Cpl. Luther Herschel Story was a U.S. Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Korean War. He was killed in action on Sept. 1, 1950, near Agok, Korea, while defending his company from enemy attacks. He single-handedly destroyed an enemy truck and trailer and fought off several enemy assaults with machine guns and grenades. He was officially listed as missing in action until his remains were identified in 2020. He was buried with military honors at Andersonville National Cemetery in Andersonville, Ga., on May 29, 2023. This was a true red-blooded young American hero. Our commander/historian, Dr. Daniel R. Brewer, of Post 30, Albany, Ga., wrote the following article about this hero in our June 2023 newsletter.
It was an honor and privilege to have attended the funeral of Cpl. Luther H. Story along with fellow Legionnaires and distinguished guests, Including Gov. Kemp and the first lady.
HISTORIAN’s CORNER (Dan Brewer, Historian: CPL Luther H. Story, U.S. Army, Medal of Honor Recipient
Luther Herschel Story was born on July 20, 1932, in the rural community of Buena Vista, Georgia, to Mark H. and Florence Story. It was the Great Depression and Luther was the youngest of three children after brother Buddy and sister Gwendolyn. He came from an extremely poor family, as they were sharecroppers. Story played baseball at Americus High School, but never graduated because when he was 16 years old he joined the military: his mom signed his papers. The teenage soldier ended up in Korea in 1950 with A Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division (U.S. Army). On September 1, 1950, during the heroic battle of Nakdong river, a teenage private first class at the time, (he) proved fearless in the face of death, as he took over a machine gun from a wounded American and fired on an attacking column, killing or wounding an estimated 100 enemy soldiers. The company commander ordered the unit to withdraw against overwhelming odds, but Story remained, unleashing a barrage of hand grenades on an enemy troop truck towing an ammunition trailer. PFC 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. When last seen, he was firing every weapon available and fighting off another hostile assault. CPL Story had been listed as missing in action since that day. In October 1950, U.S. personnel recovered remains in the area where CPL Story fell, but they could not be identified with the forensic techniques available at the time. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1951 for his heroics but remained missing in action for the next 73 years. On April 6, 2023, his remains were finally identified through the use of DNA, and his body was sent home to his niece, Judy Wade, in Americus, GA on May 24, 2023. On Monday, May 29, 2023, Memorial Day, Corporal Luther H. Story was given a proper burial at the Andersonville National Cemetery. He earned the tribute of two grateful nations (South Korea and America) at the Memorial Day service, and was finally recognized with a hero’s return, although sadly his parents and siblings never got to witness this event.