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A U.S. Army corporal posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Korean War. Now, 73 years after he was killed serving his country, Luther H. Story’s remains have been identified.
Story, a member of the 9th Infantry, was declared missing after his company was attacked by the North Korean army near the Naktong River in South Korea in 1950. The corporal — who was from Buena Vista, Georgia — was declared unrecoverable after he took heroic action to repel enemy forces so his company could withdraw, according to the Associated Press.
In 1951, Gen. Omar Bradley presented Story’s father with the Medal of Honor. U.S. and South Korean officials announced Wednesday that Story’s remains had been identified and accounted for on April 6.
“The supreme sacrifice and heroism of Corporal Luther Story is illustrative of the freedom, security, and prosperity the South Korean people have today,” the White House said in a joint statement with South Korea.
In line with Memorial Day I want to introduce you to my uncle Luther H. Story. He's MIA from the Korean conflict. He's 17-18 in this picture. pic.twitter.com/uBYGnyZW8Y
— JudyBelle1 (@Elwood_Man) May 29, 2022
On September 1, 1950, Story saw the enemy army crossing the river and heading toward his company. He grabbed a machine gun from his wounded gunner and opened fire on the North Koreans, killing or wounding an estimated 100 enemy soldiers, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
The American company was still surrounded by North Koreans, however, and the commander ordered a withdrawal. As the Americans moved positions, Story noticed an enemy truck approaching them. After telling his comrades to take cover, Story “fearlessly stood in the middle of the road, throwing grenades into the truck,” according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
The 19-year-old ran out of grenades but crawled to his squad to retrieve more before returning to the enemy truck to continue his assault.
“Story was wounded in this action, but, disregarding his wounds, rallied the men about him and repelled the attack. Realizing that his wounds would hamper his comrades, he refused to retire to the next position but remained to cover the company’s withdrawal,” U.S. officials said.
Story was last seen firing every weapon he could get his hands on to fend off the enemy attack so his fellow troops could withdraw.