Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Luther Story laid to final rest more than 70 years after death in Korean War

More than seven decades since his death during the Korean War, Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Luther Story has been accounted for and laid to final rest in his home state of Georgia May 29, 2023.

Serving with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Story was reported killed in action on Sept. 1, 1950, near Naktong River, South Korea. As his remains were not known to have been recovered and he was not recorded as a prisoner of war, the U.S. Army declared his remains nonrecoverable in January 1956.

In October 1950, 11 sets of remains were recovered near the site, eight of which were identified. Remains believed to be Story’s—designated as X-260—were ultimately taken with all other unidentified Korean War remains for burial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. In July 2018, X-260 was disinterred and sent for analysis to the Defense POW MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor, also in Hawaii. Using dental and anthropological analysis, as well as mitochondrial DNA testing, X-260 was positively identified as Cpl. Luther Story on April 6, 2023.

The Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to Story by Gen. Omar Bradley on June 21, 1951. His citation notes that while serving as a weapons squad leader, Story and his team observed a large group of enemy forces near their position, preparing to attack. Story seized a machine gun from his wounded gunner, killing or wounding a high volume of enemy combatants. As the U.S. forces moved, Story began a solo assault on a truck carrying enemy troops and ammunition. Though wounded in the attack, he continued to fight and cover his company’s withdrawal from the area. It was reported that when he was last seen, he was expending fire with all available weapons to fight off the hostile assault against his fellow soldiers.  

Story is commemorated at the American Battle Monuments Commission’s (ABMC) Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. A bronze rosette has been placed beside his name, indicating he has now been accounted for. The names of nearly 29,000 service members are recorded on a total of eight panels within the Courts of the Missing that sit atop the cemetery. The memorial was established by ABMC to honor the sacrifices and achievements of American armed forces in the Pacific during World War II and the Korean War. The memorial grew in 1980 to include the missing of the Vietnam War.

Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Luther Story. Credit: DPAA
Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Luther Story. Credit: DPAA