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AN ALMOST FORGOTTEN HERO - Corporal (posthumous) Luther H. Story, U.S. Army, Korean War, Medal of Honor (1931-1950)

Corporal (posthumous) Luther H. Story, US Army, Korean War, Medal of Honor

BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D.  Recently while helping to host over 50 Medal of Honor recipients here In Honolulu, I was privileged to join them on board the USS Missouri for drinks and pupu’s.  Whilst having a drink with a Medal of Honor recipient whom I have known for quite some time, he asked if I had ever written about a friend of his, Luther Story, who was also a Medal of Honor recipient.  I told him I hadn’t and he replied it seemed like everyone had forgotten him.

I promised my friend I would see what I could do about writing an article featuring his friend.

In doing some research to gather some facts about Story, it seems that he somehow did slip through the cracks.  There is very little written about him; however, I did discover there is a bridge on SR 26, over the Kinchafoonee Creek in Marion County, Georgia,  known as the Luther Story Bridge.  On January 28, 1990 a memorial was placed on the courthouse lawn in Sumter County, Georgia telling the story of Corporal (posthumous) Luther H. Story’s Medal of Honor.

Luther H. Story was born in Buena Vista, Georgia on July 20 1931.  He was killed a short 19 years later near Agok Korea.

He was killed in action and has an "In Memory Of" marker at Andersonville National Cemetery, Georgia.  He is also listed on the "Wall of the Missing" at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. He had reached the rank of Private First Class in the United States Army in Company A, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on September 1, 1950 near Agok, Korea. His citation reads in part "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. Out of grenades, he crawled to his squad, gathered up 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 in this action, but disregarding his wounds, he 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."

 

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Agok, Korea, September 1, 1950

Entered service at: Georgia. Born: July 20, 1931, Buena Vista, Georgia

G.O. No.: 70, August 2, 1951

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 3 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. Out of grenades he crawled to his squad, gathered up 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 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. Private 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.

 

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