Banks, William McGowan, Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1961-1963, 6611, Air Force Material Command (AFMC)
Service Years
1933 - 1963
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
West Virginia
West Virginia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Banks, William McGowan, Col USAF(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Raleigh, West Virginia
Last Address
San Antonio, Texas

Date of Passing
May 06, 1983
Location of Interment
Sunset Memorial Park - Beckley, West Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Westview I, 1-28 Section

 Official Badges 

Headquarters Air Force Commander Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Air Ace American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
American Fighter Aces AssociationAir Force Memorial (AFM)
  1961, American Fighter Aces Association
  2019, Air Force Memorial (AFM) - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He shot down 9 enemy aircraft and damaged 1 in the Pacific Theater.
His Silver Star citation:

Awarded for actions during World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major (Air Corps) William M. Banks (ASN: 0-429515), United States Army Air Forces, for gallantry in action as Pilot of a P-47 fighter airplane of the 342d Fighter Squadron, 348th Fighter Group, FIFTH Air Force, in action during an escort mission to Clark Field, Luzon, Philippine Islands, on 24 December 1944. Following his plan of preceding a main body of fighters to gain information on the deployment of enemy opposition, Major Banks led an element of two of a total force of sixty-six P-47 type aircraft. On approaching the target, he climbed to attack several enemy airplanes and, concentrating his fire on one of them, sent it crashing to the ground. After apprising his formation of the strength and deployment of Japanese aircraft in the area, he joined in the ensuing battle and brought down another fighter which was trying to escape. His squadron, taking full advantage of the advance information he supplied, accounted for thirty-two of the interceptors. The outstanding leadership and gallantry displayed by Major Banks reflect the highest traditions of the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, Far East Air Forces, General Orders No. 333 (March 6, 1945)

Action Date: 24-Dec-44

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Major

Company: 342nd Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 348th Fighter Group

Division: 5th Air Force

Other Comments:
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Army National Guard (ARNG)Aviation Cadet Flight School62nd Fighter Squadron  - Spikes56th Fighter Group
90th Fighter Squadron  - Pair-O-Dice80th Fighter Group342nd Fighter Squadron82nd Fighter Group
33rd Fighter WingAir War College (Student) Headquarters Command (HQ USAF)US Embassy
Air Defense Sector - WesternAir Defense Sector - BostonAir Force Material Command (AFMC)
  1933-1936, Army National Guard (ARNG)
  1941-1941, AAF MOS 770, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1055, 62nd Fighter Squadron - Spikes
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1055, 56th Fighter Group
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1055, 90th Fighter Squadron - Pair-O-Dice
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1055, 80th Fighter Group
  1942-1945, AAF MOS 1055, 342nd Fighter Squadron
  1942-1945, AAF MOS 1065, 348th Fighter Group
  1948-1949, AAF MOS 1065, 82nd Fighter Group
  1950-1951, AAF MOS 1065, 33rd Fighter Wing
  1951-1952, Air War College (Student)
  1952-1955, AAF MOS 2140, Headquarters Command (HQ USAF)
  1955-1958, US Embassy. Oslo, Norway
  1958-1959, 1411, Air Defense Sector - Western
  1960-1961, 1411, Air Defense Sector - Boston
  1961-1963, 6611, Air Force Material Command (AFMC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1943-1943 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)
  1944-1944 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Air Offensive Campaign Japan (1942-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)
 Colleges Attended 
Air War College
  1936-1940, Others/Not Listed
  1951-1952, Air War College
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-36 Hawk  P-39 Airacobra  P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk  P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)  
P-51/F-51 Mustang  F-84 Thunderjet  F-86 Sabre  F-94 Starfire  
  1941-1942, P-36 Hawk
  1941-1942, P-39 Airacobra
  1941-1942, P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk
  1942-1945, P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)
  1948-1949, P-51/F-51 Mustang
  1950-1950, F-84 Thunderjet
  1950-1951, F-86 Sabre
  1951-1951, F-94 Starfire
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