THOMASVILLE — The retired U.S. Army colonel who nominated a Thomasville physician for membership in the Georgia Military Veterans' Hall of Fame (GMVHOF) Class of 2020 said the nominee's heroic character also is evident in the community.
U.S. Army Col. (ret.) Howard Floyd, a Thomasville resident, nominated James Lllewellyn "Jim" Story, M.D.
"I recommended Jim for induction into the GMVHOF because of his extraordinary heroism as a doctor while in combat, but I have been equally impressed with him as God's servant, not only his caring devotion to duty in combat, but for his servant attitude as a church member, physician and community leader," Floyd said.
Floyd served 26 years in the U.S. Army in a variety of assignments, including infantry, intelligence and staff positions. He served in the 101st Airborne Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 5th Infantry Division, XVlll Airborne Corps, the 7th ARVN (Army Republic of Vietnam) Division, the 501st Intelligence Group in Korea, and on the MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam) staff and the Army Staff.
"In my military experience, I have served with many great heroes, and I know the high threshold required for someone to be awarded the Silver Star and the Soldier's Medal," Floyd said. "It has been an honor and privilege to know Jim and Carolyn Story and to be able to nominate Jim for induction into the Georgia Military Veterans' Hall of Fame."
Story was ordered to duty in Vietnam, where he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division as battalion surgeon.
On April 1,1967, while serving as battalion surgeon during Operation Junction City, Story's battalion was engaged in a decisive battle with the Viet Cong's 271st Regiment, according to Floyd's nomination.
"The Viet Cong launched a massive ground attack at the battalion defensive positions," the nomination stated. "The insurgents penetrated the line and overran many of the friendly forces' positions. After the battalion launched a counterattack against the enemy, (Capt.) Story, ignoring the heavy enemy fire, ran into the kill zone and began administering medical aid to casualties as the battle raged around him. Without regard to his personal safety, he continually exposed himself to the hostile fire to treat the casualties and carry them to the evacuation area. (Capt.) Story's display of undaunted courage and outstanding devotion to duty undoubtedly saved the lives of many American soldiers."
Earlier in the same year, Story was awarded the Soldier's Medal for his actions, when a hand grenade accidentally exploded near boxes of mortar rounds being loaded on a helicopter.
Floyd wrote, "He unhesitatingly ran to the area to render medical treatment to the wounded, even though a fire had started by the boxes of mortar rounds. (Capt.) Story then supervised the removal of the casualties from the danger area. Realizing that two of the severely wounded soldiers needed continuous medical attention, he boarded the aircraft with them and performed surgery on them while airborne. His display of courage and devotion to duty were responsible for saving the lives of at least two soldiers."
Story is a life deacon at First Baptist Church of Thomasville and has served on and led numerous committees promoting wellness in the city of Thomasville.
He and his wife, Carolyn, were selected as two of the 10,000 Community Hero Torch Bearers in the Centennial Olympics in 1996.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820