During WW II, Harold “Bud” Banker served in the Army’s newly formed Office of Strategic Services (OSS). After being quietly and specially selected for duty with the military intelligence agency—based on his befitting “background” and qualifications–Bud was sent to the China-Burma-Indian theater of operations (CBI). For decades after the war, official names of personnel serving with the OSS were kept secret by the government until the National Archives released the declassified OSS records in 2008.
“I was a lucky guy during the war,” Harold says. “I was lucky many times. But I saw a lot of things that affected me. Hurt me. It was a different world over there. Of the enemy? “I hate them to this day,” he admits.
Harold “Bud” Banker: In My Own Words from Veterans Breakfast Club on Vimeo.
On November 1, 2012 at the Devonshire of Mt. Lebanon senior community in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Harold Banker sat down with Todd DePastino and shared his experiences of service during WWII.
KEYWORDS: A6M ZERO (MITSUBISHI); ABERDEEN PROVING GROUNDS (MD); ASSAM, INDIA; ATLANTIC OCEAN; AUSTRALIA; BILLY CONN; BURMA; C-46 COMMANDO (CURTISS); C-47 SKYTRAIN (DOUGLAS); CAIRO, EGYPT; CALCUTTA, INDIA; CAMP DAVID, MD; CAMP MEADE; CAMP SHANGRI LAI; CEYLON; CLAIRE LEE CHENNAULT (GENERAL); ESPIONAGE TRAINING; FLYING TIGERS; FORT BLISS, TX; FORT HAMILTON, NY; FORT HARRISON, IN; FORT KNOX, KY; GURKHAS ; HEAD HUNTERS; HIMALAYAS; HUGLI RIVER; JOHN FORD; KACHIN RANGERS; KICKERS; KUNMING, CHINA; LITTLE ROCK, AR; MEDITERRANEAN SEA; OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES (OSS); OSS DETACHMENT 101; PANAMA CANAL ZONE; PENTAGON; QUONSET HUT (Q-BUILDING); RED SEA; SADIYA, BURMA; STATIC LINE PARACHUTE JUMPING; TEA PLANTATIONS; TOKYO ROSE; WASHINGTON DC
The Final Story
Harold “Bud” Banker, Sr., age 97 of Mt. Lebanon, passed away on Sunday, November 16, 2014. Bud was born in Wilkinsburg, PA to the late John and Agnes Banker. Husband of the late Dolores M. Banker; brother of the late Edward Charles Banker; father of Cheryl Kail of Sarasota, FL, Harold “Hal” Banker, Jr. of Glassboro, NJ, Barbara Paquin of Overland Park, KS, Darlene Hare of Warsaw, NY and Richard Banker of Prague, OK; also survived by 12 grandchildren; 12 great- grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
Bud was a military veteran and served as an operative in the OSS, 101st Division in the China, Burma and India Theatre. After leaving the military, Bud became an Art Director at the former Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph Newspaper. He was an accomplished artist and has a painting on permanent display at the AAHSA Building (Department on Aging) in Washington, DC. Bud was recognized as the oldest, active softball player by the National Senior Softball Association before retiring from his South Hills Senior Softball League in 2012.
Family and friends were received at Laughlin Memorial Chapel, Mt. Lebanon, PA.