A group of soldiers from the 9th Infantry Regiment made a desperate attempt to escape when North Korean troops closed in around them. Luther Herschel Story, an 18-year-old Army Pfc.
Story’s actions on September 1, 50, during the Korean War ensured that he would always be remembered. The Medal of Honor is displayed in the National Infantry Museum, near Americus Georgia, along with his portrait.
Story has never returned to life and his grave location is a mystery.
Judy Wade, Story’s niece, and the nearest living relative to him, said, “In my family, we always believed that he would not be found. ”
In the spring of 2010, the U.S. Military announced that DNA tests found a match in the remains of Story and those recovered from Korea in 1950. Wade received the news over the phone. Story was returning to his home country after nearly 73 years.
A military burial at Andersonville National Cemetery is scheduled for Monday. A flashing police escort led Story’s coffin in Americus Georgia on Wednesday.
Wade, a 4-year-old girl, whose uncle had been missing in action abroad, said, “I don’t have to worry any more.” “I am glad that he’s home. ”
Former president Jimmy Carter was one of those who celebrated Story’s return. Wade states that Story’s family lived and worked in Plains on land owned by James Earl Carter Sr.
Jill Stuckey, the superintendent of Jimmy Carter National Historical Park, has been providing hospice care to Jimmy Carter in his Plains residence since February. She told Carter that she had shared Story with Carter as soon as she heard about it.
Stuckey replied, “Oh he had a big smile on his lips.” He was delighted to hear that the hero would soon be returning home.
Story was born about 150 miles south from Atlanta in Sumter County. Story’s father was a sharecropper. As a young boy, Story and his siblings helped harvest cotton. The work was hard and did not pay well.
She would tell me that her fingers would be bleeding at night after picking cotton from bolls. The family had to work together to survive.
Story’s father found better work in Americus. It is the largest town in the county. He enrolled in high school after World War II but soon decided to join the military.
Wade said she had obtained a copy of her uncle’s birth certificate, which revealed he was born in 1932. It would mean he was 16 when he joined.
Story left school during his sophomore year. In the summer of 1950, around the beginning of the Korean War he was sent to Korea with Company A of the 1st Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment.
Three divisions of North Korean troops attacked Story’s unit on September 1, 1950, near the village Agok along the Naktong River. The North Koreans tried to stop the Americans from leaving by surrounding them.
The Medal of Honor citation states that Story took a machine gun and fired on enemy soldiers crossing the river, killing or wounding about 100. His company commander ordered the retreat. Story rushed to a road when his commander gave this order. He fired grenades into a truck that was approaching, which contained North Korean soldiers with ammunition. He continued fighting despite his injuries.
Story’s award citation stated, “Realizing that his injuries could hinder his comrades, he refused to retire to the next position but remained to cover the company’s withdrawal. “When last seen, he used every weapon in his arsenal to repel another hostile attack.
Story’s death was presumed. According the the birth certificate Wade obtained, Story would have had been 18 years old at the time.
Story’s father received the Medal of Honor at a Pentagon Ceremony in 1951. Story’s promotion from corporal to sergeant was made posthumously.
About a month after Story went missing in Korea, the U.S. Military found a body. In the same area where he fought, the remains of the unidentified soldier were buried with other unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Hawaii.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency reports that more than 7,500 Americans who served in the Korean War remain missing or whose remains are unidentified. That’s about 20% of the nearly 37,000 U.S. soldiers who died during the conflict.
Scientists compared DNA samples from Wade’s mother to those taken before her death. They were successful.
President Joe Biden made the announcement on April 26 in Washington. Yoon Suk Yeol, president of South Korea, also attended.
Biden said: “Today, we can bring him back to family and rest.”