In Memory of
U.S. Army Private Meckling, South Dakota
Clay County

November 11, 1927 – May 18, 1951
Killed in Action in Korea

Norman Leon Rask was born November 11, 1927, on the family farm near Meckling, South Dakota, to Hans and Tillie (Larson) Rask. He had two sisters. Norman was raised and educated in and around Meckling, graduating from Meckling High School in 1945. After high school, he farmed with his parents.

On November 15, 1951, Norman entered active service at Fort Snelling in Minnesota. He was trained at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, assigned to be a mechanic in the 6th Armored Division. In April of 1951, Private Rask was sent overseas; he arrived in Japan the first week of May and was transferred to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He arrived in Korea on May 12, 1951. In a last letter home, Norman wrote to his parents, “I feel that it is God’s will I am here.”

Just 6 days after his arrival, on May 18, 1951, Private Norman Rask was killed in action near Hangye, Korea. “During the withdrawal [of his ammunition platoon] through the enemy road block, he was struck by fragments of an artillery shell which caused his death.”

The body of Norman Rask was later returned to the United States, and he was buried with military honors on December 10, 1951, in the family plot at the Meckling Lutheran Cemetery.

For his service, Private Rask was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.

I will remember the service and sacrifice of U.S. Army Private Norman L. Rask.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Hank G. Williams, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota. Information for this entry was provided by the SD National Guard Museum, an application for a veteran’s bonus, and newspaper clippings. No family contact made.