The remains of a U.S. Army corporal killed during the Korean War have been identified 73 years after he was declared missing and was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery, U.S. and South Korean officials said Wednesday.
Luther H. Story of Buena Vista, Georgia was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest military award for his actions during an intense attack by the North Korean army on Sept. 1, 1950.
U.S. officials said that Story “fearlessly stood in the middle of the road, throwing grenades into the truck. Out of grenades, he crawled to his squad, gathered up additional grenades, and again attacked the vehicle.”
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He was wounded in action and stayed behind so that his company could get to safety.
“When last seen he was firing every weapon available and fighting off another hostile assault,” U.S. officials said.
Story’s remains could not be identified, and Gen. Omar Bradley presented Story’s father the Medal of Honor at a Pentagon ceremony in 1951. The corporal was declared unrecoverable — his remains still missing — on Jan. 16, 1954.
President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol, and his wife Kim Keon Hee visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington on April 25, 2023. The remains of Korean War veteran Luther H. Story has been identified after going missing 73 years ago. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
In June 2021, 652 people killed in the Korean War were disinterred and using DNA, dental and anthropological analysis on the human remains, discovered Story’s remains.
“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 and Republic of Korea said in a joint statement.
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The announcement comes as President Joe Biden welcomed South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for a state visit. On Tuesday evening, Yoon and his wife, Kim Keon Hee, made an evening stop to the Korean War Memorial with Biden and first lady Jill Biden. They participated in a wreath-laying ceremony next to the memorial’s Pool of Remembrance. While they were there, the leaders met with Story’s living relative, his niece Judy Wade and her spouse Joseph Wade.
Both nations continue to work to identify all missing soldiers.