Hamilton County


Cpl. Walter John Lanken



Walter John Lanken was born June 26, 1924 to Christian and Anne Lanken. He died Sept. 19, 1950 in Korea. He is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Corporal Lanken served with the U.S. Army in World War II and also served in Korea where he was killed in action. For service in Korea he was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Medical Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Korean War Service Medal. He was also posthumously awarded the silver star.

Death - Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Nov. 30, 1950

Cpl. Lanken Honored With Silver Star

Cpl. Walter J. Lanken, the first Webster City soldier reported killed in the Korean fighting, has been honored with the posthumous award of the silver star medal, Gen. MacArthur’s headquarters announced today in Tokyo.

The Webster City soldier, son of Mrs. Anna Lanken, 1125 First Street, was reported killed Sept. 19, while serving with his unit of the First cavalry division.

Today’s announcement from Tokyo, carried by the Associated Press, said Cpl. Lanken was awarded the silver star for heroism while administering aid to wounded men.

The Webster City serviceman was among 13 First cavalry heroes awarded silver stars for gallantry. On Sept. 19, when the enemy opened up with mortars and artillery on American tanks being repaired in a river bed near Singdon, a number of First Cavalry men were wounded, the AP dispatch said.

“Lanken rushed into the shell-torn area, administering aid to the badly wounded,” the announcement said. “The citation said his heroism saved many lives.”

Source: ancestry.com