Shafer wounded after accidental shelling

Editor’s note: This is the 83rd in a series of stories about past and present Jackson County residents who earned the Purple Heart Medal, which is awarded to military personnel wounded or killed in the line of duty.

The names of those profiled in these stories are among those placed on a special monument for Purple Heart Medal recipients now standing in Holton’s Linscott Park.


In the summer of 1952, Holton native Eldon Shafer was fighting with the U.S. Army’s 45th Division near the eventual border of North and South Korea when an artillery shell that had been fired toward the army’s enemies in the Korean War fell short of its target and landed in a hole where Shafer and four other soldiers were taking cover.

Shafer managed to survive the accidental shelling, but lost his right leg as a result, and he was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for his bravery.

Born April 4, 1929, in Holton to Fred and Tressie Shores Shafer, Eldon graduated from Holton High School with the class of 1947 and married the former Marjorie Slater about three years later. He entered the Army in March of 1951 and would join the 45th Division that November, serving as a mortar man in Company K of the 180th Infantry regiment.

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109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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