Banks A

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Banks, Arthur
Sergeant
RAFVR

Born: Llandulas, North Wales
6th October 1923

On 29th August, 1944, sergeant Banks took part in an armed reconnaissance of the Ravenna and Ferrara areas in Italy. During the sortie, his aircraft was damaged by anti-aircraft fire and he was compelled to make a forced landing. After the aircraft had been destroyed, Sergeant Banks decided to try to reach the Allied lines. He made contact with a group of Italian partizans, amongst whom, during the following months, be became an outstanding figure, advising and encouraging them in action against the enemy.

Early in December, 1944, an attempt at crossing into allied territory by boat was planed. Sergeant Banks and a number of partizans assembled at the allotted place, but the whole party was surrounded and captured. Sergeant Banks was handed over to the German commander of the district, who presided at his interrogation. During the questioning, Sergeant Banks was cruelly tortured and finally he was taken to several other prisons.

He was transferred to another prison at Ariano Polesine. Here, in the presence of Italian Fascists, he was stripped of his clothing and again tortured. Sergeant Banks was eventually bound and thrown into the River Po. Despite his wounds, even at this stage, he succeeded in reaching the river bank. The Fascists then took him back to the prison, where he was shot through the head.