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Buell Bankston


Date and Place of Birth: 1915 Houston, TX
Date and Place of Death:    January 27, 1943 Columbia AAF, SC
Baseball Experience: College
Position: Unknown
Rank: Captain
Military Unit: 499th Squadron USAAF
Area Served: United States

Buell Allen Bankston was born in Houston, Texas, in 1915. He attended Baylor University where he played but never lettered on the varsity baseball team. Bankston graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1938.

Married to Bertha Pawloski, he entered military service in October 1940, and served with the USAAF as a Captain. Bankston was the first commanding officer of the 499th Bomb Squadron when it was activated in September 1942. The squadron was stationed at Columbia Army Air Field, South Carolina, and trained with North American B-25D Mitchell for deployment to the Pacific. On January 27, 1943, Captain Bankston was killed when he was piloting a B-25D that crashed on a routine training flight about three miles north of Columbia. Three other officers and three enlisted men were also killed in the crash. Captain Bankston now rests at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Houston, Texas. Two months after his death, Bertha gave birth to their son, Buell A. Bankston, Jr., who was tragically shot and killed in September 1976. Bertha passed away in 2003.

Buell Bankston is one of more than 125 former Baylor students remembered by granite memorial lampposts that grace the campus near the Hankamer Business School. Each bears a plaque honoring a Baylor student or graduate who was killed while serving their country.

Thanks to Astrid van Erp for help with this biography

Date Added June 8, 2012 Updated August 6, 2017

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