Hadron Izell Bankston

BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Navy

HOMETOWN
Kaufman, TX

HONORED BY
John C. Burkhardt, SVC MOPH, Chapter 1919, Austin, Texas

ACTIVITY DURING WWII

INDUCTED INTO THE NAVY ON JANUARY 26, 1943. TRAINED AS A PHARMACIST'S MATE (COMBAT MEDIC), ASSIGNED TO THE 26TH RECRUIT BATTALION TRAINING COMMAND, MEDICAL FIELD SERVICE SCHOOL SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. NEXT HE WAS ASSIGNED TO THE NAVAL HOSPITAL, SAN DIEGO, FOLLOWED BY MORE INTENSE TRAINING AT CAMP ELLIOT, SAN DIEGO. ONCE HE COMPLETED TRAINING HE WAS ASSIGNED TO HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, 3RD BATTALION, 3RD MARINE REGIMENT, 5TH MARINE DIVISION, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA. SOON HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO SERVE IN THE ASIATIC-PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS. FIRST THEY WENT TO NEW CALIDONIA AND THEN TO BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA TO TRAIN WITH THE MARINES. THEY WORKED THEIR WAY TO MALIENIA BAY, NEW GUINEA. ONCE THERE THEY STARTED PRACTICE LANDING WORKING THEIR WAY UP THE COAST. BEING ALERGIC TO QUININE HE SOON CAME DOWN WITH A SERIOUS CASE OF MALARIA. BETWEEN DECEMBER AND APRIL, 1943, OPERATION CARTWHEEL, BATTLE OF CAPE GLOUCESTER (TULUVU), NEW BRITAIN, NEW GUINEA AND WAS ASSIGNED TO TAKE AND HOLD THE AIRFIELDS. HE WAS NOT FULLY RECOVERED WHEN HE RE-JOINED HIS UNIT. ON DECEMBER 26, AFTER A NAVAL BOMBARDMENT, THEY LANDED ON 'BLUE BEACH' (HELL'S POINT). ON JANUARY 3, 1944, HE WAS WOUNDED DURING THE BATTLE AT SUICIDE CREEK. HE RECOVERED FROM HIS SHRAPNEL WOUNDS AND ONCE AGAIN RE-JOINED HIS UNIT. SOON HE WAS TO SEE A GREAT DEAL OF MAJOR ACTION DURING THE BATTLE OF PELELIU, PAPAL ISLANDS, FROM SEPTEMBER 15 THROUGH NOVEMBER 25, 1944. AMONG HIS AWARDS AND CITATIONS HE RECEIVED THE PURPLE HEART MEDAL FOR WOUNDS RECEIVED IN ACTION ON JANUARY 3, 1944.