TWO MILITARY PATRIOTS WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY DURING WWII
One Came Home, the Other Made the Supreme Sacrifice
Upon graduation from Tulsa Central High in May 1942, Harry B. Bankston joined the US Army Air Force. He trained as a gunner/air crewman and was assigned for overseas duty as a Staff Sergeant with the 440th Bomb Squadron, 319th Bomb Group, 12th Air Force aboard a B-26 “Marauder” bomber. While overseas, Harry donated his dog Buddy to serve in the Armed Forces. Buddy “enlisted” on August 1943 and became a “war dog”. He served on sentry duty.
Later in December 1943, Mrs. Bankston received a Western Union telegram advising her son Harry was missing in action in Italy.
Sadly, almost a year later, following a concluded government investigation, Mrs. Bankston was advised her son’s classification had been changed to killed in action.
In February 1945, war dog Buddy was discharged and returned to Tulsa. In appreciation of his war dog service, the Tulsa city council presented the Bankston family a lifetime dog license for Buddy at no cost.
Local military preservationist Keith Myers has preserved in memory Harry Bankston’s and “Buddy’s” military articles.