action, and many other things. These are just a few of the ways to describe Harold Bankert.  Harold's birth took place December 28, 1916 in Bancraft, South Dakota. His parents, Berton and Alma, raised Harold in Kinsbury County. At age 24, Bankert enlisted in the military about a year before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was initially sent to Fort Benning GA, before he reached his next station, at Camp Bauregard, where he applied for officer's training. In 1941 he graduated from officer's school with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant from Fort Knox, KY.

Shortly after, he left for Pine Camp, located in New York, and met his love, Alice Traweek. They married on the 15 of April in 1942. Five months later, he was shipped to North

Africa on a convoy. During this time, he worked in the tank corps. For a short time, Harold worked with the reconnaissance squadrons.

Bankert received an injury in the tank corps. While in battle his tank was blasted over by a shell. He recovered from this injury in time to take part in battles against the Axis powers.

The main plan of the American's was to conquer Italy and its islands. After this was done, the British, American, and Russian forces would trap Germany, yet Germany still had control of some parts of North Africa. Bankert was killed in action in one of these North African battles. Sadly, he never lived to see the American triumph.

At the time of his death, Harold's brothers and sisters were busy in the war. Boyd Bankert was a Lieutenant Commander on aircraft carriers. Captain Ward Bankert served in Alaska. Rex Bankert worked in the shipyards along the west coast. Harold's two sisters, Zetta and Mrs. Jerry C Jefferis, were living in SD at the time of his death, where Zetta was an instructor in the Sioux Falls air base radio school. Alice, Harold's wife, was stationed in Texas with the W AAC. Upon hearing the news, she took a short furlough to be with her parents in Forest, LA. Harold and his wife Alice never had children, but he left behind three nieces and one nephew.

Harold J. Bankert will be remembered by family and friends as a hero fighting for America in WWII.

This profile is respectfully submitted by Dan Vos, 7th grade, Mickelson Middle School,
Brookings, SD May 2002, with the help of his teacher Jennifer Weber. Information from
this profile came from an application for a South Dakota veteran's payment, The Brookings
Register 6/16/43.