THOMAS A. BANTA, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Thomas Banta '54

Date of birth: December 5, 1930

Date of death: September 25, 1958

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1954 Lucky Bag:

1954 Banta LB.jpg

Thomas Alfred Banta

Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania

Although Tom was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and has moved about quite a bit, he considers Philadelphia his home town. He spent one year in the Navy before coming to the Naval Academy. Since coming to the Academy, Tom has made many friends and has proved to everyone that he has what it takes to be a leader of men. He was good natured but also knew when to be serious. Tom took a keen interest in sports and always made good use of his recreation periods. He liked handball and football particularly. His football playing contributed much to the battalion team. Judging from his life at the Naval Academy, Tom will be a success at anything he undertakes.

FOOTBALL—4,3,2,1. SOFTBALL—4,3. HANDBALL—3,2,1. RECEPTION COMMITTEE—4,3,2,1.


He was a member of the 16th Company staff for the fall set.

1954 Banta LB.jpg

Thomas Alfred Banta

Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania

Although Tom was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and has moved about quite a bit, he considers Philadelphia his home town. He spent one year in the Navy before coming to the Naval Academy. Since coming to the Academy, Tom has made many friends and has proved to everyone that he has what it takes to be a leader of men. He was good natured but also knew when to be serious. Tom took a keen interest in sports and always made good use of his recreation periods. He liked handball and football particularly. His football playing contributed much to the battalion team. Judging from his life at the Naval Academy, Tom will be a success at anything he undertakes.

FOOTBALL—4,3,2,1. SOFTBALL—4,3. HANDBALL—3,2,1. RECEPTION COMMITTEE—4,3,2,1.


He was a member of the 16th Company staff for the fall set.

Loss

From The Charlotte News on June 1, 1954

Tom was lost when a USS Randolph (CVA 15) catapult "bridle detached from one hook and dragged A4D-2 BuNo 142702 sideways down track and upside down into sea" on September 25, 1958.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Thomas graduated from Towson High School in Maryland and the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Newport, Rhode Island.

In June 1958, he ushered at the wedding of Lt. Peter Nelson Randrup (’56) at West Hartford, Connecticut. Best man was Lt. John H. Slough (’56,) and other ushers were Lts. William Elias (‘55,) Robert Hinton (‘55,) Frank L. Ingram (‘56,) Charles Rourke (’54), and John Wild (‘55.)

He left the U.S. on September 1, 1958, and was stationed aboard the aircraft carrier Randolph in the Mediterranean Sea.

Survived by his wife, the former Constance Louise Nine, whom he married on graduation day June 4, 1954; his father T. G. Harrison; his mother and foster father Mr. and Mrs. William J. Banta; and three brothers, William now in his first year at Annapolis (‘61,) Charles and Frank.

He has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.

Tom's wife remarried. His sword was, as of December 2009, going to be given to a Virginia Tech NROTC midshipman.

Related Articles

George Gardner, Jr. '46 was also a member of Attack Squadron (VA) 72 and also lost during USS Randolph's 1959 Mediterranean Sea deployment.


Class of 1954

Thomas is one of 37 members of the Class of 1954 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.