Army Medal of Honor recipient and Korean War veteran remains identified

By Army Public AffairsApril 26, 2023

Pfc. Luther Story , circa 1950
Pfc. Luther Story , circa 1950 (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON — The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has positively identified the remains of Army Corporal Luther H. Story, a Medal of Honor recipient from Buena Vista, Georgia, who was killed in action while serving with Alpha Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during the Korean War.

Story was a 19-year-old private first class when he was killed in action on Sept. 1, 1950, near Agnok, Korea. After being missing in action for nearly 73 years, he will be laid to rest at Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia.

After the battle, Pfc. Story’s remains could not be located or identified, and he was not recorded as captured. On Jan. 16, 1956, his remains were declared unrecoverable.

In June 2021, as part of the plan to disinter 652 Korean War Unknowns from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the DPAA disinterred a set of remains recovered near Sangde-po, South Korea.

Scientists from the DPAA used dental and anthropological analyses, and scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis, to identify the remains as Story, who was posthumously promoted to corporal.

President Joseph Biden and President Yoon Suk Yeoland, Republic of Korea, attended a ceremony in on April 25 at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., with Story’s family in attendance.

A joint statement was issued by the presidents of the United States of America and the Republic of Korea on the identification.

Corporal Luther H. Story Award Citation:

Pfc. Story distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. A savage daylight attack by elements of three enemy divisions penetrated the thinly held lines of the 9th Infantry. Company A beat off several banzai attacks, but was bypassed and in danger of being cut off and surrounded. Pfc. Story, a weapons squad leader, was heavily engaged in stopping the early attacks and had just moved his squad to a position overlooking the Naktong River when he observed a large group of the enemy crossing the river to attack Company A. Seizing a machine gun from his wounded gunner, he placed deadly fire on the hostile column, killing or wounding an estimated 100 enemy soldiers. Facing certain encirclement, the company commander ordered a withdrawal. During the move Pfc. Story noticed the approach of an enemy truck loaded with troops and towing an ammunition trailer. Alerting his comrades to take cover, he fearlessly stood in the middle of the road, throwing grenades into the truck. After running out of grenades, he crawled to his squad, gathered additional grenades, and again attacked the vehicle. During the withdrawal, the company was attacked by such superior numbers that it was forced to deploy in a rice field. Pfc. Story was wounded during 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 and remained to cover the company’s withdrawal. When last seen, he was firing every weapon available and fighting off another hostile assault. Pvt. Story’s extraordinary heroism, aggressive leadership and supreme devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and were in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the military service.

Helpful links:

Visit the Army Medal of Honor Homepage

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency