In Memory of
December 28, 1916 -May 6, 1943
North Africa, Tank Corps
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
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
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
this profile came from an application for a South Dakota veteran's payment, The