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Honoring Service: Fallen Veteran Robert S. Banks, Korean War

Our reporting on local veterans is a collaboration with RyeVets.org to highlight those from Rye who have served our country across times of war and peace. There are over 2,100 veterans from the City of Rye. Learn more about how you can help research and write biographies of those that have served.

Robert S. Banks

Robert Stanley Banks, born on December 4th, 1927 in Port Chester, New York. He was the son of William A. Banks Sr. and Ethel Griffin Banks and had a brother named William and a sister named Oriel. The Banks family lived at 23 Goldwin Street in Rye, where Robert attended Rye High School.

During his time in high school, Robert was an active participant in sports. He played on the varsity football team and ran for the track team. Additionally, he served as an assistant manager for the track team for two years. Robert graduated from high school in 1946.

Date of Birth: 4-Dec-27
Died On: 15 JUN 1951
Street Address: 23 Goldwin Street
Branch of Service: U.S. Army -72nd Truck Company of the 24th Truck Battalion

Before the Korean War, Robert was associated with the Bethesda Baptist Church in Port Chester. He was also involved with the Westchester Riding Club, the Negro Political League of Port Chester, and the Clef Club.

Robert worked at the Port Chester Paper and Box Company on Irving Ave for five years. He initially joined the company as a truck driver and later became a shop foreman by the time he was drafted.

On September 28th, 1950, Robert was drafted into the U.S. Army. During his training, he earned the distinction of being voted “The best soldier in his company” and was awarded a special seal of approval from his general.

Following his training, Robert was stationed in Germany with the 72nd Truck Company of the 24th Truck Battalion at Lierkersheim. Tragically, on June 15, 1951, his parents received a War Department telegram informing them that their son, Corporal Robert S. Banks, had drowned in the Nieder River, Germany. The telegram mentioned that he drowned when the current proved too strong and carried him under. An investigation into the incident was underway.

In September 1951, Robert’s remains were returned home, and he was laid to rest at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, NY. He was twenty-two years old at the time of his passing.


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