Kossuth County

Harold Banwart



According to word received from Italy by Mr. and Mrs. George Banwart, Algona, their son, Harold, now with the United States forces in Italy, has been cited for meritorious conduct while his division was still in Tunisia, North Africa area.  Perhaps many of our readers will remember that in a letter published in the Upper Des Moines during the summer, Harold told of how one night he and three companions became lost in the wilds of Africa after the three of them had rescued fellow soldiers trapped in a land mine area and who had been wounded.  It was following this rescue that Harold became separated from his fellow soldiers and started to walk back to camp, and came to the fork in the road and didn’t know which to take.  In the letter which was printed, Harold didn’t mention what he had been doing, but did say that he finally arrived at camp after a long trek in the dark.

The citation issued by Major General Ryder follows:
Under the provisions of AR 600-55, as amended, the following named individuals are cited:  (Here was given the name of Harold Banwart, Algona, Iowa, and the names of his three buddies.)
“For exceptionally meritorious conduct on the night of ____ March, 1943, in the vicinity of Tunisia, North Africa.  The above named soldiers were directed to remove two casualties of the ____ Field Artillery, who were trapped in a mine field.  They, with utter disregard for their own personal safety, entered the mine field and rendered first aid and evacuated the casualties.  The prompt and courageous actions of these four men, despite the fact that they did not know the pattern of the mine field and the night was exceptionally dark, resulting in saving the lives of the two men.  Their initiative and devotion to duty were highly meritorious and a credit to the armed forces of the United States.
By command of Major General Ryder.”

Source: The Algona Upper Des Moines, Thursday, December 16, 1943