December 24, 1942
HOWARD BANKSTON recently enlisted in the Marines at Orlando and is now stationed in California where he is receiving his basic training.
June 24, 1943
BUNNELL SOLDIERS HOLD REUNION IN
There are many interesting highlights connected with any man's service in the military, but seldom equals that encounter by four Flagler county young men now in the South Pacific area.
A reunion, by accident, occurred recently in that area when four Marines, James Crews, HOWARD BANKSTON, Richard Tucker and Holis Parker, ran into each other within an hour or so.
Marines Tucker and Parker went to Guadalcanal with the first contingent. A few months ago Crews was shipped over and a few weeks later BANKSTON got over there. It seems Crews walking along a street met BANKSTON. 'The two went to a "canteen" and ran into Tucker and while the three were staging a small celebration, in came Holis Parker.
Richard Tucker, James Crews and HOWARD BANKSTON are from Bunnell and Holis Parker is from Flagler Beach.
It is known that six other Flagler county men are now located in that area, and others are scattered in the Pacific. It is possible, but not probable, a larger get-together may be reported sometime hence.
July 15, 1943
Richard Tucker, down in the South Pacific, writes his mother here that he sees HOWARD BANKSTON and James Crews from Bunnell nearly every day. Recently they ran into each other "out there" and with Holis Parker of Flagler Beach held an impromptu celebration. Tucker and Parker are Guadalcanal veterans while Bankston and Crews were shipped over recently.
July 29, 1943
It seems as if Marine Corporal Richard Tucker stands by and waits awhile and first thing you know another guy from Bunnell comes along "somewhere In the South Pacific." Buck Durrance, also a Marine, told his father, John Durrance of Flagler Beach, in a letter a few days ago that he had just seen Tucker. Recently Tucker, HOWARD BANKSTON, Holis Parker, and James Crews ran into each down there and held a "reunion." We are glad Buck is now included.
September 2, 1943
Marine HOWARD BANKSTON tells his father, S. C. Bankston, that "the people here treat the service men very good." (Express our appreciation to "the people there" Bankston, and tell 'em we’ll do the same for their folks if they are ever over here)
October 7, 1943
Saw some pictures the other day of Marine Privates HOWARD BANKSTON and James Crews who are in the South Pacific theater. The pictures were sent to Howard's folks here. Both boys look good, apparently having put on some weight since becoming Marines.
March 23, 1944
From down in the Pacific comes a V-Mail from marine HOWARD BANKSTON saying that he is getting The Tribune and enjoys it. He said “It helps to keep one in contact with the old hometown and with his buddies who are in the service.” He added that “I hope the war ends soon because I am beginning to get a little homesick. I surely enjoy the editorials in the paper. All the fellows in my outfit certainly agree with them.”
(We are glad to know that you fellows read my attempts at editorials. Sometimes I feel as if it is wasted effort. But when a guy half around the world from here reads them it gives me the courage to carry on)
April 13, 1944
HOWARD BANKSTON in the South Pacific with the Marines, wrote a letter to his parents and was received here this week with some Japanese money enclosed.
April 20, 1944
HOWARD BANKSTON, down in the South Pacific, writes his father here that he, Jimmy Crews, Buck Durrance and Richard Tucker were together at Cape Gloucester. (Incidentally, Tucker was wounded in that area, his parents here have been informed)
July 20, 1944
Another letter this week from Sgt. Holis Parker, "just to say hello to let you know The Tribune has been reaching me regularly. It is the best way I know of to find out what's going on back home. It looks like the county election has cooled down considerably lately. Buck Durrance has been over to see me several times lately and brought HOWARD BANKSTON with him one day. They are about the only ones I have seen for quite some time."
December 7, 1944
BUNNELL MARINE KILLED IN ACTION
IN PACIFIC WAR
HOWARD S. BANKSTON, Private First Class of the U. S. Marine Corps, and son of Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Bankston of Bunnell was killed “in action on September 20, 1944 in the performance of his duty and service of his country,” a telegram from Washington delivered to the parents here last Saturday stated.
Private Bankston was 20 years of age, and enlisted in the Marine Corps at Orlando, Florida, on December 11, 1942. He took most of his training in California, being sent to the Southwest Pacific theater a few months later.
He took part in a number of. actions there before losing his life on one of the Pacific islands.
He was born and reared in Bunnell and attended the local high school before entering the Marine Corps.
Surviving are his parents and one sister, Mrs. Robert Bertha, also of Bunnell.
January 18, 1945
S. C. Bankston, father of Marine HOWARD BANKSTON who was killed in action on Peleliu several months ago received nice letters of condolence this week from Pvt. Hub Frier on the Western Front and 1st Lt. Junior McKnight, bomber pilot based in England. Also one of Howard's buddies, recently arrived home from the Pacific, came here today to see Mr. and Mrs. Bankston.
He said that he knows that Howard's body was recovered and buried because he and the two other Florida boys in that outfit looked it up. He gave the parents most of the details concerning Howard's death.
April 29, 1945
Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Bankston who lost their only son, HOWARD, on Peleliu with the Marines, has received the Purple Heart, awarded posthumously.