John Lawrence Banks, III

First Lieutenant
United States Air Force
15 October 1941 - 29 March 1966
Duluth, Minnesota
Panel 06E Line 059


USAF Pilot

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Lawrence Banks, III

03 Dec 2006

John L. Banks III was a member of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, USAF ROTC Det 420 during the mid 1960's. As a patriotic citizen, John was well respected and became a student leader during his college years. He was also a very active member of a social fraternity, Alpha Nu Omega. Upon graduation he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the USAF and departed for flight school knowing that he would ultimately be sent to Vietnam. However, his patriotism did not deter him from his obligation to serve his country. John was a pilot of a C-130 and gave the ultimate sacrifice on March 29, 1966. As a member of John's ROTC unit and the same fraternity, I will always remember the example he set for me and many others. May John rest in peace and always be remembered by his friends and fellow students as the brave man he was during a trying time in our country's history.

From a fellow ROTC student and fraternity brother,
Gary L. Gilchrist
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The 29th Troop Carrier Squadron deployed from Forbes AFB, Kansas, to Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines, in response to the build-up in Southeast Asia. As with other PACAF transport squadrons, the 29th TCS went onto the rotation list for duty in South Vietnam. On 29 March 1966 C-130B tail number 61-0953 was deploying to RVN when it undershot the runway during a night landing at Pleiku Air Base. The crash killed three of the five crewmen aboard:
  • LtCol Lee B. Tate, St Louis, MO, pilot;
  • 1stLt John L. Banks, Duluth, MN, copilot; and
  • A1C Ronald C. Logan, St Joseph, MO, flight engineer.
The three deaths were reported in Defense Department News Release number 249-66 dated 30 March 1966:

Thirty-seven months later, Defense Department News Release number 313-69 dated 23 April 1969 contained the following entry:

On 16 April 1969 Private David L. Banks, serving with H&S Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines was wounded by an accidental discharge while standing a bridge watch at Dai Loc, southwest of Danang. He was evacuated to the hospital ship USS SANCTUARY where he died on 21 April 1969.

John and David Banks are buried with their mother in the Greenwood Cemetery, Superior, Wisconsin.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a fellow ROTC student and fraternity brother,
Gary L. Gilchrist
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 03 Dec 2006
Last updated 02/10/2008