A US Medal of Honor recipient whose unidentified remains were recovered from Korea in October 1950 was finally identified in April and has returned home to Georgia where he was buried on Memorial Day, the Associated Press reported.
Army Pfc. Luther Herschel Story fought with the 9th Infantry Regiment in Korea. At age 18, Story was wounded in action. Fearing his injuries would slow down his company’s retreat, Story remained behind to provide cover for their withdrawal. He was never seen again.
His unidentified body was recovered about a month later and his remains were buried with other unknown servicemen at Hawaii’s National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific.
But in April, the US military revealed that DNA taken from family members of Story matched his remains, and last Wednesday, Luther Herschel Story returned home to rest.
Last Wednesday, police escorted Story’s casket as it traveled through the streets of his hometown of Americus. Among those who turned up to celebrate Story’s return was former President Jimmy Carter. As a boy, Story’s family worked and lived in Plains, Georgia on land owned by the former president’s father, James Earl Carter Sr.
On Memorial Day, Story was buried with military honors at the Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia.
The son of a sharecropper, Story grew up in Sumpter County, Georgia. The family later moved to Americus where he briefly enrolled in high school. In 1948, Story decided to join the Army. As he was only 16 years old at the time, Story’s mother agreed to sign papers permitting for him to enlist.
In the summer of 1950, Story was deployed to Korea.
And on September 1, 1950, his unit was overwhelmed by three North Korean divisions that surrounded them, cutting off their escape. When the commander ordered their retreat, Story rushed into a road, throwing grenades at an approaching truck and killing or wounding around 100 North Korean troops. Though wounded, Story continued fighting as his unit made it retreat.
Story’s father received his Medal of Honor at a ceremony at the Pentagon in 1951.