Lieutenant Paul N. Banker

10401 Brighton Road
Lieutenant Paul Banker
Lieutenant Paul Banker

Paul Banker, the only son of Dr. Newton and Jessie Banker, died March 15, 1945, when hit in a Japanese strafing run.

Paul served in an Army Signal Air Warning Battalion at Biak Island near the western end of New Guinea. The island had been held by 11,000 Japanese troops. The U. S. Army landed on Biak on May 27, 1944, with 12,000 soldiers. The Japanese commander decided to allow the Americans to come ashore unopposed so they could fall into a trap he had prepared.

The capture of Biak Island cost the Americans nearly 3,000 casualties, with 474 killed and 2,428 wounded. The Japanese fought to annihilation with 6,100 dead and just 450 captured.

Paul Banker was born on August 2, 1918. He attended Bratenahl School, Shaw High School, and graduated from Case Institute of Technology (Case Western Reserve University) with a degree in metallurgy.

Paul enlisted in the U. S. Army 107th Mechanized Cavalry in March 1941, before the United States officially entered World War II. After Pearl Harbor, he was sent to a technical school in radio at San Francisco. Later, he enrolled in Officers’ Training School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and received a commission as a second lieutenant. He then was sent to Harvard University to study electronics.