b. 06/10/1923 Llanddulas, Wales. d. 20/12/1944 Ariano nei Polesine, Italy.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 27/08 - 20/12/1944 Italy.
He was 21 years old and serving in 112 Squadron, RAF Volunteer Reserve. During an armed reconnaissance flight his aircraft was badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Banks was compelled to make a forced landing, and after destroying his aircraft he tried to reach the Allied lines. He made contact with a group of partisans and, during the following months, he became an outstanding figure among them, advising and encouraging them in action against the enemy. Early in December 1944 an attempt was made at crossing into Allied territory by boat, the whole party was surrounded and captured. Banks was handed over to the German commander of the district, who presided at his interrogation, during which he was tortured. At one stage he succeeded in getting hold of a machine gun, with which he could have killed most of his captors, but one of the partisans, fearing reprisals, stopped him. On 8th December, he was taken to a prison in Adria, where he remained until 19th December, when he was moved to another prison at Ariano Polesine and was again tortured to make him talk, which he never did. He was then stripped, bound and thrown into the river Po; he managed to escape, but was recaptured, taken back to the prison and shot.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: ARGENTA GAP WAR CEMETERY, ITALY.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
The War Graves Photographic Project
St Clements Danes Church, Aldwych, London