U.S. Eighth Army Commander Lt. Gen. John Johnson on Tuesday gave relatives of Kim Jae-hyun the U.S. Defense Secretary's Exceptional Public Service Award.
The U.S. military says the 28-year-old civilian volunteered to engineer a train carrying 30 commandos on a mission to save Maj. Gen. William Dean on July 19, 1950. Dean's division had been surrounded by North Korean soldiers in Daejeon during the North's push south after invading on June 25 to start the Korean War.
The train made it to the Daejeon station but the mission failed and Dean was later captured. U.S. officials say Kim and 27 of the commandos were killed.