SEOUL, South Korea (June 26, 2012)--U.S. military officials are honoring a South Korean train engineer who died on a dangerous mission to rescue an American general in the early days of the Korean War.
On Tuesday, U.S. Eighth Army Commander Lt. Gen. John Johnson gave relatives of the engineer, Kim Jae-hyun, the U.S. Defense Secretary's Exceptional Public Service Award.
The U.S. military said 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 after Dean's division was surrounded by North Korean soldiers in Daejeon during the North's push south after invading on June 25, 1950 to start the Korean War.
The train made it to the Daejeon station but the mission failed and Dean was later captured.
Kim and 27 of the commandos were killed, U.S. officials said.