Menasha soldier killed but never recovered from Korean War to be honored for heroism

Lashok

MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) – The Menasha VFW recently received a box full of medals, letters and awards for a soldier who died in North Korea in 1950.

His remains have never been found, but the box of items details the incredible ultimate sacrifice this young soldier made for his country.

“This was his picture when he went in — a young kid. Thought he would go in, come home and never made it,” said David Mix, Commander of Post 2126 VFW.

Edward Lashok was just 21 years old when he died attacking a ridge in North Korea.

“Apparently there was a well-entrenched enemy there, and with disregard for his life, Edward grabbed some grenades and started throwing them at the enemy,” said Robert Plath, the man who received the box full of Edward’s letters, medals and awards.

But when Lashok went back to get more grenades, he was shot down by enemy forces.

“He died November 26, 1950,” said Mix.

Lashok’s courageous actions are all outlined in multiple letters, medals and awards sent to his parents, which included a Silver Star and Purple Heart.

One letter was from a woman in Iowa whose son was in the same company as Lashok.

“They were buddies and went to Korea together,” said Plath.

The letter read: “Dear Mrs. Lashok, This is going to be a hard letter to write but will try my best. My boy in Korea wrote to me, to write to you about your boy as they were buddies. I think he feels pretty bad as he is a medic and said he couldn’t save him. But he wanted me to tell you that he didn’t suffer as he was shot through the heart.”

“Unfortunately she received that letter a month before she received a telegram from the Army saying that her son had been killed,” said Plath.

Sixty-six years later and Lashok’s remains have never been found.

“This gentleman gave his life but he is still not here,” said Mix.

To honor Lashok, the Menasha VFW is putting Lashok’s awards and letters on display at the Menasha Public Library throughout the month of November. Mix and Plath said they want to give others a chance to pay their respects and remember that freedom isn’t free.

“When someone can’t come home, people here need to be reminded that other people have paid the ultimate sacrifice so we are able to have the freedom that we have,” said Plath.

Mix said Lashok’s letters, awards and medals will be on display at the Menasha Public Library for the Veterans Day celebration on November 11. After November, they will be given to the historical society.